Believe it or not radio is going through something of a renaissance at the moment, thanks to internet radio and mobile streaming more and more people are tuning in to their favourite stations whilst on their commutes or even to wind down and relax, maybe enjoying it in the sun. Whatever the reason may be people are tuning in more and as such it’s a great time to take advantage of your local community radio station. The only issue here is that due to its regained popularity there’s loads of competition out there, so you’ll need to find new ways to spice up your station, make it different or simply keep up with your competitors, essentially you want to find reasons for local people to listen in. There are plenty of ways you can do this, some new, some tried and tested, here are a few that will hopefully provide you with some inspiration to get you started.
Hard Hitting Journalism
Easier said than done I know, but community radio has a reputation for being soft and having a somewhat dull edge when it comes to reporting on the local area. Of course, I’m not saying you shouldn’t report on the village scarecrow competition, but you should try and add some punch to your news too. Find out real issues in your area, things that are really bothering people then get to the bottom of them, even if it’s just a large amount of pot holes on a certain road, find out just who is responsible and give them a good grilling on the subject. You’ll find that people will start to take note of what you’re doing, remember you aren’t just providing news but also a service to your community too.
Nothing quite bring a community together like a local sports game, even those that aren’t into it can appreciate a good bit of friendly rivalry between neighbouring towns. Sports commentary has been an important part of radio for years, not everyone is able to view the game on their TV or attend it (depending on just how successful your team is). Provide your listeners with the chance to get behind their hometown by providing commentaries, even if it’s just for their most important games you’ll be providing another great service.
Everyone likes a good laugh and radio isn’t just about what’s on the charts. I have no doubt you have a local theatre or at least a theatre group that would love to provide their services for this. Producing a radio play is a unique idea and not only will it open up your station to new listeners, but it’ll provide the players with some great experience and notoriety. It’s beneficial to both of you and really engages the community so it’s certainly worth considering.