When the Chips Are Down What Media Matters?

Who do you call when you’re in crisis? Most people have only one or two trustworthy people in their lives.  Why not reach out to your newest acquaintance? You know why because they don’t have a vested interest in being your reliable person. When the chips are down we go with those that have earned our trust over time.

Provocative question: Have you ever considered the value and effectiveness of a media based on its “use and trustworthiness” in a community crisis?

Sounds like an odd question for planning your advertising but is it?

Industry trade publications and blogs fill with the fads in advertising trends that leave the reader with the goading notion that “if you are not doing this or that you’ll be left behind.”

Radio often gets pushed aside mistakenly as “not relevant or measureable” when starry-eyed marketing and advertising pundits cling to newly crafted whitepapers and perceptible analytics. But I you asked you: Is it smart undervalue a media that has a deep-rooted vested history with its listeners and community?

When disasters hit home Radio is the “trusted friend” and the go to media.

Scarborough Research in their blog Dialog emphasizes that,  “The value of Radio cannot be overestimated when looking at its intimate connection with communities, most notably in times of need.  To give you a sense of that special connection between communities and radio, we invite you to listen to a compilation of Radio on-air Katrina broadcasts, readtestimonials from New Orleans residents and analysis of Radio listening during the storm.”

Even newspapers and magazines bring to light the deep value Radio holds within the communities it serves during a crisis.

“After Hurricane Katrina, as modern forms of communications failed one by one in New Orleans, one technology functioned, and that was Radio” – Los Angeles Times (September 10, 2005).

“When it really mattered, none of the modern conveniences and contrivances had any value during Katrina; local Radio did.”— Dick Lewis as interviewed in Inside Radio (October 23, 2006)

“Mr. Ross said, it also underscores Radio’s local roots and accessibility in a time of media deluge. “Radio,” Mr. Ross said, “still has an authority that not every tweet has.” – New York Times (March 13, 2013).

And Arbitron reveals what New Orleans residents said about Radio after Hurricane Katrina.

“Without Radio, it’s like having no electric power. You’re out of touch with what’s going on. I’d always have radio first … Radio is ALIVE.” (Female, 56, Baton Rouge)

“(Radio) is doing a great job of keeping us informed of updates on the aftermath of Katrina. Our area has been greatly affected and we appreciate the radio personnel who are working so hard.” (Female, 27, Mobile)

“After Hurricane Katrina touched down, disaster struck. Almost all stations were about the aftermath, so I listened to that. The DJs are really good. They told me everything I was worried about. So, I just wanna say they did a really good job and to keep it up.” (Male, 13, Baton Rouge)

It don’t think it takes much of analytical leap to understand the value and effectiveness of a media that is a trusted resource during a disaster is also a strong media to engage audiences during everyday life.

It is easy to prove in every community across America that advertisers who are on the Radio regularly become community pillars. When the crisis hits, Radio shows up like no other media and people rely upon that. It is everyone’s first source for companionship, news and information in the darkest most uncertain times. Listeners have a vested emotional connection with their broadcast radio stations. Advertising on Radio regularly means you earn the same entrusted relationship. You can’t put a price trust. You can grow your business on media that stands out when the chips are down.

 Seattle Radio Blog 2012

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