With a penetration of nearly 99 per cent in India today, radio has been entertaining and informing listeners for decades. There is no doubt about the radio having a great socio-cultural impact, and various FM players have embarked on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) drives from time to time. exchange4media takes a look at these CSR activities and how successful they have been in reinforcing the FM player’s brand.
Does CSR help FM stations reinforce their brand?
Speaking on the relevance of CSR for FM players Naval Toshniwal, CEO, Tomato FM, said, “Yes, CSR does help FM stations in reinforcing their brands, particularly by creating positive vibes about the brand. It is the easiest way to make space in the crowded mind of any individual. Radio is a very intimate medium and the challenge is to create and maintain the intimacy with the listener. CSR is one of the paths to achieve this objective.”
Ravi Nair, Director Programmes, Radio Mango, said, “CSR helps in building a strong bond with the city/town that you operate in. It creates very positive brand awareness. Some stations have very specific campaigns around CSR activities that come to get associated with them and thereby reinforce their brand in public consciousness.”
Vineet Singh Hukmani, CEO, Radio One, said, “If a radio station’s brand proposition is a consumer insight driven ideology and is not merely a manufacturer driven tagline, then there can be a direct connect. For example, we did the ration distribution initiative as soon as the inflation problem surfaced. Within our brand ideology we can offer quick fix solutions to any social issue.”
Monica Patnaik, Director Eastern Media Ltd (Radio Choklate), added, “Yes, especially regional or rather local FM stations like Radio Choklate get lot of mileage through CSR activities and reinforce our brand name as we have the advantages of local connect by way of local language being our main medium of penetrating into remote areas and establishing ourselves.”
Response from advertisers and listeners
Toshniwal said, “Well, the response has been terrific, not only from advertisers or listeners but from non-radio listeners as well who are now aware of the brand and have a positive image of the brand.”
Nair added, “We have received very encouraging response, with some bodies like the Lions Club awarding some of our on-air CSR initiatives. Listeners have come forward with great spirit and a lot of our CSR properties are now based on listener provided content.”
Hukmani pointed out, “Since our activity is well defined, we have always got a good response from both advertisers and listeners. This is the acid test of whether there is a brand connect or not.”
Patnaik said, “Radio Choklate has always been on top in popularity chart in all fields compared to other two channels operating in Orissa. Hence, the response is naturally number one among advertisers and listeners.”
CSR has indeed become an integral part of FM stations, in fact, it has further helped FM stations connect with its listeners creating an awareness of the brand itself. The regional players on the other hand had an added advantage, many of them had a local connect and the support of the local media as well. With most CSR activities conducted on-air it helps FM players save a lot of money.
IndustrySpeak: FM radio stations high on CSR, but does it help?