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Can radio still drive brand conversations in a social media world? Much more than you think

by | Sep 14, 2023 | Public Relations

Remember the days when radio was on every PR pro’s radar? The medium’s enormous reach and variety of coverage opportunities was unsurpassed for generating brand awareness and visibility. Well, guess what? That hasn’t changed—and practitioners should still be taking advantage of all that radio has to offer.

New research from radio-focused nonprofit trade association RAB, in collaboration with data and analytics firm Engagement Labs, offers valuable insights into radio’s singular influence as a driver of brand conversations. The firms’ new study, Radio Drives Brand Conversations: Unveiling the Untapped Potential of Radio Conversations, uncovers the incredible impact of radio on purchase intent, societal discourse and the bottom line for communicators’ brand goals.

Can radio still drive brand conversations in a social media world? Much more than you might think

Key findings: 

Radio’s commanding brand conversations

Heavy radio listeners engage in a staggering 4.7 billion weekly brand conversations, outpacing heavy users of other media channels, including TV, social media, magazines and newspapers. 

Diverse industry dominance

The study underscores for advertisers’ radio’s dominance across 15 business categories, including sports, financial services, technology and more. Radio emerges as a potent bridge, effectively connecting brands with diverse target audiences. 

Everyday influencers amplified

Heavy radio listeners stand out as influential consumer influencers, driving more impactful conversations among a group that have an amplified impact on other people’s purchase decisions. This trait reaffirms conversations as a tangible asset, capable of propelling significant bottom-line growth for an advertiser. 

Conversion of conversations to purchase intent

More than half (51 percent) of brand conversations among heavy radio listeners result in an intent to purchase, surpassing the national average of 49 percent. This remarkable impact is particularly pronounced in sectors like automotive, sports, telecom, technology, beverages and healthcare. 

Can radio still drive brand conversations in a social media world? Much more than you might think

Fostering informed societal dialogue

Beyond commercial interactions, radio emerges as a dynamic platform for societal discourse. From personal financial concerns to pressing political issues, heavy radio listeners engage in a diverse spectrum of discussions about today’s leading issues, reinforcing radio’s multifaceted role in consumers’ lives. The findings of the study are a testament to radio’s enduring resonance, its ability to shape the brand/consumer relationship and its capacity to engage and drive social communication and impact the bottom line. 

“Radio is often referred to as the original social medium because of its ability to engage listeners through conversation, entertainment and information,” said Erica Farber, president and CEO of RAB, in a news release. “This study underscores radio’s ability to drive word of mouth brand conversations for advertising partners, more so than any other media.”

“We embarked on this study to understand radio’s impact on brand conversations for advertisers,” said Steven M Brown, president of Engagement Labs, in the release. “The results are remarkable as TotalSocial data demonstrates that radio’s influence spans industries and demographics and impacts everyday influencers and KPIs such as purchase intent. This study validates that radio catalyzes consumer brand conversations and interactions and underscores the medium’s power.”

Can radio still drive brand conversations in a social media world? Much more than you might think

Download the full report here.

Watch an on-demand webinar where the findings were discussed.

RAB commissioned Engagement Labs for the “Radio Drives Brand Conversations: Unveiling the Untapped Potential of Radio Conversations” study that analyzed a cross-section of consumers ages 13 to 69 in the U.S. from August 2022 to July 2023. During this one-year period, approximately 38,000 interviews were collected.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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