Showing posts with label regional. Show all posts
Showing posts with label regional. Show all posts

Community Radio Can Be Powerful PR


Australia is rich in radio.  But community radio stations rarely feature in PR and media relations plans. And that's a pity because community radio covers a lot of territory and reaches a lot of people in this country.  

It is estimated more than 4.5 million adult Australians listen to community radio stations every week.  That makes them an effective way of channelling campaign messages to grassroots and often committed audiences.

Community radio caters for many interests including community, multicultural, Indigenous and religious broadcasters. And like its commercial cousin community programming includes a stew of  music, news, current affairs, lifestyle and local content.

Although bigger stations may have a full-time station or program manager, volunteer broadcasters who give a few hours of their time each week are the lifeblood of stations.  As well as their broadcasting value these volunteers are often activists in their own right who can provide word of mouth and other engagement opportunities beyond the reach of the station. 

Here are the websites of peak and other bodies where you can learn more about Australia’s community radio sector:

Community stations even have their own news service. A small team of dedicated journalists run National Radio News from Bathurst in NSW supported by communications students at Charles Sturt University.  Their three minute news bulletins are syndicated to local stations across the country.

Many years ago I was a part-time community broadcaster.  That plus recent experience of working with a host of community stations has convinced me that volunteer radio can be an important medium in a PR project.

What has been your experience of community radio?






Paris, London and Eden NSW

The 1959 Peter Seller’s movie The Mouse That Roared told the story of a tiny fictitious principality that declared war on America ... and won. Well I just met the marketers that roared. Although they did not go to war they certainly attracted American and other international interest.

Eden, a modestly sized fishing town on the coast in southern NSW town has a marketing program in place to attract cruise ships. It is an attempt to broaden out the economy which has been affected by changes in the local fishing and timber industry in recent years.

The town must have a very capable marketing team. They recently managed to attract the Regent Line’s luxury ship, the Seven Seas Mariner, to drop anchor in Eden’s scenic Two Fold Bay. Nearly 700 American, British and other passengers spilled onto the town‘s only main street to browse in local and nearby attractions.

Many shops in the town dressed up with banners and balloons to welcome the tourists who hailed from mega cultural hubs like New York, San Francisco and London. The local services club – which looks like almost every other service club in rural Australia had a sign out welcoming the passengers and volunteers were on hand in themed T-shirts and caps to help people make the most out of their short stay.

Nowadays we often hear how regional Australia is struggling particularly in the drought. It is great to see a plucky small-ish centre going toe to toe with the big cities to bring in tourist dollars.

Well done to the marketers of Eden.