On Friday 12th April, 2019, Shout! Communications broadcast its own online radio station. Being a broadcast PR agency, we focused on broadcast PR. But the same framework could work for any brand and campaign, no matter what subject or who you want to reach. Having your own radio station is a unique and cost effective tool with which you can reach a wide or a niche audience.
Keren Haynes explains how.
So why did we do it and why might you want to consider doing the same?
Well, of course, as broadcast PR specialists we love producing new content. We wanted to show our world what you can do, if you include your own radio station as part of a broadcast PR campaign. Whether you’re supporting a brand or a sector, a business or a charity, this can work really effectively for you too.
When it’s been produced specifically for you, the content of your radio station is obviously going to be completely on message. Obviously, you cannot broadcast one long advert – no listener will stay tuned in – but you can be more blatant than most mainstream BBC and commercial stations will allow you to get away with. For our first broadcast we were on-air for one day only for six hours (between 1100 and 1700); although most of the content was pre-recorded, we broadcast live. This adds a frisson of excitement to the occasion but a live broadcast (and the adrenalin rush it can bring with it) can bring the best out of presenters and guests alike too. Post transmission we made all of the content available to listen-again on our website.
During our broadcast we talked about radio public relations and television media relations, alongside video production and media training – all our key services. But mixed up in that was a panel discussion about Brexit and another session that picked up from a controversial episode of Radio 4’s The Media Show, called “The Art of Public Relations”.
It’s an effort to produce quality audio, but once done the content is yours; yours to use when you broadcast as a radio station, but yours to use again too: on social media, in blogs, on your website, in communication with stake holders….It’s a feast of content that will keep you going through any long famine.
The human voice is one of the most effective means of communication. Heard without seeing who is speaking, it is direct, even intimate at times. That’s really the secret to (any) radio success. Add to this the way in which you can target an audience. Sometimes radio is about reaching as many people as possible; but specialist stations such as TalkSport or UK Health Radio, another online broadcaster, suggest there is a niche market there too. How successful your own radio station will be, depends on how well you PR it: so the fact you’re reading this blog is music to my ears!
Shout! Digital Radio was a way of reaching out to our clients and potentially new clients – a marketing tool. We were never going to get the attention of RAJAR (the organisation that measures radio listening figures on behalf of the BBC and commercial sector) in terms of our audience reach. It was more about how we used the content, before and after our broadcast.
I felt, particularly on LinkedIn and Twitter, there was quite a buzz about what we were doing – as far as we know it was the UK’s first ever radio station focusing purely on PR, so it was a bit different. Several thousand people read our posts and saw the programme schedule ahead of time and the Listen Again stats have been encouraging…..in fact, so encouraging we are intending to broadcast as Shout! Digital Radio again. Tune in on Friday 13th December by visiting the Resources section of the website, found at the bottom of every page..