Radio stations during Corona, radio listening in Corona – what is happening? And what can we learn from it? The article discusses the main role of radio stations during the corona crisis and how they can perform well.
Radio stations during Corona will play an important role in the battle against Corona Virus. RadioAnalyzer has decided to help clients for free.
The signs are in the data already. The public is turning to radio for help and information during this developing Global health crisis. Therefore, we need to make sure we supply what they need and help radio station during corona.
To help radio stations fixing their content with what their listeners want, RadioAnalyzer is offering clients free data analytics. We want to detect which parts of their Corona information is working best. As well as, how to make it even better and more relevant.
We are doing this partly to play our part in the Global efforts to help fight the virus. In addition, to help a volatile industry in risk of getting crushed by dropping ads spend.
How radio stations deal with this subject can have an impact on how the bottom line will look come the end of the year. So, today is the time to act rather than tomorrow. Knowing this, we will reach out individually to our clients over the next few days to help. Furthermore, we can also offer some general advice for radio stations after taking a dive into the first available numbers.
- Talk about what is happening locally. While global views might help to put things in perspective, what really matters to listeners are the numbers and implications “from here”.
- Stay away from sensationalism. People need a soothing voice.
- Information about “what is happening now” works much better than hypothetical talks with experts about “what could happen”. Slice-of-Life interviews with the people affected are especially effective.
- Act like a friend: offer advice and instructions.
- Just because the information is old news for you, doesn’t mean it is for a listener.
- Don’t clear the clock to go all-talk. Listeners need a break too.
News is booming
These insights come from data across markets, stations, and countries – some things just seem universally important. To underline how this can change your listener habits, we zoomed into four large European stations. We looked at how their audience changed their response to their hourly news over the past 2,5 months.
The results are clear and to the point: listeners need you. News (done right) on all four stations has overperformed month by month – and is still heading upwards.
The data shows us, that in the chaos that is the Corona crisis, radio stations with relevant and instant coverage have positive trends on their ratings. As long as they keep coverage concise and relevant. Other stations that overdo it with the misguided but well-meant intention of “doing it all” – with extremely long breaks of only partially-relevant information – have a downward trend.
This picture is not exactly counter-intuitive. There are hundreds of online news sources who post lists and numbers. So, radio should stick to what they do best: being there for the listener. This means, filtering the big mess and explaining it. With a focus on “what does this mean for me, right now?” is highly relevant and useful information.
Living up to the local advantage many radio stations have can be just as valuable. Knowing the local or regional situation in terms of risks, precautions and cancellations will always be top of mind for people. And who is better at relaying that information than local or regional radio?
The advantages of radio stations during corona
There are very clear reasons why radio stations needs to focus right now. These are times of turmoil and worry – even fear – for listeners. With the Corona virus sweeping the Globe, whole countries are shutting down. Any guess when life returns to “normal” is just that: a guess. In times of crisis, whether it is the temporary kind like extreme weather or more long lasting crisis like this one, radio stations can prevail. They stay as one of the most important, most credible, and most stable sources of information. Far more elegant and more useful than the bright yellow “breaking news” headlines dominating the internet news sources. Radio can keep listeners informed and safe while also keeping spirits high and putting a smile on the face of listeners.
The position of radio is unique when it comes to situations like this. The emotional connection radio listeners have to their favorite station alone makes the job so much more efficient. Additionally, if you add the fact that the world is overflowing with both good and bad information at the moment, the connection between radio and listeners becomes even more important.
Further helping the notion that the status of radio will rise over the next period of time is the fact that radio is the only platform where you can stay informed while going about your daily duties. All other media platforms require total focus while seeking the information. A focus that will render itself almost impossible as time goes by. Nobody wants to spend half their day browsing for news for weeks on end.
Sales focus required
All this being said, radio is also vulnerable at a time like this. In particular the commercial side of the sector will be looking at their sales budgets with fear right now. Since marketers have a tendency to lower their costs on marketing in times of trouble.
To counter this, programming decisions need to be right in order to keep ratings high. While sales organizations need to shift focus several times in the next few months. Right now, a direct effort to sell advertising minutes to authorities and businesses is key. But once the fear lowers and bans lift, whether it is on travelling, concerts or meetings, radio should have “comeback packages” ready for sellers.
Many industries will be in the same situation as radio. Struggling to survive due to disruptions. So most of them will try to make a fast turn-around with a high-powered effort on sales when the timing is right.
And once that tide turns, it is important to not miss out in order to boost sales. For both the marketer and radio.
This is not the end of the world, but it is a very serious situation. Markets will suffer, our day to day schedules will be (or already are) affected. But it is also our time to shine. Our time to be the voice of reason and a friend in need. So don’t look at the sales budgets for too long. Do what every radio station dreams of: make a difference. The market will repay you when all is said and done and RadioAnalyzer is ready to support your efforts non-stop over the next months.
Header graphics: Pixabay.com
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CEO & CO-FOUNDER OF RADIOANALYZER
Alumni of DJH (Danish School of Journalism) and eternally devoted to improve mass communication. Has excelled as Journalist, Columnist, Commentator, DJ, News Director, Sports Editor, Sub Chief Editor, Innovation Director and Radio Manager. Started in radio at age 14 and isn’t planning to quit anytime soon.