RAJAR and The Art of PR.

RAJAR. It’s not even a word. Nobody can even remember what it stands for. Radio Audience…. JudgeJudy… Audience….. Radio again? But every three months every station and group puts out its press release in the hope the shareholders will like it and the clients will want to pump more of their cash into advertising on such a successful product & platform. And why not. Fill yer boots!

But not every quarter can be a stunner. That’s just common sense. And maths. That’s where the art of PR comes in. In every station and group lies somebody with a hint of Alastair Campbell about them, and RAJAR is their time to shine. They say you can’t polish a turd – these people give it a damn good go. Here’s a handy guide to what radio press releases say happened and what probably actually happened.

“We’re up year-on-year.”
We’re down quarter-on-quarter.

“We’re up quarter-on-quarter.”
We’re down year-on-year.

“We’ve added x thousand new listeners.”
We’ve gone down in hours.

“Our listeners are listening for longer.”
We’ve lost reach.

“We’re showing signs of progress.”
We’re down quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year, but our share has gone up slightly at 3am so we’re going to cling onto that in desperation.

“We’re up quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year”
We’re not really sure how this has happened. But we’ll pretend that we know exactly how this has happened.

“…performing well in the marketplace”
…still a long way behind the competition.

“…in these tough market conditions.”
…sales are fucked.

“A strong performance by drivetime.”
Breakfast are underperforming.

“A strong performance by our breakfast show.”
Nobody is listening through the day.

“The Deputy PD said…”
The actual PD was so sure it was going to be a terrible book he made sure he was out of the country.

“The Group PD added…”
The group PD came to hide from the stations he didn’t want to be associated with, given their likelihood to go down, so took a gamble that things would go well here.

“We’re still on target.”
Things are a mess. We haven’t got a clue how to solve the problems.

“We’re hopeful for next quarter.”
We’re hopeful we’ll have new jobs by next quarter.

I salute you, spindoctors of the world. Without you we’d only have the truth.


About Alex Duffy
I talk to you on the radio in the morning when you look a mess.

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