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Ideas and technique to help you promote and image radio

Ghana case study

You won’t read much about my current BBC work here as relatively little of it fits the theme of the blog. Some of it is hard to make public or indeed interesting.

However, one project I led had a strong dose of promotions and marketing mixed in and is all in the public domain so I thought you might like to see it.

In Sekondi-Takoradi, the newly crowned “oil capital” of Ghana’s Western Region, we recently launched a transmitter which makes available on FM (for the first time in the area) BBC programmes 24 hours a day.

I’d never launched transmitters before, but I had launched radio stations. So that’s the model I used.

Patrick's rack of win
What a transmitter (and proud engineer) looks like.

The promotional campaign which supported this work comprised traditional above-the-line activity across radio, television, press and outdoor plus some digital activity and a live OB. You’ll see a tiny budget can make significant impact in West Africa, especially if you do the creative in-house.

TV promotion
Banner in Takoradi
Vinyl banner ad

Rather surprisingly, other radio stations up and down the dial agreed to run our ads. Far from seeing the new transmitter as a competitor they told us they rather liked being associated with the BBC brand.

On the BBC frequency we ran an escalation of test transmissions leading up to the launch. Basic announcements at first then listener shout-outs to reward those who’d kindly sent in reception reports.
[audio:|titles=”BBC test tx in Ghana’s Western Region”]

We also presented the BBC’s global discussion programme World Have Your Say live from Takoradi to engage directly with listeners, generate some further press interest and provide, if you like, a product demonstration. The new transmitter was connecting Western Ghana to the world so this show provided the perfect metaphor.

World Have Your Say
Live global debate in World Have Your Say

Finally, we made sure we kept on top of the conversation on Facebook (the number one mobile site in Ghana) and Twitter and, in a four-hour typing-on-flaky-wifi-wishing-we’d-used-a-database extravaganza I emailed our programme schedule and a personal invitation to see the live show to every listener who had contacted us with a reception report.

Nothing cutting edge you might think, but solid multiplatform promotion delivering a global public service in a relevant local manner.