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Rory Green
Rory Green
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Broadcast PR: BBC Radio 1’s strategy to target a specific audience is working….slowly

Rory Green
Rory Green
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BBC Radio 1’s strategy to focus on its younger audience exclusively, seems to be showing results…finally.

Latest industry figures show radio DJ Nick Grimshaw managed to claw back almost 350,000 listeners in the three months to the end of June after receiving the worst breakfast show ratings for 12 years in early 2015.

The strategy of new music, new presenters and new innovations for online content has seen Radio 1 go from record low audiences to reaching 10.44 million listeners a week, according to new figures from ratings body Rajar. But it is a big challenge to hold onto young listeners – and attract new ones – in a digital age where radio audiences are listening less.

At first glance it may seem very odd to make an effort to scare off listeners over the age of 30 – or any listeners for that matter – but it is a good example of radio stations knowing their target audience and being single minded in focusing on attracting that audience.

The station is ruthless too when it comes to news stories and how they treat them. They want very specific stories that will be of interest to 15–29 year olds – their target audience.

This is one of the advantages of the BBC; it targets a wide range of audiences. Having niche stations for different ages and different interests is what makes paying our license fee more palatable.

We know as a Broadcast PR agency that BBC Radio 1 will only take stories that affect under 30s. Targeting youngsters, both through interaction, engagement and interest is what the BBC Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper has said is their aim.

So how do Broadcast PRs get stories on Radio 1 these days?

Quality over Quantity
Don’t just send across any broadcast PR story. Sending less stories of a high quality is more beneficial and likely to be noticed than sending all your broadcast PR stories. If you start hounding them with inappropriate content then they will probably disregard all stories you send, even ones that actually suit their audience.

Young angle
The focus on radio stats seems to be on regional breakdown, but when targeting Radio 1, make sure that there is an age breakdown too. The main headline should focus solely on the 15-29 year age category and what stands out for them compared to other age groups.
BBCs love a case study that brings the human element of the story to life, but make sure when targeting BBC Radio 1 that you have younger case studies available and don’t even think about offering them a case study older than 35!

Who is your client targeting?
First of all, find out who exactly the client you are representing is targeting? If it’s a certain age range away from younger people, then BBC Radio 1 may not be your focus and the stats may not represent their target audience. However, this does not mean that you should totally disregard BBC Radio 1 especially if your story is less age focused. If you check the raw data, there is usually a 18-34 category so you may be able to alter your headline and angle of the story to focus on this group, thereby tweaking your broadcast release to make it more attractive to Radio 1.

You can find more information in our ebook; ‘Media relations tips’ on our website. Or give us a call on 020 7240 7373 to chat through your story and see how we can help get you the best broadcast coverage.

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