Switch to digital

An Interview With One Agency’s Radio Expert – Gemma Brereton

30th of October 2018

As social media transgresses from a social sharing platform to everything from a viable news source to the most widely used entertainment platforms, many other media formats have been called into question for their relevance. There’s an assumption that older media formats like print and radio are dying, that their audience is shrivelling up alone with their revenue stream. Conversely, The Guardian is notoriously asserting that while more people read their content than ever, equally, less people are paying for it than ever before. We spoke to our resident radio expert – Gemma Brereton; formally of Hits Radio (Key 103) about her take on radio and how relevant it is as an advertising platform.

What do you think of the notion that radio is a dying art?

Just under 90% of the UK population listen to radio at least once per week, it certainly is NOT dying – its bursting with rich and fresh content. With the power of DAX an INSTREAM you can digitally target a vast amount listeners on their chosen connected device, some brands have over 60% digital listening which is growing month on month. When people say that print and radio are dying, what they mean is that people aren’t paying to consume this content…but make no mistake, more people are listening than ever!!

Why do you think radio advertising works?

Audio is able to break through in an ad-avoidance world. Research shows that radio has one of the lowest levels of advertising avoidance. People rarely switch between stations and so they are more likely to hear your commercial. This is due to the listener buying into their chosen station due to the music type and presenters bringing relevant content. Radio loyalty is a real and powerful thing!

Who do you think it reaches?

Radio is a reach and frequency medium, people are listening at all times – not just during the general daily commute! With the industry standard being over 50% now listening digitally, it couldn’t be easier to engage with the listener. It’s very easy to target the demographic you are looking to reach by choosing station that is appropriate… for example, targeting a majority male demo you would be looking at a talk/sport station or a rock station, where as a majority female listen would be more of a hit music station or a station with an easy listen.

Throughout your career you must have heard some great ads. What’s the best advice that you could give to someone wanting to curate the perfect radio advertisement?

For the best advertisement you really have to follow these steps.

1) Know your audience before writing a commercial

2) Have a strong opening with a great voice over

3) Make sure you have a strong call to action

4) Never attempt to write your own commercial! Creative writers are there for a reason… By keeping the message simple, more people will respond. As long as you have the right message to the right target market and they hear it enough times, you will have a successful campaign.

Words: Amy Cully Steele


Let's Talk