Opinion: From Our Readers - PROs need to engage with Asian community

Farewell the BBC Asian Network, unless outcry from celebrity fans can change Mark Thompson's mind (Features, 12 March).

Wherever you stand on the issue, the story should shake up a PR industry too often complacent about the UK's growing Asian community.

For too long, the BBC Asian Network provided a tick box answer for clients outside their comfort zone. With 360,000 listeners and the BBC logo, it is easy to present the network as a catch-all solution. If your client's story is covered, then every Asian in the UK heard about it, right? Wrong. With or without the network, PROs need to work harder and smarter to target the Asian community. Understanding the diversity of audiences and media is the key to success.

First, 'Asian' is not enough. Clients need to understand the cultural and religious sensitivities of different groups and the way in which their messages will be received.

Second, the one-size-fits-all approach does not work. Good PROs need relationships with many independent, local radio stations that serve particular communities and a sound understanding of community-specific print titles that most databases ignore. Communicating with two million UK Asians requires a dedicated work programme, not a single radio schedule.

- Ashnoor Pardhan, head of diverse communities, Linstock Communications.

Email letters (200 words maximum) to prweekletters@haymarket.com.

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