Saturday 10 December 2016

Digital's not killing the radio stars

Michael Cullen

Published 22/10/2015 | 02:30

The weekly ‘Jingly Bits’ slot on the Dermot & Dave show includes spoof jingles for local businesses
The weekly ‘Jingly Bits’ slot on the Dermot & Dave show includes spoof jingles for local businesses
capital marketing launch

American writer Peggy Noonan once said TV gives everyone an image but radio gives birth to a million images in as many brains. At a time when new and shiny digital media shout loudest from the marketing mediascape megaphone, it can be hard for print, radio and even TV to get a convincing word in edgeways.

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Today FM chief executive Peter McPartlin says that with familiarity, audience stability and overkill on pushing JNLR audience listenership numbers, make things trickier for radio.

McPartlin says while station managers, broadcasters and sales people are happy to air radio's qualities, not enough advertisers are on the same wavelength.

At the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) 'Radio - But Not As We Know It' conference in the Mansion House, speakers tried to make the day a JNLR-free zone and focus on content, sales ideas and radio's role in the music market. Red FM's Neil Prendeville, Dermot Whelan from Today FM, Radio Kerry's Fiona Stack and Ger Gilroy from Newstalk's 'Off the Ball' kicked off on content. Whelan was only half joking when he said in radio it takes two people 15 minutes to get a great idea on air - while on TV it takes 30 people eight weeks to ruin a great idea. Creative content can get results in unexpected ways. The weekly 'Jingly Bits' slot on the Dermot & Dave (pictured above) show includes spoof jingles for local businesses. First rolled out to maximise the presenters' stand-up talents, the businesses featured reported big jumps in web traffic and sales on the back of the scripts. New social platforms and apps turned the relationship between broadcaster and audiences into a two-way street, allowing listeners get creative and entertain.

'Is God still a DJ?' was the question for promoter Peter Aiken, Mark Crossingham of Universal Music and radio programme directors Nessa McGann of Spin South West and Today FM's Colm O'Sullivan. Mobiles, tablets and apps drive access, while streaming means DIY playlists cover every mood and mode. But McGann insists Spotify is never going to kiss anyone goodnight, or commiserate on a break-up. So a slave to the algorithm, Irish radio is not. McPartlin says while the lion's share of the €136m spent annually on radio is still on spots, sponsorship and promotions - online, mobile video, social media and events are growing.

Karen Hall of Ipsos said 65pc of Irish adults still tune in on FM. Live radio has a 54pc daily share and streaming 9pc. News and information, music and companionship were the three main reasons people tune in to radio.

* Most Irish people believe the Web Summit leaving Dublin for Lisbon was of greater consequence than Eircom rebranding as Eir, while the Ploughing Championship caught the public imagination more than a possible visit from Pope Francis, Ignite Research's analysis of September's news stories shows. Three out of four Irish people were aware that 4,000 Syrian refugees will be granted asylum here. The same ratio were aware of the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Just one in three people knew about Taoiseach Enda Kenny's "shifty and underhand" reaction to the Fennelly Report. Stories of most interest to under 44-year-olds was the possibility of water on Mars and the allegations about British prime minister David Cameron and the pig.

Ignite's Finian Murphy says the most popular sports stories last month were Ireland's first two games in the Rugby World Cup, the All-Ireland football and hurling finals and Aston Villa's Jack Grealish declaring for England.

* Now that the economy appears to be on the up, former McConnells planner Hugh Finlay is hoping his Capital Marketing can take advantage of companies being more generous with budgets. Ireland's corporate gift market is currently valued at €1.2bn annually.

Speaking at Capital Marketing's official launch, Finlay said his company acts as "a problem solver" for marketing departments, providing branded umbrellas, desk diaries, pens and keyrings sourced and made in Ireland and overseas. Capital clients include KPMG, Cawley Nea\TBWA, Crowe Horwath, ISPCA, McCann Fitzgerald and Deliveroo. Pictured above at the launch in House nightspot were Nicola Kenny, Lorraine Foy, Lynn Ruddle, Emma Dooney and Hugh Finlay.

* On the PR front, Gibney Communications has added French utilities group Veolia and US-owned Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, whose European headquarters is in Dublin. The news follows Gibneys handling of Brown-Forman's €44m whiskey distillery at Lord Henry Mountcharles's Slane Castle. It is the first new distillery outside the US for Jack Daniel's owner.

* Ireland cricketers John Mooney and Kevin O'Brien have signed up as brand ambassadors for Flogas, Cricket Ireland's official energy partner. The Irish cricket team will take part in the ICC World Twenty20 in India next March. Ireland will also host both Sri Lanka and Pakistan in one day internationals in 2016. Flogas managing director John Rooney is pictured flanked by Mooney and O'Brien at Balbriggan Cricket Club.

Michael Cullen is editor of Marketing.ie: cullen@marketing.ie

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