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Ideas and technique to help you promote and image radio

Reasons to be cheerful. Number 2.

Listening is a secondary activity.

Unlike cinema, much television, gaming and many web-related activities which grab you by the eyeballs and demand your unwavering attention, radio can be enjoyed while you’re doing something else. Even something else quite pleasurable, like taking the train from London to Edinburgh. I should know, I’ve just done it accompanied by four hours and twenty minutes of great radio.

Radio may not be the only form of entertainment which works as a secondary activity (listening to music, daytime tv, and humming all have their place) but it is one which talented broadcasters have developed into a empathetic accompaniment to life.

The best radio broadcasters know how to draw you into different attention zones in order that radio can be a true companion. During a programme they will let you zone-out for a bit and then draw you forward into more conscious awareness for the unmissable moments you’ll want to share with your friends.

You might call it “attention management”. But only if you want to sound like a consultant. It’s really called “doing radio”.

This secondary nature of radio listening makes its resilence understandable. No matter how busy we are, there’s a place in our lives for accompaniments, but not so many interruptions.

Some of the most interesting research into the nature of radio listening has been conducted by the radio advertising community. The Radio Multiplier and famous Ironing Board surveys are worth reading.

I’d be interested to know how the growth of homeworking and other microtrends are also directly affecting our use of radio. If you see any research on this do share it.

Tomorrow: Neurovisualisation (made-up word).