A recent post arguing that radio is overlooked by comms people caught the imagination. Here one comms person talks about their tentative steps and comms up with extra ideas.
by Tom Gannon
I read Richard Horsman’s post radio reaches 90 per cent of the population... are you even aware of that? last week which really got the cogs turning – it acted as a great reminder and made me re-think and review my own use of radio in local government.
At the county council I work for I recently started using Soundcloud as a platform to repurpose interviews and bits we had setup on local radio, the earned PR stuff. We can then share the content further on other platforms like Twitter and Facebook helping us to reach more people. Sharing via the on-demand links also works well but you can often be restricted by an expiration date on the content.
As an example we recently ran a foster carer recruitment campaign, after sending out our press release a station approached us for speakers and we arranged for a number of spokespeople. The interview itself was brilliant with 10 minutes of real credible content from one of our carers plus plenty of mentions of our recruitment URL and recruitment hotline number – valuable stuff!
You can listen to one interview here:
Ideas for audio
After reading Richard’s post one thing jumped out at me, why aren’t we being more pro-active and producing more audio to accompany our press releases?
I can see clear benefits for us were we share our own audio content, in most cases it’s not as difficult to produce as video and it adds more value to a bog standard press release. You can get plenty of extra mileage from the audio too, embed it on your website, share it via social media etc.
For the paid for bits like commercials we often record in house to cut out the costly production charges. The use of radio in Cumbria requires a lot of thinking especially when working with challenging budgets, we have four or five radio stations in the county each with their own listener base so we need to pick wisely. The radio stations themselves will sometimes tell you a bit about their audience demography but for additional insight I like to use the RAJAR reports which help to identify listener trends and reach against population. It’s really useful as you can quickly build up a picture of the impact a radio station will have on your strategy.
The gist of my response is consider using more radio and audio, use insight (hang your hat on it) and share, share, share across additional platforms.
Tom Gannon is a Communications Officer at Cumbria County Council.
Flickr: Florida Memory / Flickr.