The National Book Development Council of Singapore launched the All In! Young Writers Festival, a festival that is tailored to young writers, on the 12th and 13th of March. All In! celebrates its eighth year in 2016, and its latest festival is said to be its largest yet.
Cartoons Underground has the privilege to attend a seminar that includes Harry Corro, who hosts a weekend show at SPH Radio’s ONE FM 91.3. As a veteran in Singapore’s radio industry, Harry speaks to us about how radio has evolved, and how it actively integrates social media into its promotional campaigns.
Radio in Singapore
“There are many ways for us to express ourselves, and to engage our audiences on Social Media.” Harry explains. “I’m here to let you in on what you probably already know.”
“My students tell me: ‘Um, Mr. Harry, radio is dead, right?’ I said: ‘Um, no. Radio is alive and kicking.’ Nowadays, we have to redefine what radio is in this day of social media and digital age.”
“In order to be relevant in this day and age, we have to redefine what radio is.” Harry indicates. “Radio is not just a device. It’s audio-content that is delivered on multiple platforms, including your smartphones. It is the medium that we deliver content through.”
“The question that [my students and I] were thinking about for the past few weeks is: ‘How is Radio or TV coping with social media integration?’ I’m going to talk about the way we’ve been doing things in Singapore, as a social driver. We want to drive people to enjoy our content on air, and on social media as well.”
“We define our content based on our target audiences.” Harry explains. “For instance, 98.7 FM is targeted to the youth – 13 to 25 year olds. The content that you post online, or give your listening public, is also determined by those who are listening to you.”
“I’m not going to talk about Neil Young or the Beatles when I’m talking to a younger audience.” Harry elaborates. “I’d post about Taylor Swift, Sam Smith or One Direction not being One Direction any more.”
“A station that can’t determine its target audience is kind of lost.” He mentions. “You’d have a hard time promoting your social media platform because [your content] would be all over the place.”
“When you listen and see what [your listeners] follow you for, you can understand what they like, and you can respond to that.”
Harry explains that Radio Stations apply different tactics to entice their audiences: “Instead of just going to ‘www.radio station website.com.sg’, tell your listeners: ‘Hey, go to our Instagram to see that photo of that sexy dog on the beach’, or ‘Hey, go to our Twitter page to see that tweet that got a million retweets.’”
“Don’t just state a website, because people do that all the time in radio,” Harry continues. “Redefine that and play around with other social media platforms.”
[Class 95.5’s advertisements] say: ‘Follow us on Facebook.’ Kiss 92 says: ‘Like us to bring that bucket list to life’. They implicate a few of the things that [our audiences] get if they like us on Facebook.”
The difference is that [Kiss 92] wants to drive you to their Facebook page because you will get something out of it. It’s not enough for us to say: ‘Like us on Facebook.’ There needs to be something for you to like us on Facebook. A lot of times, we mindlessly say: ‘Oh, like us on Facebook right now.’ But what would [listeners get] if they follow you?
Harry cited several examples of how radio stations have changed their social media tactics. He listened potential tokens that their listeners would get if they followed their social media places: “As a prize of an ugly pet contest on social media, the winner gets to go on air with a DJ. They can talk about their experiences.”
Harry states how 98.7 FM launched a “Radio-star hunt” in 2015. The station selected representatives from several secondary schools and polytechnics, narrowed their list down to its finalists, hosted a contest on social media, and then brought the competition on air. According to Harry, Joseph Soh, the winner of this competition, was invited to “go on the air.”
Integrating Social Media into Radio
“You have to make Radio your prize,” Harry elaborates. “Beyond on-air, post [your content] up on Social Media. We use [our listeners’] comments and posts as a way to generate buzz, because whatever the listeners say online when they post something on Facebook, we need to acknowledge that on air as well. That develops the relationship between the DJs and the listening public.”
“You have to promote your online content on air.” He continues. “A lot of people forget this and say: ‘Go to our website and find out more information.’ You are forgetting that you need to drive your viewers to your social media pages.”
In order to promote their Facebook Page, 94.9 FM launched a Promo that said: ‘Win $500 every weekday.’ They mentioned this promo on-air, and drove listeners to their Facebook page.
“Of course, feedback is very important to the existence of radio because we need to find out what’s going on in your mind when you’re listening to us.” Harry explains. “If you’ve heard a story on-air that you like, or you didn’t like, or if you’ve mentioned some things that you don’t agree with, you can post something online.”
‘In order to bridge the gap between [a radio station’s] DJs and listeners, we acknowledge their listeners’ comments on-air.” Harry elaborates. “We’re sure to take them seriously.”