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#BizTrends2019: Integrating digital with traditional media

As the new media landscape continues to expand, there is a growing need to find innovative ways of marrying the 'old' with the 'new'.
Boni Mchunu, GM of East Coast Radio.
Boni Mchunu, GM of East Coast Radio.

I still firmly believe in the power of traditional media, whether radio television or print. But I also believe in the power of using the video, online and social media spaces to amplify the traditional media streams. Importantly, radio has to evolve and adapt to the changing media landscape to avoid the misfortunes of print media.

In my view, the mature and economically active audience is more responsive to traditional media, while the younger audience responds well to new media. As a media house, we believe we need to integrate both to get optimum results. I’ve seen firsthand that when East Coast Radio does something on air and we drive our listeners to the online platforms we get the widest reach; as we speak to both markets.

It is this integration that ensures market penetration.

An example of video, online and radio working together

An example of successfully driving creative convergence in 2018 was the OId Mutual Comrades campaign that East Coast Radio ran. We conceptualised an ambitious campaign to focus on the real heart of the Comrades. Through radio we found two runners and told their gutsy stories across all platforms in our buildup and on race day itself.

Video, online and radio all fed into each other and made for the most exciting campaign on Comrades day. The sheer number of people that would track the runners online once we’d driven to it on-air confirmed the power of using both digital and traditional media to communicate a single message.

East Coast Radio’s content approach is that of ‘Listen, watch, share’, and is part of the thinking behind the launch of East Coast TV.

Visualising on-air content

Besides being an additional revenue stream, East Coast TV was established to allow ECR to create unique content solutions for clients. It allows us to seamlessly integrate a campaign targeted at both FM and digital audiences for our clients.

Importantly, the visual content also enhances the digital performance for the entire station. On-air content can be visualised and used on different platforms to grow a digital audience.

The biggest challenge that we as a traditional media platform face is the fact that some marketers (particularly the younger generation in marketing) believe that with digital you can measure Return On Investment more effectively. But I would strongly caution against this sentiment.

People can like your page and follow you, but are they moved to action? ‘Likes’ don’t always convert into business.
While the media landscape is continually changing, certain things remain the same.

It is the quality of the content and compelling stories that continue to captivate audiences, whether on-air or online. With more media avenues than ever before and with each offering a unique storytelling ability, we are all in the exciting position to really bring stories alive for our audiences.

About Boni Mchunu

Boni Mchunu has been at the helm of East Coast Radio since 2015 and leads the team at KZN's number one hit music station with inspiration. Born and raised in Pietermaritzburg, she is passionate about KwaZulu-Natal and is proud of ECR's standing amongst the people of the province...

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