radio journalists these days are a brighter lot than my generation. Many of them have woken up to, and are using, this fantastic resource. No names but a recent example! A national story came up featuring one of the great and the good reporting that many maternity wards in the UK had Third World hygiene standards. (Patronising, we all agree but let’s move on). The morning jock on a local station (no names until you pay me!) puts out a ‘live’ message which ran like this: ‘Now, listen up if you’re a mum with a new baby. You may’ve heard on our last news bulletin that many of our maternity wards have Third World hygiene standards. Got any experiences of dirt and decay from the maternity ward that you were in? Anything you saw that made you shudder? Call Peter in the news-room because he’d like to talk to you or email him on…….The is (station branding)”.
Now, how simple is that? It’s win-win. The station engaged locally and it’s got a news story; on the next news bulletin there she was – a listener with a beef about hospital cleaners on her maternity ward.
One last point. Radio jocks are a bit wary of this sort thing. They think it spoils their music flow! Tell them to get real; they’re in local radio. But, equally, if you hit the bull’s eye with a great clip from a listener, make your jock part of the success.
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