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
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.
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.
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.
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
Trade and media press coverage was heavyweight, despite the relatively
modest potential the station represents to the advertising and marketing
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
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.