A Relationship Based On Trust Can Be Enduring

By Peter Don, BPR

At a time when media choice is almost infinite, radio’s need to build a relationship with listeners has never been more important. In past times only radio stations fulfilled a number of listener ‘needs’ however these can now mostly be provided by services that are more specialised, more concentrated and often more frequent.

As a case in point, traffic or weather information can be updated on demand via any number of phone apps, music can be selected and played by a number of streaming services however most listeners still leave that job to their radio station.


Habit can be a strong part of this process … however that doesn’t fully explain why people continue to use a service that logically could be supplied in any number of different ways.

When does habit become preference, and ultimately favourite?

Trust is the link between the commodity of information, the convenience knowing that they will get what they need and the fact that they don’t need to check or doubt what they are told by ‘their’ radio station.

In a recent survey of brands in Australia, people rated these attributes as most important in establishing trust between consumers and brands:


Now, as many consumers have become more cynical about ‘big business’ its significant to see that qualities like honesty and ethical behaviour are near the top of the list. Although many of these ideas may be applied mainly to retail based brands and products they can also easily apply to the relationship between listeners and radio stations.

Successful radio stations understand the need to deliver consistency – consistency becomes habit …  eventually this becomes a relationship of trust. In our over communicated environment where consumers (listeners) are bombarded with information and claims, simplicity becomes a powerful asset.

For radio to continue to defy the pressure of media disruption it also needs to understand that the relationship with listeners is two-way.



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