Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB
Radio. According to Merriam-Webster, radio is “the wireless transmission and reception of electric impulses or signals by means of electromagnetic waves.” At the Radio Advertising Bureau, these are just some of the words we use to define and describe radio: mass, personal, engaging, live, local, interactive, informative, entertaining. And yes, there are many more that can be used as we celebrate radio.
This Thursday is National Radio Day. It is the day that we celebrate and recognize the great invention of the radio, along with the news, information, music, stories and the voices of the personalities on those stations carried across the airwaves, via mobile, streams and on-demand.
While we all know that radio is the top reach medium, it influences behavior and delivers results for advertisers, there is so much more that radio does.
There are many reasons to celebrate radio – not just Thursday, but every day. Here are just a few:
- Radio boosts businesses and unifies communities. As states instituted restrictions due to COVID-19, businesses needed to get the word out that they were open and there to help. Impact Radio Group (a division of ILIAD Media Group), provided free schedules to 100 small-market businesses and commissioned a jingle to unify the community.
- Radio connects. COVID-19 related stay-at-home orders challenged the education and learning systems. Teachers were trying to figure out how to connect with their students. Neuhoff Media stepped in, allowing teachers and staff to air stories and lessons – maintaining that critical connection between students and their teachers.
- Radio saves businesses. At the onset of the lockdown, a local Florida radio station morning team prompted call-ins and learned of one restaurant that was close to closing its doors, notified listeners and the business had record-breaking sales.
- Radio drives donations. From radiothons, to food drives and fundraisers, radio helps drive donations via the power of storytelling and its emotional connection with its listeners.
- Radio supports the community. Radio saves lives. During floods and hurricanes, it informs people of what to do and where to go for help.
- Radio is a trusted source. Current events and concerns about social media have placed a renewed interest in traditional media. Radio has always been a trusted source in times of crisis and need.
- Radio is a source for music discovery. Benefits of music are plentiful and staying up to date with music is important to many. Radio is always a great source for new music discovery.
- Radio informs and entertains. Loneliness and isolation were common feelings at the onset of the pandemic. Radio not only delivered the information listeners needed, but it also provided the companionship and entertainment that so many needed.
- Radio is a companion. It is the friendly voice that keeps you company, during long drives and while at work – even if the workplace is at home.
- Radio brings joy. With no way for seniors at senior living facilities to visit with resident friends or family members, a digital radio station was created and run by seniors across the country. Resident DJs from senior homes across the country shared stories, dedicating some from the comfort of their recliner.
Radio is important to everyone and its meaning and definition will vary based on who you speak to. During the 2019 Radio Mercury Awards, Jeff Charney, Chief Marketing Officer of Progressive Insurance said this about radio:
- R is for relevance. If you’re not relevant, you shouldn’t be in the business. We are very relevant today.
- A is for authenticity. Every single spot that won was authentic and incredible.
- D is for disruption. Everyone who won was disrupting.
- I is for insight-based. If you do stuff based on insight, you’re going to win.
- O is for out-create. Every one of the winners was trying to out-create the other. There’s never anything wrong with a little friendly competition.
However you choose to describe or define radio is personal – just like the medium – but don’t forget to celebrate radio for all is does on National Radio Day and every day.