Unleashing the power of audio – how to launch a successful radio trade body and promote radio

October 21, 2022

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Background information

Despite radio’s many advantages – its massive reach and incredible connection with its listeners – it is becoming increasingly difficult to prove radio’s worth in the competitive media landscape. Radio is not top of mind for agencies and planners.

To respond to a positioning vacuum and a lack of any radio sector authority in Ireland, RTE and Independent Broadcasters of Ireland came together in spring 2022 to form a new trade body – Radiocentre Ireland. In this week’s egtabite, we take a closer look at how a new trade body such as Radiocentre Ireland successfully managed to drive the conversation around radio and became a reference point on the market within just a few months of it’s launch.

Mission and goals

Radiocentre Ireland put in place a plan of action around their unifying idea ‘Be Better Together’. Their goal is to showcase the power of audio by ensuring the sector resonates with advertisers and agencies, emotionally and rationally, and to grow audio’s share of the Irish advertising market. The goal is to establish a clear collective narrative on ‘audio today and tomorrow’ and position radio as a young, colourful, confident and contemporary medium that was born today not a hundred years ago.

To fulfil its mission, Radiocentre Ireland is focusing on demonstrating radio’s effectiveness, creative and production qualities, thought leadership on the future of audio, community building and engaging young people as well as local communities and SMEs. Internally, Radiocentre aims to create a platform to discuss new trading models and a system to measure spot, sponsorship and digital audio revenues. They are also encouraging broadcasters to collaborate by sharing resources and data initiatives to measure incremental reach of digital audio.

Website

As a first step, Radiocentre Ireland has launched a new website which has a young and colourful look and feel with lifestyle photos rather than people with microphones. It’s simple and easy to navigate with a wealth of insights and materials from events with videos, key facts and presentations available to download.

Events

Launch event: Radiocentre Ireland officially launched in May 2022. The event took place in the national stadium and featured popular radio hosts and live music. The event showcased radio’s stars and talent and tapped into the connections they have with their audiences.

Webinars: Radiocentre runs regular webinars for the industry, bringing insights and research on innovations in audio to clients. Most recently they had Karen Nelson Field present her insights on attention, which attracted a large number of clients and agencies.

The Audio Academy: A new educational project was launched with various modules on the power of audio aimed at agencies to help educate the new generation of planners. Media brands like Off the Ball have agreed to come and present as well as radio breakfast hosts and producers, for example. The first edition of the Academy sold out, creating excitement and demand.

The Irish Audio Creative Awards: This is a newly launched award that aims to get the creative community interested in and excited about radio.

IMRO awards for radio content: In order to reach agencies and advertisers who would otherwise rarely hear about winners of this existing award, radio will promote them on air with special programming.

Promotion

Accurate and detailed sector revenue reports: Up until now there was no precise market report available on the Irish market. Radiocentre managed to obtain the precise data on the market size by aggregating and anonymising data from the industry actors. The report actually showed that the market was bigger than people assumed, which attracted huge press coverage across national media.

Ad campaign: Radiocentre launched a radio campaign inspired by a Radiocentre UK campaign positioning radio as safe, cookie free, unskippable and the original influencer speaking directly to 90% of the population. The campaign mainly targeted agencies who spend most of their budgets on Facebook and other digital platforms.

Agency and advertiser presentations: Ciaran, the CEO of Radiocentre toured all the major agencies delivering a presentation on the power of audio, putting into perspective radio’s powerful daily reach of 80% vs the much smaller reach of social media.

Research

Radiocentre released several pieces of research, one of them with figures on post–pandemic behaviour changes and the importance of radio for Irish listeners. It revealed how radio comforts, entertains, lifts their mood and makes them laugh.

The Irish Audio Market report: Radiocentre launched a new share-of-ear report on listening, consumption, device ownership, as well as data on when, what and where people listen.

Radio attribution in low and mid funnel activity: In order to release a report on attribution, Radiocentre is collaborating with advertisers by tagging their website and tracking behaviour in response to radio campaign.

Future

In the short amount of time since it’s launch, Radiocentre Ireland has become a vocal reference point on the Irish market and managed to drum up interest and excitement about radio. They are not stopping there – Radiocentre has big plans for the future with more research on ROI, attention and incremental reach, not to mention the continuous promotional work towards agencies, advertisers, SMEs and many more.