I am one of the fortunate ones. During Super Storm Sandy, I only lost power for two days. When the power went out, I took immediate comfort in knowing that I was never completely cut off from the world at large for I had a battery-powered radio keeping me informed and keeping me company. Radio was my personal lifeline. My personal “wireless” lifeline.
The information and updates I received came from local announcers whose names and voices I know and trust, which was very comforting. They told me that all major highways and bridges were closed and instructed me to “hunker down.” I was advised to report my power outage and I was given a realistic timeline as to when power might be restored. Additionally, I was told how long the food in my fridge and freezer would last without power (I can’t believe I never knew). I felt informed and connected. And, I knew there were millions in the listening area just like me – without power but grateful that power was all we lost. I was part of a community.
When I returned to work, I thought about how different my Sandy experience would have been without my battery-powered radio. Uninformed and isolated are the two words that come to mind, not to mention scared.
Think about it, regardless of the delivery system, radio reaches the masses on a very personal level. I can’t think of another mass medium that creates the one-to-one connection that radio has with its listeners. Sometimes we marketers forget that because of its familiarity but we shouldn’t. Furthermore, with media choices so fragmented, research shows that Radio has a “multiplier effect” on other media, both offline and online. Bottom line, make radio part of your marketing mix and on a personal note, make sure you own a battery-powered radio and fresh batteries.
Post Script: Arbitron just released data for the New York market during the week of Super Storm Sandy. As the storm hit the coast during the evening of Monday, October 29, radio listening increased 70 percent from the week prior. In New York coastal areas, radio listening increased by even higher percentages.
em>Lisa Sable is a Senior Marketing Strategist at The Radio Agency. Please follow The Radio Agency’s Blog “Sounding Board” by subscribing to the email or RSS links above. Visit our website TheRadioAgency.com