This spring, the Thai Service developed an awareness campaign to help strengthen our identity as the ‘Voice of America’. Our promotion (April 18-May 22) asked listeners to send in on a postcard the answer to this simple question: “What do the letters ‘VOA’ stand for?” to make people think about what they are hearing during our program ID’s.
The rules and prize list were posted on our website, and announced during our airshows. The Service made three unique ‘promos’ using humor to draw in the listeners and develop enthusiasm for the campaign. Chulalongkorn University Bookstore (CUB) promoted the campaign and co-hosted the prize drawing on May 27 in Bangkok: “VOA Identity Campaign 2004 Day”.
The drawing was held at CUB with over 120 fans, media, and honored guests in attendance. TV9 and UBC TV covered the event. Anchors from our flagship Bangkok stations, MCOT and Chula University Radio helped with the drawing. VOA Thai’s Chamroen was the MC and our former intern, Krit Kunplin (now a reporter for MCOT), also participated. Honored guests included: spokesman for the Thai Prime Minister (a long-time VOA fan), deans and faculties from Bangkok’s most prestigious universities and Steven Howard, from the IBB’s marketing office in Bangkok.
VOA Thai interviewed the first three prizewinners for our airshows. Photos of the proceedings were published in Thai newspapers, shown on TV and posted on the VOA Thai website (don't forget to check the winner's list!).
Two years ago a four-week promotional campaign yielded what was deemed to be an astonishing 170,000 letters from VOA Thai listeners. When it came time for this year’s campaign, the VOA Thai Service was worried that the number was so large it would be impossible to reach. You can imagine their surprise when, after only four weeks of on-air promotion, an unbelieveable 800,000 letters arrived from listeners responding to the campaign’s call for entries. The campaign is evidence of the large listenership – and impact –for VOA’s smallest service.