Hello….is it me you are looking for?

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October 9, 2014 by johnnyseifertradio

Today I am talking about radio station awareness. Like all good radio presenters that wants to let their listeners know that they exist, lets start by joining Lulu and Shouting!

I have been writing this blog for two weeks and feel like now you have got to know me. But, I still need to get to know you. The reason for this is, is that I need to check that you are suitable to read these blogs. So we are going to start with a quiz. If you get an answer wrong please use the exit and read about the science to being a tree surgeon as you are not as fun or loud as I thought you were.

  1. Were you ever told off for talking too loud in your class?
  2. Do you like to be the centre of attention?
  3. Do people introduce themselves to you because they know who you are but you do not know them?

I take it you scored 3/3. Well done and give yourself a pat on the back for surviving Johnny’s quiz. You will be tested again soon but just think, what was the purpose of questioning me your personality? It is a well known fact that radio presenters love themselves and I am sure that there is some ego generator pumping inside you which I want to help unleash for you today. However, putting our egos aside, can the same be said about your radio station? Like I have previously mentioned, there are 352 radio stations in the country and in every city we have the same national stations (BBC Radio1, BBC Radio 2, Kiss Fm, Magic Fm, Capital Fm and Heart Fm) so how can your community or local radio stand out? As ever I have three examples about radio branding to get your minds ticking.

My first example is from the Love BBC Music campaign.

Earlier this week, Bob Shennan, head of BBC Music and controller of BBC Radio 2 unleashed the Children In Need 2015 charity single ‘God Only Knows’ networked across the BBC all at the same time. This advert had singers from all different backgrounds including Sam Smith, Stevie Wonder and Danielle De Neise singing along to the Beach Boy’s famous record. The awareness strategy here was to showcase the different genres that BBC radio has to offer to a varied audience in age and culture. Now, how can this be replicated on a local level? How about making a parody video of one of the most listened to tracks on a station playlist….just do not do Pharrell Williams ‘Happy’. The power of video is amazing. Everyone loves a parody and it can be shared on Facebook and stay on the feed for even longer and it can create a buzz on Twitter with a specially selected hashtag.

The second branding strategy I want to talk about comes from Free Radio. Free Radio owned by Orion Media in the West Midlands is becoming one of my favourite radio stations and even though I am back in London I still find myself listening through out the day to the station. The first way they created awareness was through a competition that run through the daytime across the network as listeners tried to ‘Find the Phantom’. Through a series of clues, listeners were sent on a treasure hunt asking everyone ‘Are You the Free Radio phantom’. Whilst some shops got annoyed, any publicity bad or good is still publicity and should be championed. Secondly, Free Radio are really good at latching on to local events that are happening nearby at the LG Arena. For example, when Taylor Swift played, Free Radio gave everyone a sticker. In addition, through the daytime the station will promote the artist climaxing with the end of the concert by playing back-back songs by that artist such as Kylie Minogue to keep the momentum going. Free Radio made sure that they made listeners aware of them and even went as far as branding a pub by the NIA where Kylie played so that potential listeners were made aware of a station that they may have not previously known as seen below. On a community level, I think just having a presence is important such as carrying out an OB regularly interacting with potential listeners giving them that feeling of being special by them being on the radio.


Finally, it is important to make an extension of your service so that the listeners maximises the potential to come back to the station. In recent times it has been common for radio stations to sell CD’s of a key part of the schedule that entices audiences in. On a commercial station, Kiss FM sells Kisstory CD’s that airs on Kiss FM daily 11:00-12:00 and on the Kisstory channel. Meanwhile, BBC Radio1 have joined up with their commercial arm, BBC Worldwide to sell CD’s from the Nixtape that airs as part of the Breakfast show on Fridays 09:00-10:00. On a local level you could sell CD’s for £1 and make a compilation of the big Freshers hits or showcase a niche show that airs just to create awareness even if it gains no profit.


So, what do we now need to think about to maximise the potential for branding?

What was the message that we need to get out about our brand that we are not doing already?

How is the content we are building actually furthering our listeners/profit?

What have we got that someone else has not got?

Editors Note: I would like to thank Matt Deegan at Folded Media (twitter: @matt) for his thoughts which helped make this blog.


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