Radio associations unite to restore image, morale

Three radio industry associations have united to try to bring radio back to the forefront of consumers' minds, as well as try to improve the perception of radio to advertisers and boost morale among the industry's members.

RICHMOND, VA: Three radio industry associations have united to try to bring radio back to the forefront of consumers' minds, as well as try to improve the perception of radio to advertisers and boost morale among the industry's members.

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Radio Advertising Bureau, and HD Digital Radio Alliance launched the Radio Heard Here campaign April 15 at the NAB conference in Las Vegas. PR firm The Hodges Partnership and brand strategy company O'Keefe Brands are working on the campaign, which will include outreach to traditional media, a press tour of radio industry leaders, and will target key media cities.

In addition, Cardboard Rhino Productions created a viral video campaign, which includes five-minute video profiles of radio industry veterans.

David Rehr, president and CEO of NAB called it a "long-term- focused effort" to "make sure that peoples' perceptions of radio are correct."

Kelly O'Keefe, chairman of O'Keefe Brands, said, "The industry - while the numbers had held steady - had a history of resting on its laurels. There was an opportunity to reposition the way the industry was seen, [as well as] to engage consumers."

The effort grew out of Radio 2020, a program meant to get radio available in every music device by 2020. Radio Heard Here is designed with a broader purpose and is set to run indefinitely, said Jon Newman, partner at Hodges.

Radio Heard Here, with help from online marketing firm Patron Saint Productions, launched a Web site featuring a radio-tuner function for visitors to find local stations, and two blogs: Radio 2020 for the radio industry and radiocreativeland for the ad industry. A consumer-oriented Web site will also launch in May.

Other firms working on the effort include Work Labs, Xhang Creative, and Radical Media.

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