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Reaching Out With Radio

Sept. 14, 2017

Nonprofits & Associations

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Joe LaMountain, Vice President

Social media, digital marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing … It seems as if all communications today revolve around a screen. But the old-fashioned radio still provides a spectacular opportunity for strategic communications professionals to efficiently reach their target audiences.

In fact, according to Nielsen and the Pew Research Center, radio is the leading communications channel. An amazing 91 percent of Americans listen to radio, compared to the 85 percent watching television, 74 percent on smartphones, and 50 percent using personal computers. And radio listeners aren’t just old-timers like me. They include 92 percent of millennials, who tune in to radio for an average of almost 12 hours a week.

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That’s why savvy social causes and private companies use radio to raise public awareness, enhance their brand recognition, and reach new supporters. The National Apartment Association Education Institute (NAAEI) discovered that generating significant radio coverage is as easy as tuning in to your favorite station.

On May 17, 2017, Reingold orchestrated 19 radio interviews with radio networks and stations for Stephanie Puryear Helling, president of NAAEI and senior director of operations and real estate strategic services at Greystar, to highlight the benefits of working in the growing residential property management industry. The interviews were five to 10 minutes long and broadcast live and on tape.

These interviews had been aired 1,358 times on radio, with an audience of 47 million. The equivalent ad value of this coverage is worth millions, while the cost of organizing the radio media tour was just $30,000.

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As a bonus, news coverage like an interview with a spokesperson is a more credible form of communications than advertising. And this radio content can be repurposed for social media content and digital ads to reach even more people.

NAAEI relies primarily on digital marketing to reach its key audiences of college-educated millennials; people with experience in the retail, hospitality, or restaurant industries; and military spouses and veterans. So why would this organization add radio to its mix of outreach tactics? Because this target audience listens to the radio!

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