Jennifer O'Grady - Head of Agency

Head of Agency

You ‘have’ your time, you ‘have’ the power

You’ve yet to have your finest hour

Now, more than ever, the nation is looking for trusted sources of news and entertainment – and we’re tuning in to get it.

The Coronavirus pandemic dominates the airwaves and people are spending more time indoors than we ever could have anticipated. Finding ourselves looking for companionship through entertainment, radio has taken the top spot in homes and hearts as listeners make their way through the new world we live in.

Across the board, broadcasters are reporting an increase in digital listening, with BBC reporting that streaming is up 18 per cent on its network and the independent Global network experiencing 15 per cent more listeners than previously. 

As our physical world becomes smaller, we search for balance, something the BBC regional stations have been quick to respond to by extending programming to four hour blocks and increasing opportunities to communicate good news at quarter past and quarter to the hour. 

Brands searching for ways to communicate their purpose can use this time to talk about the positive work they are doing for their staff, customers and communities. 

Our work with the East Lancashire Railway, a heritage rail station in Bury, saw their commercial manager appear across the new BBC formats on BBC Radio Manchester and BBC Radio Lancashire. The objective, drum up awareness that although the station has sadly closed for now, you can support them. The result, fundraising efforts successful with almost £5k raised in a week. Interested in donating? Click here.

Similarly, those with lighthearted, sensitively delivered news, shouldn’t be afraid to communicate this to their audiences at the present time – the sheer number of puppy pictures across national print for the last week or so will tell you that! 

The opportunities across broadcast are increasing and your audience is growing particularly online. Although RAJAR figures aren’t released yet, we know that digital listening is up and we’re all in our houses for the next month or so. 

The most important part of communicating at this time is authenticity. Is this a message that would fit with your communications strategy anyway? Does it feel genuine? Are you doing it to help or spread cheer? If the answer is no, stop, don’t do it! You don’t want someone looking back on your coverage in six months time with no idea of your identity or what you do…