Radio rides the waves to become the UK’s most trusted source of news
It is confirmed – radio is the UK’s most trusted and popular source of news content. With both Rajar and Ofcom figures confirming the fact, it begs us to ask the question: if you haven’t thought about radio for your upcoming PR campaigns – why not?
Live and pre-recorded interviews with your well-briefed spokesperson can give you massive regional and national reach, with 46million people in the UK tuning in to the radio each week.
If your campaign is newsworthy, current, interesting, entertaining or hopefully all four, then your story could well tap into the ever-growing FM and digital audiences listening to radio.
Whatever you want to get out of radio, you would be hard pushed not to find a station that would gratify your audio craving. Only this weekend (22nd and 23rd May), I took my trusty digital radio to the garden to enjoy the sun; I didn’t fancy talk radio today, I wasn’t much in the mood for nostalgia and I also wasn’t keen on hearing a re-run of the current Top 40 – I was feeling very spoilt by the choice.
Outdoors, on arguably the hottest weekend of 2010 so far, I wanted live music and to be entertained – to my joy Radio 1 were hosting their Big Weekend in Bangor with a line-up of great music presented by the usual suspects, my personal favourite Chris Moyle’s, Jo Wylie, Edith Bowman and the likes.
The entertainment, live music and banter were all there and I thoroughly enjoyed myself, 250 miles from north Wales listening to Europe’s largest free music festival. I soon realised that it was not only the music and familiar voices I was enjoying, it was the freedom of radio and the reassuring feeling how it never lets me down. Much like my local breakfast radio programme on a weekday or my evening chill out station of choice, it had been able to match my mood perfectly and made me feel a part of it.
In addition, it is not just I that thinks so, recent Rajar results have revealed we have the highest radio listening figures to date, with 46.5million people tuning into radio each week. Working in the radio industry, I really believe that the continued growth in popularity is heavily down to the variety and quality of stations and programming available. We have some wonderful national and regional stations on FM and DAB, but there are more and more niche stations unearthing as well serving targeted audiences; a few I discovered on Saturday while browsing my DAB Radio include -
- Zee Radio for Bollywood
- TWR – A Christian Radio station
- The Arrow – Apparently the place to go for pure rock radio
- The Hits – chart music, entertainment news and features
- Traffic Radio – no explanation needed!
- My Baby Radio – for family and new parents!
So what does this all mean for PRs and Communications Officers? How can campaigns, launches and key messages be heard? Well…providing up-to-date, interesting, newsworthy and engaging content for radio!
For the first time radio has taken over as the ‘most trusted’ source of news, according to Ofcom, knocking TV, online and print off the top spots. I truly feel that is down to three reasons:
1. The quality and integrity of journalism in the UK
2. The immediacy and availability of information
3. The increasing integration with other media, e.g. TV and Online
Radio Today has recently documented the BBC’s weekly reach has rose by 2.4 per cent during the ridiculous snow falls back in February and March of this year, proving that radio is unquestionably top of mind as a reliable and trustworthy source of information.
If you are able to provide a story that is not only relevant to a station’s target audience, but offers something new and engaging for listeners, then you are more likely to secure airtime for your spokespeople. In addition, as you can see from above there’s more than likely a radio station already broadcasting with your target audience solely in mind, however specific!
Blogs worth casting your eye over…
- Mark Borkowski’s blog – http://www.markborkowski.com/
- Bottle PR blog – http://blog.corkingpr.co.uk/
Post by Elizabeth Herridge (Project Manager for TNR Communications)