FM radio channels are taking the war against COVID-19 on air
Spoken words are more powerful and one only needs to listen carefully. With the country is the middle of waging a bio-war against COVID-19, these are times that everyone needs to stand united. Along with healthcare personnel, police and state administration, media is also playing a vital role in spreading awareness amongst the people and preventing a panic situation.
FM radio industry has stepped up its programming to educate and engage the audience. Some FM players like Red FM has launched an on-air initiative, ‘Care Karona’, which puts the spotlight on spreading authentic information about Coronavirus. More channels are using their creative power and putting out strong messages.
To know more about how FM radio as a medium is helping out in the war against COVID-19, Adgully spoke to some leading FM players.
Ashit Kukian, CEO, Radio City, claimed that they were one of the first FM players to proactively start the awareness campaign for COVID-19. The Fm channel had brought in doctors to inform listeners on how to keep themselves safe from getting infected and how to maintain self-hygiene. The radio player also roped in Bollywood starts like Akshay Kumar to drive home the message on taking collective action. Health experts were also invited to the station to guide the listeners.
This apart, Radio City RJ’s are also playing a vital role in spreading awareness amongst the people. The local stations are also airing promos in this regard. “Our mission is to play as a responsible partner in this hour of need and fully support the Government and help them tide over this situation fast,” Kukian said.
Given the tough conditions most the brands are not forthcoming to advertise. In order to attract advertisers, Radio City has approached brands and told them if they have any positive story to talk about and spread positivity then the FM channel can give a special discount. For this, Kukian said, “We offered 50 per cent waiver to advertisers who were forthcoming to send positive communication to the consumers. Our end objective is we need to help the government and our listeners fight Covid -19 through our channel by offering the best tips and guidelines to overcome the deadly virus that made inroads to many parts of the world.”
Speaking to Adgully, Nisha Narayanan, COO and Director, Red FM and Magic FM, said, “We all are going through a challenging and uncertain phase due to Coronavirus. While it has adversely affected various industries, health has become a major concern creating scare and panic. We realised there is a huge population that lacks authentic information around safety precautions around Coronavirus. Leveraging our wide network of listenership across the country, we decided to launch ‘Care Karona’ campaign, leaving no stone unturned in spreading the right information. We request everyone to facilitate correct information and follow all precautionary measures.”
“Ever since the news of the global outbreak has broken, we are on our toes spreading awareness through spots, RJ Links and Live videos from the past one month,” said Rahul Namjoshi, COO, My FM, adding, “Right from building awareness through trusted sources like doctors, key people from civic authorities at city level, administrative and municipal officers, to sharing all essential government helpline numbers and even busting myths and rumours, we are curating, re-checking and sharing all the vital information continuously throughout the day.”
Given the lockdown orders, all MY FM RJs are doing their respective shows from home. People can connect with them on their social media handles and can seek help anytime, anywhere. “There is panic, that’s evident. A lot of people are sharing their concerns with the RJs. Wherever possible, we are trying to help and connect with the concerned authorities as well as professional tips to provide help,” Namjoshi added.
A flipside has been that as most of the cities are under lockdown, people are consuming media more. He further said, “Just like binge-watching, there is a lot of binge-listening as well. So yes, we have seen a spike not just on air, but through our social media handles too.”