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Promotional ideas and technique. Always radio, always positive.

Blanket coverage

What’s your first reaction when you wake up to 5 to 10cm of snow, as much of Southern England did today?

If you work in local radio it ought to be one of untrammelled joy.

Days like this could be the greatest opportunity you’ll have this year to add new listeners. Additional reach of 10, 15 or even 20% is not an unreasonable target as people seek-out timely and relevant information that only your station can provide on air and on your website.

So given this, you’d expect every local radio station in the snow-covered land to seize the opportunity.

Some in the South have. Take Andover Sound which has put cancelled events listings and station contact information upfront on its website and output today. They deserve to do well from this:

and others haven’t, like Kestrel FM whose only online reference to the weather is a seemingly pre-prepared article promising “if it gets really bad this winter our Winter Weather line will spring into action”.

Well, it got bad and there’s no sign of any such springing. On the radio this evening they were running an automated sequence of disco hits with no local information. How hard would it have been to drop-in a few custom links, pointing ahead to a substantial round-up of essential information in the morning? A poor show, and a missed opportunity.

Over at the BBC, its local website for Hampshire is providing news on the effects of the snow and the radio station has been focused on this story and the people it impacts for much of the day.

However, in my personal view, this website format does not reflect the true warmth and community-centred nature of its on-air counterpart. You really have to dig for connection, and that’s a shame.

Experience shows that the stations that do best in bad weather are those that successfully bond a community together, sharing useful information and helping listeners to help each other out. So, despite my niggle about the website format, I’m expecting the BBC local stations to post respectable figures when Rajar reports on 3 February.

Are you in the South? Have you switched to a local station because of the weather? How well has your local station performed this weekend?

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