25 Jan

Radio – Your Safe And Trustworthy Friend

Over the past months, there have been a number of surveys and reports into consumer trust within the media.

New research by the European Commission and has confirmed once again that radio remains the most trusted medium in Europe.

The Eurobarometer surveys monitor EU citizens’ perceptions on wide range of topical issues, including trust in media. The latest study, published in December 2017, found that 59% of people across the EU tend to trust radio, compared to 51% for TV, 47% for press, 34% for internet and 20% for online social networks.

It’s the second time in as many months that radio comes top of the trust charts. Radiocentre recently published a report which for the first time examines the views of commercial radio listeners regarding trust in radio news. The results echoed the Eurobarometer report, with radio found to be the most trusted medium in the UK and social media the least trusted platform.

In an era of fake news, Radio is considered the most trusted medium and is consistently found to be the most trusted source of news and information available to audiences in the UK and Europe.

This trust in radio doesn’t only apply to news, however. When it comes to radio advertising, it is hugely important. If listeners trust the radio station, then they invariably trust the brands that are associated with it – be that through advertising, sponsorship or on-air promotions.

So why do we trust radio so much?

Listeners often see radio as a “friend.” They use radio for emotional reasons – to keep their spirits up, to stop themselves from feeling bored in a car or while doing daily chores and so on. This leads to them seeing radio as a kind of “mate”, and this is a valuable context for an advertiser to appear in.

The majority of people listen to radio on their own and therefore they will have their own personal experience of the output which is not shared with other people. We listen to radio in the morning when we wake up, in the shower, during breakfast, on the way to and from work, preparing dinner, we could go on! Our friend the radio comes everywhere with us. Radio presenters actively cultivate this relationship so that listeners feel they are being spoken to on a one-to-one basis. This makes for a more powerful advertising opportunity, for example, when a radio presenter talks about “our friends at Company X”, the listener is hearing about a friend of a friend – and this has a strong effect on bringing a brand closer. If the creative messages in the radio airtime campaign works on this level too, then the effect is the same.

This solid trust in radio is underlined by the fact that in 2016 only 0.0016% of complaints were upheld. So even, on those rare occasions when someone may complain about something they’ve heard on radio, they are very rarely ratified. Our fundamental trust in radio is not affected.

And when a medium is perceived as being not only trustworthy, but also safe, well, where better to shout about a brand?


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