As you know, radio is very dear to my heart, and on August 20th it is National Radio Day.
Radio, be it, Community radio/BBC Radio/LBC is one of the most valuable publicity vehicles there is out there. Mostly about talking, it’s a great way to develop speaking and broadcast skills.
Embrace community radio – I’m an ambassador for Swindon 105.5 and radio is often undervalued and forgotten in the world of PR.
Some Radio Stats:
Radio listening remains static at 89% of population – with 49.5 million adults listening to live radio on average for 20.3 hours per week.
Commercial radio has increased its share of listening time to 48% (from 47%) and the BBC has fallen a little from 50.9% to 49.9%.
Digital listening now represents 64.4% of all radio listening. Mainly DAB 43.5%, but also online (including smart speakers) is now 16.9%. The remaining 5% listen on digital TV.
Listening via AM/FM has also increased slightly from 34.2% to 35.6%
The rise of podcasts is another aspect now to ‘radio’. BBC Sounds has a total of 162 million plays to on-demand radio and podcast content, and 5.2 million plays of music mixes.
The truth is that a podcast allow you to run your own radio show too! It’s a tool to establish you – and your brand – as an influencer in your own right.
I’ve had my own podcast for just under a year, with more than 1,300 downloads across 26 episodes and it’s impossible for me to know how many people are listening (given not everyone downloads podcasts). Yet it still means that 1000s of people in 2022 have ‘heard’ me being the journalist and PR thought-leader that I am!
Could this work for you?
Seven reasons for linking up with your local radio station for your business:
- Radio is immediate – you can hear it in your home, in your car and you can listen in real time but also on catch up. Therefore being interviewed makes you ‘visible’ as a ‘voice’ for your expertise or life experience.
- You can use radio for marketing; taking out an advert to direct your marketing to the local community; be interviewed, where you talk about what you do – give listeners the opportunity to learn about you and what you’re doing – remember people buy from people, and if they’ve heard you speak and like you, they will remember you.
- You can be an ambassador for your local radio too. I’m an ambassador for Swindon 105.5 – our community radio and support them as often as I can. When I’m fund raising, I have several charities I support, and 105.5 is one of them. I also pay to make use of their facilities for recordings – which adds more money to their coffers.
- Often local radio is so popular because they run interactive sections on their programmes where listeners can be involved in phone-in discussion; competitions etc. As a business owner, you too can be involved, by taking part, sharing your views on important topics, or fundraising at an event and gifting it to the station.
- Local radio stations are for people from the local community to be heard – share their wins/celebrations/ events – and that includes local businesses. You become part of a tribe of local businesses who value the engagement of radio.
- It is worth getting known as the local expert in your ‘stuff’ or through your life experiences. Therefore it’s worth listening to find out which programmess you feel would be good for your business, and then if there is opportunity, start to comment on social media – which makes you visible to them. You never know when a program is looking for people to comment, so be ready. Be ready at short notice sometimes, and also sometimes, very early in the morning! I once had a call at 6.30am for a slot and, to meet the deadline, I had to attend in my pyjamas. I didn’t let them take a photograph that day!
- Radio adverts can be a great way to build brand awareness. Because people hear the radio all day, hear the repeated adverts and calls to action, your brand is being subliminally at the fore-front of their minds. This can create an ‘ear worm’ where the music or tag line becomes iconic.
Tips to help you when on the radio:
- Ask if it is going to be live, or recorded, so you know what to expect beforehand. Know what you want to get from the interview too, however, don’t be blatantly salesy as that will make people turn off. Presenters will usually give you an opportunity to give out your website details or they will introduce you as you want to be introduced.
- Make a note of things you want to remember to mention i.e. Your new product; an important tip or an upcoming event. Stick to no more than three. Keep it very simple.
- Don’t waffle, give short, relevant answers and don’t waffle on inanely, you don’t want to be cut off mid-sentence when it’s time for the weather. (This doesn’t happen when you are recorded).
- Slow down your speech – nerves can make you talk faster – you need to speak clearly and slower than normal (but get a balance, so you don’t sound stilted). If you struggle with this, practice with someone you trust so that it sounds like conversation.
- Take a breath to consider your replies to questions before answering if a question comes from nowhere. A phrase such as ‘well, I need a moment to consider that…” are okay…
- Try to speak with a friendly tone. Smile at the presenter as you answer. Your tone of voice is important and smiling will make your voice sound more positive.
- If you can, discuss with the producer beforehand what questions they are going to ask, so you can prepare some responses. If you don’t know what you are going to be asked – think about what you think they might ask you, and prepare mentally.
- If your business is one where stats are important, know them before going in, so you can use them at the right times and only to position yourself as the go-to person in that field – the expert. Don’t bore people with numbers!
- Practise beforehand by recording yourself on your phone and see how you sound. If you are very nervous, get a willing friend or family member to interview you, and then listen back.
- Practice breathing before you go on air as it will help to calm any nerves you may have too. Breathe in slowly through your nose, to a count of five and then also slowly, out through your mouth also to a count of five. Do this a couple of times and you’ll notice the difference. You should feel your diaphragm (stomach) moving, not your chest or shoulders.