The wait is over!
After a lengthy absence, RAJAR, the official body in charge of measuring radio audiences in the UK, have released their latest report with a revised approach to securing reliable and credible data.
Radio shows and stations remain popular with 89% of the adult population (aged 15+) tuning in every week. With a record-high combined audience (BBC and Commercial) of 49.5million.
Digital listenership continues to grow, accounting for 665 million hours, DAB has a 65% share of digital listening hours, DTV 7%, and Online 27%.
Just over a third of the weekly listening hours (34%) are listened to via a traditional AM/FM radio set. Online listening including Apps is at 18%, whilst listening via a TV has a 5% share.
Voice-activated devices are becoming frequent listening devices with just under half (48%) of device owners accessing radio stations weekly and 20% daily.
The boost in digital listenership could have been bolstered thanks to numerous new digital stations, including Times Radio which received its first audience results in this report with a listenership of 637,000 totaling 3.5m listening hours.
BBC stations continue to play a significant role with 62% of Brits having exposure to BBC radio each week. BBC Radio 2 accounts for 26% of all listening per week, with BBC Radio 1 following at 15%. 72% of listeners fall into the over 45 age categories.
Commercial radio holds a younger audience in comparison, but reaches an impressive 66% of the population per week.
The report showcases positive results from familiar names including Radio X Network 4.1m, LBC 3m, and Virgin Network 2.2m.
The results reaffirm the power of radio and provide a positive outlook for its future as tech continues to make listening more accessible.
Due to COVID instead of quarterly radio audience figures, RAJAR has published data researched during lockdown that reveals that a third of us are listening to more radio since lockdown and 4 million people are listening to radio stations they've never heard before. There's also a 39% increase in average listening length! To tap into the 1 billion hours of weekly radio listening to give a platform to your spokesperson or thought leaders visit our site.
#radio #rajar #listening #audience #bbc #global #bauer #localradio
May was a great month for The Relations Group, so great we decided to make a video highlighting what we did, and who we did it for.
Our radio team secured over 60 interviews for our clients, which generated over seven hours of radio content.
Our online team secured national coverage on leading news sites, and our TV team secured an audience of almost four million. All this was achieved by utilising our relationships with the media which we've honed over sixteen years of PR.
Beyond that, our in-house graphic design and production team has been working on videos, infographics, and motion graphics that can deliver messages in a different way, simplifying a complicated idea so it can make sense in a world that's moving faster all the time.
We understand what brands need, what gets results, and what it takes to achieve them. If you have a specific campaign idea, agenda, or aim that you need to meet, we can help you do that. We don’t just implement campaigns, we work with you to sculpt an idea to perfection. Our consultancy service helps brands like you come up with a campaign that can get traction and turn ideas into coverage.
We work across radio, TV, and online, securing quality coverage for our clients, allowing them to communicate their brand messages and raise their profile to position them as industry experts.
If you want to work with us and be a part of coverage like this, give us a call on 020 7158 0000.
Facebook has changed its algorithm for displaying, ordering, and prioritising content, which means the way people use Facebook and interact with posts is going to change with it.
Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg has decided to change Facebook to a more user-friendly experience, prioritising content that sparks comment and interaction between friends, over ad-based or commercial content from businesses. This move is set to cost Zuckerberg $3.3 billion of his personal worth, as the change will hit Facebook’s bottom line in a way many businesses would consider suicide. However this is a calculated move designed to appeal to user, not business owners.
One way this will directly impact the newsfeed is by drastically reducing video content. While video content is popular, it is also passive, gaining views, but not interaction. Facebook wants to encourage and reward content that generates comments and ‘meaningful interactions’. Zuckerberg has said: "By making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down, but I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable."
This is a shocking turn away from Zuckerberg’s previous model of Facebook, one which rewarded and desired engagement of any kind at all costs, no matter what that engagement is with. As he’s found out: not all engagement is positive, not all of it is constructive, and not all of it is friendly. In the wake of ‘fake news’, revenge porn scandals, and live-streaming suicides, Facebook has come under fire from all angles, and has wisely opted to put a focus on quality, opposed to engagement (which is tantamount to ad revenue.)
What This Means For Businesses
Put simply, this is going to have a negative impact on businesses. Unless your content stimulates discussion, it will suffer, and since the public is growing increasingly resistant to advertising, this seems unlikely. Many brands and smaller organisations rely heavily, or even entirely on Facebook for their marketing, and this move may cripple them. Bigger companies can survive a knock in click-through rates, or a drop in views, but this signals a wider change away from advertising, at least in the social sphere.
On a platform that was originally built around social interaction, sponsored or commercial posts were and still are an unwelcome intrusion. For users, paid-for content is a hassle at best, and a reason to leave the platform at worst. Some people have become so concerned with Facebook’s data harvesting and ad-based content that they have deleted their accounts entirely.
In order to combat this, Facebook had no choice but to revert to an earlier strategy, one that puts its users above everything. What this means for businesses on Facebook, is they’re going to have to reach their audience in increasingly creative, unconventional ways, or in ways that directly reward that audience.
This is the nature of PR in the 21st Century: a creative way of communicating with an audience to deliver a specific message, in a way that rewards their attention. To do this on Facebook, any post, any video, any message that is meant to leverage a brand, sell a product, or build awareness, will need to offer something to its audience. Whether that’s through thought-provoking content, a campaign that sparks debate or conversation, or a video that surprises people with genuinely interesting facts, your audience must feel they have gained something from interacting or engaging with what you put out. It must resonate. Or it won’t work.
PR can subvert Facebook’s algorithm by giving your audience a message encoded in content they genuinely want to see. By infiltrating through endless posts from friends and family and providing a payoff for their attention, people are more likely to remember, like, and engage with you, and this can all converted into genuine support for your brand.
For a free PR consultation, or to find out more about how you use content, video, and social media to your advantage, call The Relations Group on 020 7158 0000, or get in touch with us.
The Conservative Party Conference was always going to be a central talking point in the British media; given the current political landscape both at home and abroad it was always a given that Theresa May’s speech would be closely scrutinised.
But no one expected Lee Nelson to turn up.
In a surprising stunt that stole all the headlines, a prankster made it to the side of the Prime Minister, getting past some of the best security in the world, and delivered a P45 form from Boris Johnson. This was a brazen move, undermining what little credibility the foreign secretary had left given his recent gaffes, blunders, and jokes about corpses.
But the character of Nelson (real name Simon Brodkin) will come off stronger than ever, regardless of whether you agree with his politics, tone, or method. He uses stunts to build a brand, which is of course the essence of PR, and this is just the latest in his carefully orchestrated career.
Some of his most famous stunts include hurling money at FIFA President Sepp Blatter:
Walking onstage during a Kanye West performance at Glastonbury:
And presenting swastika-emblazoned golf balls at one of Donald Trump’s golfcourses, who of course would later go on to actually publicly sympathise with Neo-Nazis.
Using stunts to generate headlines can be advantageous, especially with social media allowing for stories to be spread faster than ever. The snap reaction to generate news in the short window where interest is at its highest will guarantee that your brand is featured across broadcast, print, and online.
We worked with Lee Nelson, using his fame as a catalyst for media attention and instant brand recognition. Even though his fictional character is just an act, it is still just as credible as any celebrity, and can help boost any campaign.
Consider using a spokesperson to help drive your campaign forward, or plan a creative stunt to ensure audience interest, as well as media coverage. As Lee demonstrated, the key to any stunt is rigorous planning, and a team of dedicated professionals behind the scenes working to ensure that the stunt goes off without a hitch.
We can help plan a stunt from any stage: from the initial concept, through planning, until the actual performance itself, capture footage, and send out press releases explaining the stunt if needed.
We can even provide a free consultation to help plan your stunt, brainstorming ideas with our creative team to ensure it shows you in the best possible light, gets your brand name and messages out there, and won’t get you arrested, like Lee.
More businesses are starting every day, and thanks to social media and the internet, they are being discovered faster than ever. It is becoming harder and harder for brands to stay relevant and liked, and with ever more sophisticated ways of breaking into the public consciousness, it can be hard to maintain your brand’s position.
The Relations Group is in the business of helping brands with their image, communicating their messages, and positioning them as leaders in their field. Here are our top five tips on how to stay ahead of the game.
Stay On Target
While flexibility and adaptability are important and useful traits for any business, remembering your key message, market, and objectives will mean you stay focused on what your business is all about. Having a solid sense of identity and purpose in an overcrowded market is a blessing you can’t afford to take for granted, and will help set you apart from competitors who try to stretch themselves to encompass everything in the changing media landscape. Having a plan with specific goals in a measurable time-frame will mean you can see what’s working in a definitive way. If your strategy is not working, you can make calculated changes, instead of random quick-fixes that won’t help you in the long-run.
Play The Long Game
Leading on from this, don’t expect massive growth overnight. A well-timed one-off PR campaign can net you large exposure, but this will drop off once the campaign is over. Undertaking a long-term consistent PR strategy will allow your brand to filter through to people’s subconscious, embedding itself in their mind as the brand of your sector. By adopting a big picture view, you can see how your brand could evolve over time, and the only way to do this is through consistent work to build yourself up, increase your credibility, and expand your reach. Broadcast is a fantastic way to do this through getting a message directly to a targeted audience who will engage with the content you are putting out, which brings us to our next point…
Have something to offer your audience. More than ever people are looking at their time as a resource to be invested, so if you aren’t offering something practical or interesting that will help them, you won’t have their attention for long. Your PR story should hinge on something the audience needs to know, something that will positively impact their lives. This will lead to positive association: if you help people, they’ll like you. Considering this is such a simple concept, many brands fail to create content that is genuinely useful to the audience. If you campaign features a story that is bland, uninspiring, or devoid of facts, it will fail. If you undertake research or join up with an awareness campaign to educate the public on an important topic, you’re giving the something that they didn’t have before. This reflects positively on your brand, while at the same positioning you as a leader to others in your field, which we’ll talk more about next.
Be A Thought Leader In Your Industry
Establishing yourself as an expert is crucial to being taking seriously by others in your field. This can be tricky, but it’s one of the surest ways to build credibility. Start by creating content that goes into detail about the work you do and why it works. Analysis into your sector will be genuinely interesting and useful to people in your industry, and if it is well-written and insightful, people will respect you immediately. Once you’ve made a name for yourself, you can begin to use that as a resource of its own. Your name will carry weight, so you should use it to its full effect over radio, TV, and online, get as much exposure and publicity as possible. We can help facilitate this through a campaign that utilises multiple routes to coverage. You can be the spokesperson for your own brand, after all, you are the expert.
Get A PR Partner That Is Up To Date And Efficient
Relying on outdated methods or a PR company that isn’t ready to change with the times means you’re underselling yourself, and giving your competitors a free pass to steal the spotlight from you.
The Relations Group began as just one company: Radio Relations. But over time, our skills deepened and diversified, and we released we could do more. Beyond this, we were also facing an increased demand for a wider range of coverage options, as the online market began to take off. By adapting and opening ourselves up to new methods, we now enjoy working across radio, tv, and online, as well as having in house production facilities, and content being generated every day to ensure we’re never quiet. This is why we can say with confidence we know what we’re talking about.
So call us on 020 7158 0000 to talk about starting a PR campaign today.
When planning a TV PR campaign, it’s important to keep in mind that while you should of course strive to create content that is interesting for your audience, you also need to make sure that content is interesting for the broadcaster.
First and foremost, TV stations need to make sure what they air is of high quality. If people turn off, it can be a death sentence for them. So everything that gets submitted is subject to rigorous scrutiny.
If your story isn’t good enough, it won’t get on air.
This goes double for TV, where there must be an engaging story alongside visuals. If one side is weak, it puts the entire campaign in jeopardy.
You have to plan your campaign based around the broadcast methods you’re using; if you try to spread one method over radio and online and TV, for example, it won’t work. Each route to coverage requires its own unique methodology, they have their own needs, their own demands, and their own positives they can bring to your brand.
In the case of TV, you have to make your story visually exciting as well as editorial. If done well, it can be a fast way to more brand recognition and a better view of your business. So here are some guidelines to keep in mind when planning a TV PR campaign:
1. You have to understand who you’re pitching to. Think about what different programmes need, and what makes them distinctive. Think about what this specific station will respond to, what their viewers will want to see. Tailor everything from the very first idea to the finished product to your audience and your broadcaster.
2. Don’t stick to the script. If you’re on TV talking about a topic, you need to be an expert on that topic, in case the interviewer decides to change tactics. Have the confidence to know that you can handle anything they throw at you, and that if your script is getting in the way of your argument, you can drop it. A more animated interview makes for better TV anyway, so don’t be afraid to take it in a different direction if it means you can make it more interesting.
3. Planning ahead is crucial. Think about what else is coming up in the calendar, if big political or sports events get in the way, your story may get dropped. But you’re not psychic. You can’t plan for everything. Luckily though, you don’t have to. Controversial or outright negative stories break and develop all the time, if you can edit your content to address or highlight things in a relevant way, you can take advantage of the ever-changing media landscape.
4. Spokespeople make any content more relatable, giving your brand a face people know and trust. Even if the audience isn’t interested in the story, they’ll still watch if they know who’s on screen. Check out our tips on finding the right spokesperson for your PR campaign.
5. Be careful of too many brand mentions on air. It’s not an ad, you’re there to sell a story, not your product. If the story is strong enough, people will remember who brought them such important or interesting information.
TV Relations can help you plan, prepare, and practice for the big day, making sure your interview goes smoothly:
TV can be an incredibly effective and powerful way to get noticed. If you’re considering doing a TV PR campaign, call us for a free consultation on 020 7158 0000.
It's National Thank You Week this week, so we thought there'd be no better time to thank clients we've worked with previously.
We were inspired by the idea of 'Paying It Forward', giving one gift to the person we wanted to thank, and one more for them to send on to someone they want to thank. Hopefully it goes on to create a ripple effect, with dozens or hundreds of people feeling appreciated.
There are few things as rewarding as chocolate, so we thought this would be the perfect way to say thank you to businesses that have helped us grow, given us testimonials, and referred us on to others.
And it was certainly appreciated:
This is one of the ways we try to be more than just another PR company. We want people to know they matter. Our contacts aren't names on a database, numbers on a spreadsheet, or means to an end.
They're people. And they deserve our thanks.
It’s a well-known fact that adverts often utilise less-than scrupulous methods to get a reaction from their audience. ‘Sexy’ ads have been around for decades, relying entirely on showing the public an attractive person, who just happens to be holding a product:
We aren’t sold based on the product’s merits, its prestige, or its appeal. We are sold through the association we have with the person, and how they make us feel.
By linking the product to the feeling of attraction, the brand has successfully created a positive feedback loop: we see the ad, like the person, thus like the brand. We don’t particularly care about the product, but we damn sure like the feeling we get when we think about it. Subconsciously, we are reminded of it whenever we look at whatever it is we bought.
This is called classical conditioning, and has been a topic of psychological study for decades. It requires a stimulus that triggers a response, this trigger is then remembered as a direct link to this pleasurable sensation. Advertising used this link to push products for decades, again and again until it became a tired technique, overused to the point of cliché, even eventually becoming a punchline for stand up comedians like George Carlin:
'Advertising sells you things you don't need and can't afford, that are overpriced and don't work. And they do it by exploiting your fears and insecurities, and if you don't have any they'll be glad to give you a few by showing you a nice picture of a woman with big t*ts. That's the essence of advertising: big t*ts. Threateningly big t*ts.'
However, we are now seeing a move away from such simplistic cause/effect conditioning, as people have become increasingly resistant to advertising, especially this type of hyper-sexual exploitation. A recent study has found that, while sex-appeal is more likely to make people remember the ad, it doesn’t make them more likely to remember the actual brand, and it has literally zero impact on the target’s intention to buy. Furthermore, people are now actually more likely to form a negative opinion of brands that use sex to try to sell its product.
So with that in mind, perhaps it’s time for 21st Century marketing teams to embrace the shift, and start creating content that works. As we mentioned before, people hate to be manipulated, and they hate to be relentlessly sold to, so adopting a gentler approach is a smart move.
PR allows brands to get exposure in a far less aggressive way than advertising, which people respond far more positively to. By creating interesting content parallel to you, you guarantee your audience will listen, then they have the power to decide to pursue you further. By allowing them to make that choice, they’re already inclined towards you, instead of being on the defensive. This is the perfect way to attract people, and will create a genuine personality for your brand, rather than a persona which people can see through.
One way to establish credibility in an authentic way is to use a celebrity spokesperson that people can recognise or identify with. Celebrities in ads are paid to endorse a product, celebrities in PR are paid to deliver a story. This will still ensure the viewer’s attention, without the obvious attempt to utilise aesthetics for financial gain. Check out this video we made that utilises a celebrity without detracting from the core message:
Creating genuine relationships is what we do, so if you’re interested in pursuing a broadcast PR campaign, get in touch with us on 020 7158 0000.
Everyone likes it local. If you go into a supermarket, they'll have the location of the farm they sourced the beef from or the field that grew the potatoes printed somewhere on the packaging. And those strawberries sourced from the same town your grandmother grew up in always taste infinitely sweeter than the ones simply labelled “Spain”.
We like that thrill that comes from seeing something so familiar gain recognition, immediately understanding its relevance in our lives, and this is one of the greatest strengths of broadcast PR.
A typical advertising campaign for radio and television uses thirty second slots to try and persuade consumers that they need a particular product or service. These adverts will appear on multiple channels, repeating multiple times throughout the day, and tend to run for several months at a time. The reason for this is the cost of production: the company needs to stretch that advert out to ensure that they make their money back. Stretching one idea for the longest possible length of time while still maintaining effectiveness is the best way that an advertising campaign can minimise costs and maximise consumer engagement. And, given our ability to remember certain long-running adverts from our childhoods, this repetition clearly has some impact.
The unfortunate side-effect of this kind of campaign is that it is completely unable to adapt and thus often has to generalise in order to engage with the widest demographic. Adverts with a national outlook can't afford to throw in anything that would alienate consumers, meaning that the majority of advertising campaigns avoid targeting a specific locality, and they are unable to run multiple versions of an advert concurrently. It would cost too much money and they would find themselves limited to smaller, regional channels if they tried. Instead, an advertising campaign has to accept that it will not engage a large proportion of its audience purely because it is not relevant to their lives.
Broadcast PR works rather differently. Due to the reliance on the media to disperse the chosen message, a PR campaign can only last as long as the buzz does. Sometimes this does mean that the message only gets a short life but, in the hands of a skilled PR operator, it can turn into a longer term and constantly evolving promotion that works for multiple audiences. If linked to a long running news story, or one that is continually developing, a promotional campaign can easily outlast the usefulness of traditional advertising because it remains relevant and new to the consumer.
Adapting to remain relevant is a key strength of broadcast PR, and its usefulness is not limited to just its ability to evolve with an on-going story. By working with regional broadcast networks, the message of the PR campaign can adjust to suit the local area so that it appeals the very different audiences across the nation and relate to the differing needs of those communities. The promotion can hook onto suitable local stories, whether it's about an opening event in a small northern town or an awards ceremony in central London, ensuring that the message is one that feels relevant to that area.
Consumers see their community spotlighted and therefore believe that X brand is on their side, understanding their needs and issues. They get to feel that special thrill that comes with seeing something familiar to them acknowledged and suddenly the message becomes linked to that feeling. Broadcast PR keeps the campaign relevant through linking it to the familiar.
Local produce, from crafts to craft beer, has become a big thing in recent years. The same boom is happening with local radio and so it offers great opportunities for broadcast PR. Ran by people within the community, with an understanding their wants and needs in a way that the big commercial stations cannot, these radio stations provide a more intimate platform for in PR campaigns. After all, those working for the local radio station will use the same stores, experience the same community issues, and have the same pride for their region. Local radio is a part of them, meaning that they are infinitely more trustworthy than any other station.
In this social media-heavy world, locality has only increased in importance when it comes to broadcast PR. Word of mouth no longer simply means word of mouth, instead widening to encompass everything from a friend passing on a recommendation on the phone to reviews posted on Facebook or Twitter, and this means that a good story can catch a wider audience than ever before.
It can start small, beginning on one person's page, perhaps then being shared between one group of friends, who share it with more friends and relatives, until eventually everyone seems to have seen it. The story has achieved the ultimate aim: going viral. It all starts with that first share and that's where the local focus has its strength. On social media, just like in real life, people like to talk about what feels relevant to them and a campaign that relates to a particular community will increase engagement.
Example: Bouncy Bands
A teacher in Arkansas shares her experiences with “Bouncy Bands” in her class on a local teaching page, intending to give others in her profession the a way to settle their energy-filled charges. Flash forward a few weeks and suddenly her findings are discussed on the news and that post has reached the UK, with the product in question rising in popularity across the world. The story started as something local, applying to only a select community, but interest in the human experience in the story and digital word of mouth took it far beyond the realms of a typical advertising campaign.
Broadcast PR is an adaptable way to spread a promotional message. Its ability to link in to the local community through regional news and events ensures that it will be relevant to the very different audiences to hear it, evolving with the stories it finds and ensuring the maximum engagement.
Get into contact with us, to plan a PR campaign and get a free consultation.