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Media radio chiefs to shake up act in battle for adverts

The radio industry is at a crossroads as more advertisers adopt the 'bought, owned, earned' model of media.

Speaking at the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) annual conference in the Four Seasons hotel, Carat Ireland strategic director Peter McPartlin proposed a five-point plan to reinvent radio sales.

Firstly, Mr McPartlin explained, that as well as talking about and charging for the numbers stations reach, they need to start measuring and valuing listener relationships with brands.

Stations need to show how they engage listeners' "hearts and minds"and can influence consumer behaviour.

The JNLR listenership report ought to be revamped. Mr McPartlin questioned the need to publish the survey four times a year, especially with the amount of detail it provides.

Some of the money could be used for research on audiences' qualitative value to stations. Airtime packaging should be reviewed. Multiples of seven packages are not the only way to sell. Peak versus off-peak is wrong for youth stations where the best audiences are often after 7pm.

Packages should stretch to sponsorship, promotions and online ads.

Stations should launch an award for innovative commercial use of radio as advertising is just one way brands can engage with listeners.

Finally, Mr McPartlin called on stations to do more on the digital front with websites, podcasts, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.

IBI chairman Scott Williams of Q102 said six in every 10 people look something up on the internet after they hear it mentioned on radio.

He said the complementary nature of radio and the internet will help drive advertising.