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Bringing the Local Indiana Community Together In a Crisis: How Radio Can Help

Radio is one of the top, most accessible ways to reach a large and engaged audience--both under normal circumstances and now, amid a health crisis. Your customers are looking for local, current information about the crisis and what it means for them and their families. 

Our stations have seen a significant increase in the numbers of people who are accessing our station through our online streams. With less people in cars on the road, more listeners are listening to our streams through their computers, phones and smart speakers. Our stations were the first in the country to implement smart speaker skills which allow listeners to download our stations exclusive content from the comfort of their home. By utilizing radio and smart speakers in your marketing mix, you can tap into the power of the existing community that exists around local radio stations. 

Keep the Community Informed

Throughout the country, people are looking for the latest updates on COVID-19 nationally, but also on a local level. People want to know the latest statistics, developments in prevention and curative measures, and information about how policies related to the coronavirus are impacting their community. Your radio ads are an excellent way to keep your current and potential customers informed about the latest news within the community--including events entirely unrelated to COVID-19. Many advertisers are already taking steps to keep their listeners informed: Kaiser's ads, for example, include information about Kaiser's commitment to slowing the spread of the virus. But even if you aren’t in the healthcare industry, you can still inform listeners on whether you’re open or not, the safety precautions your business has taken, and how they can access your products or services. 

Bring Positivity to Listeners

Your audience is looking for something to be positive about, now more than ever. Through your radio ads, you can bring a feeling of positivity and help listeners focus on the good. Radio listeners deeply connect with their favorite station's on-air talent. By associating your brand with the on-air personalities and positivity that local radio stations bring to their lives, you’re able to place your own brand in a more positive light.

There's a lot of heavy and often negative messages floating around the news right now. Many people are seeking normalcy, especially as anxiety rates rise across the country, and many listeners' mental health suffers. These listeners are hoping to hear positive messages and encouragement--and your radio spots can be a part of that. Try:

Sharing what measures your business is taking to protect your customers. How are you handling cleaning and other essential responsibilities? What measures are you taking to keep your staff free from illness and keep them home if they aren't feeling well? How have you changed your operations to follow the guidelines currently in place, best?

How are you stepping outside your business to help your community? What is it that your business is doing to offer encouragement and aid, not only to your customers but to the local Indiana community as a whole?

Utilizing humor in an appropriate way. Just because there is a lot to be serious about right now, doesn’t mean you can’t find respectful ways to entertain listeners and bring joy or humor into their lives while also sharing your marketing message. 

Are there any people or businesses doing good in the community? Radio listeners want to hear about the good happening around them. Receiving an uplifting message can help them cope more effectively with everything going on. Use your radio spots to share the good being done in the local Indiana community: things your customers can relate to directly. At the Indianapolis food bank volunteers are boxing food and increasing distribution efforts to help provide vital relief for many community members during this time. There are people and businesses around Indiana who are stepping up to provide relief throughout this crisis--and your audience needs to know about them. 

What is something that brings people joy during this time? Many famous personalities are sharing their talents to bring others joy: Dolly Parton is sharing music and reading bedtime stories. Levar Burton, from Reading Rainbow, is doing bedtime stories for both children and adults. Your radio spots can utilize local personalities and how they can bring joy to your customers, helping to uplift them. 

Many businesses are already issuing positive messages designed to tell their customers that they're there for them. Walmart's current messaging, for example, encourages customers through a rendition of "Lean On Me." Google is focusing on letting their customers know that they're there for them during this trying time. There’s an opportunity to explore what will resonate most with your target audience while still staying on brand -- and radio is a perfect channel to share that message.

Using Radio During a Pandemic

Your radio marketing efforts can provide relevant information and an injection of positivity during a time that is difficult for many of us. Advertising on the radio can help bring a sense of normalcy and spread the word about your business as it reaches people throughout the area. Not only can it help bring the Michiana community together, but it will also spread the word about your business. This can help bring people to your business both now and when the pandemic comes to an end.

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Written by Federated Media