| 16 Jul 2024
IRF: Communicating with audience is very important

ZURICH: Bringing together different minded radio and music leaders on one platform, International Radio Festival witnessed discussions on various aspects of radio.

The magnificent castle Schloss Sihlberg played host to an important session ‘Radio is Community’ by Media UK managing director James Cridland.

Radio is a very unique medium of communication due to the talent and shared experience through it. Comparing the traditional form of FM broadcast to the new age digital technology that is gradually taking over, Cridland feels that internet is opening up better opportunities to engage listeners.

“FM broadcasting is good at talking to a local community who are bounded by territory which mostly depends on how far the transmitter can reach. But internet is a completely different face and different communities with a common interest are largely rising here. So the advantage with internet is that you can end up talking to different types of communities,” he stated.

As radio stations communicate directly with communities, they should remember the power of their audience. The engaging power with the audience is very important and can help make or break a strategy. Cridland displayed examples of different radio stations sometime ago, who interacted directly with listeners. If the station could not play a song requested by a listener, the station sent out a personal apology letter for the same and it was noticed that within a month the station reached the number one position.

The session also highlighted the fact that stations who gave out vital information during times of natural disasters or calamities had around 2000-3000 times more listening power than the rest. So communicating with audience to maximize the effect of the medium is the key to success. He asserted, “Broadcasting is not the same as communicating. If you get your community wrong, it can go against you. So one should celebrate but at the same time be aware of the power of your audience.”