BBC has undertaken an initiative to understand its listener’s better by focusing on audience participation. The channel had run a six-week campaign in this regard for the North during last November and December, which helped it better connect with over 73,000 people.
The campaign based on questionnaires reveals that the local residents have demand for increasing airtime of BBC Hindi’s programmes like ‘Hum se Poochiye’ (Ask Us) and ‘Career Kya Karoon’ (Career Advice). It also reveals that the Indian listeners want more content on health, science, arts and entertainment.
Titled ‘Your world, Your voice’ that toured 14 towns across Bihar, Jharkhand and UP, debating issues such as on job, education, pollution, crime, water supply, land reforms and the Naxal menace, which are of importance to local residents. At least 45,000 people got engaged with the BBC via audience-participation events including debates, quizzes and street theater.
The channel also reached out to around 28,000 people with promotional activities in MP, Rajasthan and Uttaranchal.
BBC Hindi Head Achala Sharma said, “Wherever we went, we were humbled by the level of engagement people showed us. While thousands came to each debate, nearly 11,000 local residents had their say via questionnaires and around 13,500 subscribed to our newsletter, BBC Hindi Samvad.”
She adds, “BBC Hindi is the most popular international broadcaster among our core audiences in the North, but the feedback we received on ‘Your world, Your voice’ programme shows we are much more than that. Those who came to meet with us appreciated our engagement with the issues that affect their everyday lives. ‘BBC belongs to the people’, or ‘commoners became VIPs at the BBC events’ etc are some of the touching feedback we got after this campaign. This is what BBC Hindi means to millions of our listeners.”
The entire agenda for this campaign was shaped up by a special BBC-commissioned research project that identified the main concerns of listeners in the North market. This was supplemented with questionnaires on the ground distributed during the events.