Local Radio Has Never Been So Important Especially Now Durning The Covid 19 Crisis

On any given day, local radio plays a pivotal role in communities throughout Ireland.  It’s a trusted medium, relied upon by many for entertainment, politics or news, be it community or national.  There’s nothing quite so impactful as hearing a message or brand story from a trusted source, a familiar voice using local dialect. Each station within our network has a unique tone of voice that has been curated over many years, building sought after trust within this every evolving media landscape.

For many years we’ve been bringing brands and public bodies closer to communities throughout Ireland.  With 15 local stations we reach over 1.2 million people weekly.  Some of our stations have over 80% weekly reach making it necessary for brands and public bodies to understand that “national” does not always mean “everybody”.

The role of local radio in communities throughout Ireland in recent weeks has been amplified. The importance of radio as a trusted medium was strengthened when the nation came to realise our collective dependency on reliable sources of information   On March 18 Leo Varadkar publicly recognised this in his address to the nation.

Our journalists and broadcasters who are helping to inform and educate.  All deserving of our respect and thanks.”

  • Leo Varadkar

By our nature we are social animals with a visceral need for human connection.  For our mental wellbeing during this time it is important that we stay socially connected to others, while staying physically apart.  Technology certainly has a role to play to make this happen but the connection people feel to their local station personalities cannot be underestimated.  What is also vital for our mental health is to receive our information from sources that are reliable and trusted. For these reasons, during isolation more people than ever before have turned to their local media sources.

“Radio and on-air personalities present a connection to the real world that listeners gravitate toward and trust.   In a time of heightened uncertainty and disrupted routines, consumers are turning to radio as a trusted source of information and community connection…”

  • Brad Kelly, Managing Director, Nielsen Audio.

For businesses in general, the impact of Covid19 has been challenging.  Brands have taken to locking down advertising spend too in a bid to protect their revenue which has taken a toll on local radio who rely on advertising revenue to survive.  Again, this has been recognised very early on in this crisis by our political leaders.

“Local radio plays an important role in our communities, especially outside Dublin, and the public service they offer is particularly important in light of the on-going COVID-19 crisis. In many areas they are playing a vital role in the emergency planning protocol, as they are a trusted source of information about the unfolding crisis, and in a lot of cases they are the most reliable channel we have for disseminating urgent public health information.”

  • Brian Leddin, TD

No matter your personal political orientation, this message seems to unite all parties.

“Local newspapers and broadcasters are well placed to provide information relevant to people in their own communities. While large broadcasters and national newspapers are doing important work, they will not be able to provide location specific information that these organisations can.”

  • Deputy Jack Chambers

“Our local and independent radio stations have a crucial role to play as we respond to the Covid 19 Pandemic. Communities everywhere rely on their local station as a trusted source of information and this is especially important now as we manage this pandemic.”

  • Richard Bruton, Minister for Communications

It is the agility of local radio that helps us deliver contextual community-based messages that support important public announcements at short notice. Thankfully, there are brands out there with a Henry Ford type attitude; “Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.”  It is these advertising brands who are keeping one of the most recognised and trusted mediums afloat during this crisis.  But, these brands are also reaping the rewards.

Through our own research we’ve shown how brands who demonstrate commitment and support to local communities through local advertising can increase their bottom line.  Recent research from an independent agency, commissioned by IRS+ clearly demonstrated the impact of local radio advertising on

  • Increasing footfall into stores
  • Increasing online sales

These are metrics that are revenue impacting and can be unquestionably attributed to local radio advertising.  This research was undertaken pre Covid19 crisis.  We believe that these results would be even better if the research was conducted now.  With many brands cutting their spend, it has given those continuing to advertise a more captive audience.

We have pulled together some results from our 15 stations into this infographic:


Our Spotlight package provides the perfect platform for brands to communicate their message.  It goes far beyond a standard radio campaign. It gives brands an authentic, trusted platform to add value, context and depth to their messaging.  It operates most effectively across for key platforms: Education, Community, CSR & Expertise.  These platforms make spotlight highly relevant in today’s environment for brands and public bodies.

  • Education is used when a brand’s objective is to change consumer behaviour or understanding.
  • Community provides valuable information and service to the local community.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility informs key audiences on environmental, social and sustainable issues
  • Expertise is used to share expert knowledge on a topic or service with our local listeners.


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Sources of information used in this article:

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