CAMPAIGNS: Media Launch; Premier seeks new converts’

Campaign: Launch of Premier Radio Timescale: Launch phase April to June 1995, and on going PR support PR team: Propeller Marketing Communications for mainstream and trade press and PR consultant Peter Glover for Christian press and media Budget: pounds 11,000 for launch phase, plus on-going retainer

Campaign: Launch of Premier Radio

Timescale: Launch phase April to June 1995, and on going PR support

PR team: Propeller Marketing Communications for mainstream and trade

press and PR consultant Peter Glover for Christian press and media

Budget: pounds 11,000 for launch phase, plus on-going retainer



When London Christian Radio won a London-wide commercial radio licence

its aim was not merely to preach to the converted. But in an

increasingly crowded London radio market, what’s the big deal about yet

another nice’n’ easy chat and music station with a soft-sell Christian

stance?



On tight budgets, publicity was needed to tell listeners, whether

believers, non-believers, or maybe-believers, that the station was

launching and to get them tuned in.



Objectives



To create awareness in mainstream consumer and trade media press of

London Christian Radio’s operating name, Premier, as well as its launch

date of 10 June, coverage and frequencies. Also, to position the station

as championing good, positive values.



Tactics



The expected round of press releases and phone contacts started in May

and was supplemented with a series of themed lunches with senior

personnel at, appropriately enough, the Cafe in the Crypt in St Martin’s

in the Fields, London.



PR agency-led ‘controversy’ was used to generate coverage in the

nationals by publicising an ethical advertising policy and a ban on

National Lottery ads. A decision to deliberately schedule a Reflection

of the Day at the same time as Radio 4’ s landmark slot Thought of the

Day also grabbed some headlines.



Since the launch, the agency has dealt with the on-going press

enquiries, publicised a well-received poster ad campaign, and is about

to embark on further project work for the station.



Results



Widespread, if not always heavyweight, coverage in national press and

broadcast media. The launch was covered in all the broadsheets, with the

Mirror, Today, the Daily Star and the Evening Standard all picking up

and running with some element of the launch phase publicity.



The tactic of presenting the station as the first UK Christian station,

rather than one concentrating on London affairs station appeared to

attract interest.



Trade and media press coverage was heavyweight, despite the relatively

modest potential the station represents to the advertising and marketing

community.



Broadcast coverage was achieved on ITV’s Sunday Live, BBC TV’s The Late

Show, BBC World Television, Sky News, Radio 4’s Today programme, Women’s

Hour and on Radio 5 Live.



Initial audience research suggested that the station attracted an

audience of 250,000 in its first month, ahead of most people’s

expectations. But the station is still to publish its formal audience

data.



Verdict



It’s not all been good news for the Good News folk. One particularly

barbed review appeared in the Independent criticising the programme

quality of the station. But this, and other trade press criticism, has

concentrated on the variable production values and queried the appeal of

the station to advertisers, rather than questioning the potential

dangers of American-style fire and brimstone evangelism on UK shores.



Pre-launch fears about media coverage appear to have been overcome and

client and agency seem to have got good mileage from a modest

promotional budget, capitalising on the innate potential of one of the

more interesting, if modest, media launches of the year.



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