Big Partnership case study
Norman Quirk, MD of Glasgow’s newest radio station SAGA 105.2fm delivered one objective to the BIG partnership: “Make sure that by launch, everybody in Glasgow and West Central Scotland knows that we are coming, and what we are about.”
1. To introduce a new independent radio station prior to launch, to an audience which did not know the Saga brand in an entertainment context.
2. To grow the overall radio listening audience by bringing disenfranchised listeners back to radio.
3. To communicate to potential advertisers that this is a highly effective medium, targeting economically active people aged 50 and over, and not “old” people.
4. To achieve this largely through catching media interest, with minimal budget for any other marketing activity.
2. Planning / Research
- Through the Saga Group, we were able to access extensive research on brand values and detailed characteristics of the target audience.
- Informal vox pops of Glaswegian views taken at outset.
- Research / identification of positive role models / celebrities aged 50+
- Media targeting similar audiences were identified and sponsorships / partnerships arranged.
- Identification of potentially negative media who might see the newcomer as competition.
- Every corner of the listening audience researched to provide local angles for an extensive range of local titles and community newsletters.
3. The Implementation
- While taking care to protect the integrity of Saga’s brand values, a “blitzkrieg” of Scottish media was undertaken to ensure maximum market penetration and awareness.
- The Scottish Business press - targeted with detailed information on the true economic impact of those aged 50+, and of the spectacular growth and successful diversification of the Saga Group.
- Targeted recruitment features - as the new station staffed up.
- Media and campaign titles – provided potential advertisers with the specific benefits of targeting economically active mature adults. These were also used to announce the full line-up of presenters / programmes.
- Imaginative lifestyle features - arranged for a wide range of Saga staff. Case studies produced of people aged 50+ living life to the full (lady kick-boxer, male Harley driver).
- Journalist visits - arranged as the new studios took shape, with creative angles such as on what it takes to be a SAGA 105.2FM presenter.
- Local press and community papers - offered interviews with presenters with links with their area. Kept up to date as the station prepared for launch.
- Teaser Campaign - on major presenters appointed and on the first song to be played on air.
- Events - a media launch of the full presenter and programme line-up was held in early August.
- Launch party – formal event for 300 influential people / media was held the night before the station went live.
- On-air! – Successful build-up meant several journalists set the alarm for 6am to offer reviews.
- Launch song – lyrics and reasoning released
- Diary of the first week – by breakfast presenter Art Sutter maintained momentum through a Sunday title.
4. Creative Input
- Huge creativity was required to generate stories about a radio station which did not exist and could not be listened to.
- Language carefully managed to protect brand integrity and to avoid typical negativity surrounding the launch of a new radio station.
- Sexy stats, (eg almost 80% of new, quality cars are bought by those aged 50+), provided easy angles for writers / underlined the correct lifestyle messages.
- Extensive profiling and copywriting maximised local coverage by providing near-finished pieces.
- Lively photography was crucial and well used
- The huge extent of media outlets pursued required creative versatility and no small amount of persistence!
- Some 175 separate, positive media cuttings in 40 separate publications achieved during the period June – December 2004, with an estimated PR equivalent value of £800,000.
- Not one negative piece of coverage throughout.
- Immediately after launch, the station was frequently heard in taxis and cafes and informal “dipstick” research suggested it had met its objective of expanding the market.
- Formal evaluation of the awareness / popularity of the station came in May 2005 with the first independent Rajar figures;
- Reach; 10% of all adults (or 22% of target audience aged 50 and over),185,000 listeners, Market share of 5.7%
- All these exceeded SAGA 105.2fm’s targets at six months (and those of previous SAGA radio stations).
PR campaign named as “One of the most memorable of 2004”*
* Source; The Drum magazine, January 14, 2005.
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