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Gung Ho about the radio: Getting the right talent for the FM radio sector

15-December-2006
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Gung Ho about the radio: Getting the right talent for the FM radio sector

With over 300 FM stations scheduled to go on air, the radio sector is emerging as another employment generating sector. However, there is a dearth of trained professionals. Keeping this in mind quite a few radio veterans have ventured into training the right talent. After Roshan Abbas, it is now another popular name on the airwaves, Simran, who has set up an institute, ARM, to train aspiring RJs.

Popular radio jockey, Simran Kohli, aka RJ Simran, set up her radio management academy ARM three months back, with full time classes scheduled to commence from January 15, 2007.

Kohli has hired Vishaka Communications to handle the advertising. In order to create awareness around the institute and to attract students, the agency has come up with a campaign called ‘Simran Kisiko Bhi Radio Jockey Bana Sakti Hai’. The campaign is being run in association with Big FM and Amar Ujala.

The campaign uses the brand equity of Simran and has some of the most unlikely people mimicking well-known personalities like Laloo Prasad Yadav, Sachin Tendulkar, Nana Patekar, Amitabh Bachchan, and Sanjay Dutt.

The campaign gives youngsters a chance to get selected by Simran to pursue a course of their choice at ARM and received training from her. Aspirants can send an SMS to Big FM, based on which Kohli would conduct auditions live on the FM station. The finalists would get a chance to be trained at ARM.

“With over 300 radio stations scheduled to go on air, there is going to be a huge dearth for radio professionals and since ARM is the only academy of its kind in South Asia and it is headed by celebrity RJ Simran, we came out with this idea that Simran, who has a huge fan following in India, should become the brand ambassador. She is actually in a position to make a RJ out of anyone provided the person had the inherent talent,” explained Bishaka Saha, Managing Director, Vishaka Communications.

One of the elements of the campaign is a spoof on the famous dialogue from the movie ‘Deewar’. Asks Amitabh Bachchan’s character “Tere pass kya hai?” Sashi Kapoor’s character replies, “Mere paas Simran hai. Audition doonga, RJ ban jaunga aur phir sab kuch jo tumhare paas hai mere paas bhi hoga!”

According to Simran, this was the first time that the medium of radio had been used for such a purpose. Describing it as an amazing campaign, Kohli said, “We wanted to create something around Simran, because she is a brand unto herself. She is a reliable entry point for radio and is already a part of this industry. It tends to give weightage to the campaign.”

Kohli is very enthused about the overwhelming response that she has been getting through this campaign. She is also open to tie-ups with other stations, too, to create a buzz around her institute.

The campaign has attempted to break the fear and inhibition associated with auditioning for an RJ’s job. Abhimanyu Mishra, Executive Creative Director, Vishaka Communications, said, “The campaign is pulling in huge responses via SMS and phone lines, with students virtually pleading for an audition with Simran. This, coupled with focused presentations in colleges in Delhi like LSR, Hindu and Hansraj College, has rapidly built up the equity of this new brand.”

For the record, ARM offers courses in radio management as well as short term certificate courses in radio jockeying, radio sales and marketing, and FM radio journalism.

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