WFDU bumper stickers go viral
WFDU listeners can fill out a form online or send a "snail mail" request to receive a classic, collectible vinyl bumper sticker. This yellow sticker is one of several varieties available.
By Kenna Caprio
WFDU (89.1 FM) is experiencing a bumper sticker craze. And it all has to do with the word "free" and the radio station's new website.
The updated website, which launched on December 9, features a section where listeners can request one of six or seven varieties of vinyl bumper stickers.
Typical bumper sticker requests totaled about 10-15 a week for Barry Sheffield, WFDU Program Director and Operations Manager. That is, until the new website launched and included the word "free" on the sticker page. Now Sheffield is averaging 50-75 requests,"especially over the holidays," he says."I thought someone had hijacked the site," says Sheffield. What actually happened is after the new website went live, it was essentially reintroduced to Google and there are a number of websites that search for the words "free" or "discount," running similar offers. The bumper sticker offer got picked up and went worldwide.
People from as far as the Ukraine, New Zealand and South Africa, as well as across the United States, have written to the station asking for bumper stickers.
Once Sheffield realized the site hadn't been hacked into, with the help of the page's designers, he decided to honor all the email inquiries after calling a few of those asking for the stickers.
Amongst those Sheffield called was Panama City, Fla. resident Rickie Homer. Homer requested a bumper sticker in each color to affix to the side of his doublewide. There, Homer displays bumper stickers from "all over the country," he says. Sheffield mailed them out to Homer in early January.
Sheffield's thinking is, if the people who asked for bumper stickers visit the WFDU website, they just may become listeners. "We're an unusual radio station. Maybe they'll start listening."
The station's webpage now better reflects its mission and "above the fold," meaning without having the scroll down, "is everything you need to know," Sheffield says. Drop down menus make the page easier to navigate and news stories and photographs scroll across the page. Each radio show and host has a page to call its own.
The site now highlights a "Now Playing" feature, allowing visitors to check out what artist, song and DJ are on air now. "Today in music" offers a link to www.thisdayinmusic.com, which features music tidbits and history. And of course, listeners worldwide can listen to WFDU online.
Visit the new webpage at www.wfdu.fm. Since 1971, WFDU FM has been the radio voice of Fairleigh Dickinson University, providing distinctive entertainment shows and award-winning public affairs programming for the tri-state metro area.