August 14, 2015

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Podcasts are becoming big business, now attracting audiences in the millions. As recently reported in The Grocer, podcasts are a powerful tool to engage with your audience – so listen up.

Last year public interest in podcasts reached new highs in response to the SERIAL podcast from radio show This American Life, which has amassed nearly 80 million downloads to date. The media have regarded this juncture as the ‘podcast renaissance’; and whilst no other podcast has yet come close to SERIAL in terms of audience figures there is certainly a new-found appetite for audio output from established media-owners, brands and amateurs alike.

Short, chapterised podcast episodes are proving to be popular sources of news and entertainment for today’s time-pushed consumers, who are now very accustomed to accessing content on-demand. Rather than flicking through the paper, podcasts are becoming the perfect commuter fix; for example the FT’s ‘Listen to Lucy’ podcast wittily celebrates the ups and downs of office life in digestible six minute bursts.

Easier to access than ever, podcasts can be streamed or downloaded straight to your smartphone via various podcast apps. And the trend is set to continue with both Spotify and Deezer adding podcasts to their service offerings soon.

Targeting podcasts

Should you be factoring in podcasts in your broadcast target media lists? Well, news outlets are reporting fantastic audience numbers, often on par with high-reaching blogs. For example, Share Radio’s morning show with the Mail Online’s This is Money attracts a cool 300,000 podcast listens per week. Similarly to radio programming, producers have time to fill and so are usually happy to be approached by PRs with spokesperson or story suggestions.

Often media owners will use their podcast to explore news features in more detail which is good news for PRs as it extends your coverage airtime. For example, we recently supported the launch of the Civil Aviation Authority’s ‘Dronecode’ campaign which was discussed on the Wired podcast after being featured on their site and magazine.

Without the restrictions of everyday radio programming schedules, podcasts can be more experimental, allowing producers to hone in on specific topics at length – in a sense enabling a ‘narrowcast’. Certainly, from comedy to health to music to travel, there are a variety of niche podcasts catering to many audiences which can aid PRs in reaching target markets. And not only that, the audiences are loyal with 95% of people listening to every episode of the shows they follow.

Brand casting

A further consideration for brands and organisations is of course to invest in a long-term relationship with listeners. Organisations such as The National Theatre, ASOS, Royal Horticultural Society and the NHS have already seen successes in the podcast charts and audience engagement.

The podcast format allows organisations to deliver key messaging in an editorial (yet controlled) environment. However you choose to present it; a panel discussion, an interview or a single point-of-view, the podcast has the potential to be a key asset in your communications toolbox – providing long-lasting content that drives conversation.

And it’s not difficult to do. In fact, developing compelling audio content is simpler to produce and more cost efficient than video if working to a smaller budget. To get the best results, you should use a professional studio and sound engineer who can edit the audio content. To raise production standards further and provide the programming with greater ‘brand identity’ you should also consider adding bespoke stings or audio triggers to add memorability. The podcast can be embedded on any website but can also create a hub or microsite to house all your content.

For more information about podcast production and development and tapping into the podcast market on behalf of your organisation or clients please contact us on 020 7253 8888 or email


August 6, 2015

Posted by in Broadcast at 11:13 am
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The latest RAJAR results have been released revealing the UK radio listening figures for the second quarter of this year.

It’s been great quarter for radio with listening figures up overall, particularly via digital platforms. There has been some strong performances from both BBC and commercial stations, particularly across the regional and local network.

The radio marketplace

  • 48.2 million adults or 90% of the population tune into the radio each week
  • The average listener tunes to 21.7 hours of live radio per week
  • Listening to radio via a digital platform is 55%
  • 25% of adults and 36% of 15-24 year olds listen via a mobile or tablet device
  • 31% of adult social media users and 45% of 15-24 year old social media users receive updates from their favourite presenters and radio stations

Top RAJAR stories

  • BBC Radio 2 is still the most listened to station overall, pulling in 15.1 million listeners this quarter
  • Good news for BBC Radio 1 which put on three quarters of a million listeners this quarter whilst Nick Grimshaw has increased weekly reach for the first time, the Breakfast show now has 5.84 million listeners although still not in the ballpark of his predecessor Chris Moyles (who is set to launch on XFM’s Breakfast show later this year!)
  • Some great results for the Bauer Radio; the Absolute Radio network saw a 7.5% increase in reach year-on-year to 4 million listeners, as did Magic which jumped 26.6% year-on-year to 3.6 million
  • The KISS network performed fantastically across the board which saw its overall reach hit 5.2 listeners, up 13.1% year-on-year, as well as this the Breakfast show and its spin-off station Kisstory both reported an increase in terms of weekly listeners
  • Global Radio’s Heart network kept its number 1 spot as the UK’s biggest commercial radio brand and LBC saw a steady climb to 1.5 listeners a week since becoming a national station earlier this year and in London, Capital London took first place with 2.2 million people tuning in each week, similarly Dave and Lisa have overtaken Magic to become the biggest Breakfast Show
  • In Manchester, BBC Radio Manchester has added 41,000 listeners, up 21% year-on-year
  • On a local scale, many commercial stations that have done exceptionally well in terms of audience figures in the last year; Glasgow’s Smooth Radio is up by 38%; Wish FM in Wigan has grown listeners by 31%; and Free Radio in Birmingham and Black Country is up by 21,000 listeners; and also digital station RockSport’s first RAJAR figure reported 7,000 listeners in a TSA of 2.8 million

If you would like more insight about how broadcast media can be harnessed to achieve coverage on behalf of your organisation please contact to request a complimentary broadcast workshop at your office.

July 28, 2015

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Over the last few months we’ve been working with the leading broadcast industry publication Broadcast Magazine in support of their ‘Back the BBC’ campaign. The campaign was launched in response to the appointment of John Whittingdale as new culture secretary – a vocal opponent of the BBC and the way it is managed.

We decided to find out what the British public really thinks about the beeb and paying the license fee. Research was commissioned with our sister insight agency Opinion Matters who polled over 2000 UK adults.

The results identified that the nation loves our BBC as much as we do! Significantly, the BBC was chosen as the best value broadcast service (followed by Sky and Virgin). Unsurprisingly, mainstream programming proved very popular;  with 26% of respondents claiming that News is the most valuable BBC service, 22% favouring Documentaries and 15% Dramas.

And good news for us, the results showed that 71% of Brits access BBC content via TV the most, followed by BBC Radio at 11.9% and BBC Online at 5.7%.

You can see the key findings in the infographic below and as well as the feature in Broadcast Magazine.

Show your support by following the conversation on Twitter: #BackTheBBC


Broadcast magazine article


July 27, 2015

Posted by in Broadcast at 4:43 pm
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This month we’ve been dominating the air-waves, placing spokespeople on numerous top-tier TV and radio programming on behalf of our clients. Already in July our team have secured 86 items of national coverage and 30 items of TV coverage.

Here are some of our highlights:

The RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign became the ‘Most Watched’ story on BBC News online and we also secured 250 items of coverage including BBC Breakfast, ITV News, Sky Sunrise, BBC 5 live, Radio 1’s Newsbeat, and the BBC’s General News Service.

With the majority of UK schools having broken up for the holidays, air traffic controllers at NATS were expecting to handle 8,000 flights through UK airspace – that’s 1,000 extra flights a day compared to the average month. To tell this story we secured interviews for their spokespeople on top-tier broadcasters such as BBC Breakfast, BBC News, ITV News and Sky News.

Fantastic TV coverage was secured for the Civil Aviation Authority as they launched ‘dronecode’, a new initiative to raise awareness of the dangers of using drones recreationally. Standout coverage included BBC News, Sky News, LBC and

We worked with Ordnance Survey to launch their ‘Get Outside’ campaign; an initiative to encourage the public to spend more time in the great outdoors. We secured a busy schedule of broadcast interviews for three spokespeople based in Southampton and London, resulting in over 150 items of coverage being achieved.

We worked with mobile payment service Paym to amplify their Sole Traders campaign. We enlisted Tommy Walsh and placed interviews for him and Paym’s Neil Aitken across BBC and commercial stations, kicking off the day with BBC Breakfast.

For the third year running, we were brought on board by the Amateur Swimming Association to support the launch of their open water safety programme – Swim Safe. We set up a live outside broadcast unit on Boscombe beach where we were joined by Olympian Cassie Patten and a host of ASA and RNLI spokespeople. Key interview opportunities were secured with 20 broadcasters, including Sky News Radio and a selection of BBC and high calibre commercial stations.


July 9, 2015

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This blog has been contributed by Monica Rodriguez, our summer media assistant.

Proudly celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards, represent the biggest celebration of UK commercial radio with over 600 attendees, including celebrities and DJs from over 200 stations.

The evening of Wednesday, July 8th was lit up at the Camden Roundhouse in London with first-time awards hosts Jamie Theakson and the lovely Emma Bunton, presenters of Heart London’s Breakfast. A whopping seventy-two awards were presented as well performances from former JLS singer Aston Merrygold, Alesha Dixon and Nathan Sykes.

This year, there were two big winners who took home the gold. Leading Britain’s Conversation, LBC, took home three Gold awards including Station of the Year (2 Million+ TSA).  Along with this, Nick Ferrari was awarded for Presenter of the Year (2million+ TSA) followed by Tom Swarbrick for Journalist of the Year in the Ali Booker memorial prize.

 Another big winner was Absolute Radio who took home three Gold awards, in the Specialist Programme of the Year category with Rock n Roll Football, Single Programme or Broadcast of the Year with The Clarke Carlisle Story. Their biggest win came to former awards host Christian O’Connell who received the official Arqiva Gold Award.

 Two Gold awards were presented to some of Britain’s biggest stars – Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran; Smith taking Breakthrough UK Artist of the Year and Sheeran taking Most Played UK Artist on Commercial Radio.

Other Gold award winners include Trev & Caroline from 106 JACK FM who took home Presenter of the Year (under 2m TSA), Programmer of the Year winner Andy Roberts with KISS, and News Coverage of the Year winner BOB FM Hertfordshire News Team.

The biggest recognition of the night came to Richard Wheatley of Jazz FM who posthumously received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifetime contribution to commercial radio.

June 25, 2015

Posted by in Broadcast at 9:52 am
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Our tips for making the most of the season.

During the summer months, when all MPs take their holidays, there is noticeable absence of political stories on the news agenda and therefore more air-time to fill. For savvy PRs this is a golden opportunity to capitalize on. Naturally the headlines tend to be lighter in the so-called ‘silly season’ but, dependent on who you work for, delivering a frolicsome PR campaign may not necessarily be the way to win value for your brand. Here are our tips for serving quality broadcast public relations results this season.

Find the right story:

Owing to a lack of political news, the media will have an appetite for anything hard-hitting. If you don’t have anything with a business focus, then use the quiet months to push forward ‘softer’ stories.

Think about holidays:

Everyone is going on holiday – you, the journalists, your brand’s CEO. It sounds obvious but make sure you know when everyone is going to be away in advance of your campaign activation so you can maximise on coverage potential. There is nothing worse than securing an interview with a top-tier broadcaster when your spokesperson is sunning themselves on the beach. Likewise, make sure that when you’re away there is someone else available to speak to the media on your behalf.

Spot a sporting opportunity: 

According to the RAJAR reports, in summer, there is always an increased listenership on Sport radio programming as well as seasonal stations, such as 5 live Sport Extra. So, if you can align your campaign with a summer sport such as cricket or tennis you could enjoy a much bigger audience.


Competitions offer a fantastic opportunity to achieve a sustained and high-reaching brand presence in the media over the summer months – either to support a wider media outreach or as a standalone campaign. Whether you want to promote a fun seasonal product or highlight a more serious message to deliver a strong call to action, media owners are receptive to editorial competition content as these can be planned in advance and require little project management. So you can sit back whilst your organisation maintains a presence on radio, online and social media.


Top Picks

Our top summer and back-to-school campaigns that we’ve delivered in the last year.

ASA: SwimSafe

We set up and staged an outside broadcast from the beach to maximise coverage for the Amateur Swimming Association’s (ASA) SwimSafe campaign, supported by the RNLI. A total of 170 radio and TV opportunities were secured overall, including Sky News and Sky News Radio.

Foster Grant: LA Express Festival Fashion competition

To support a wider broadcast media relations campaign we developed a competition with Foster Grant eyewear which was placed with 24 targeted radio and online media owners. We showcased Foster Grant’s latest model by offering audiences the opportunity to win two pairs of 3-in-1 snap-front sunglasses as well as a festival ‘glamping’ kit.

Clarks: Back to School

To launch Clarks’ new Back to School range we devised a broadcast campaign centred around the sentimentality parents feel when sending their children to school for the first time. We arranged for mother of two, Tamzin Outhwaite, to take part in radio interviews across the BBC and commercial network, with a total of 52 items of coverage achieved.

New College of the Humanities: How The Light Gets In festival

We kicked off our summer with the New College of the Humanities at the How The Light Gets In festival, the world’s largest philosophy and music festival. We collected newsbites from the festival itself and produced audio feature content featuring spokespeople from the college which was placed with 35 stations across the commercial network.

June 23, 2015

Posted by in Broadcast at 12:33 pm
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Why B-Roll helps your story stand out from the crowd

B-Roll.  You may have heard of it, but how many PR professionals actually know what it is? Or importantly, how many actually use it? Well in short, B-Roll can be the difference between clinching that slot on a TV or online channel or a journalist pressing the delete button on your pitch. It can often be the difference between trophy and mediocre coverage. And with TV coverage often considered the ‘holy grail’, it should play a vital role in your campaign planning.

Often overlooked, B-Roll essentially consists of loosely edited footage captured to enrich a story you are telling. Far from being a polished piece of video content, its aim is to provide news broadcasters with a sequence of supplementary footage to support their news piece, and this could be anything from behind the scenes shots at an event, to technology being used in practice, to soundbites with key personnel. Captured to professional broadcast standards, the B-Roll should help support the story you are telling. Ultimately, as you are in control of the content being filmed, it should also help to steer the message being delivered to broadcasters.

For time-pressed journalists, uttering the words ‘B-Roll available’ during your phone pitch is a sure fire way to get their interest. And it works just as well for helping to  secure online coverage as it does for TV. With countless press releases to sift through, showing that you have really thought about the story, and done the legwork in advance will help your story stand out from the crowd.

Wherever you go in the world, news teams are often working with limited resource and are constantly working against the clock to deliver their news items for the TV bulletins. The Middle East is no exception; they are not always able to dispatch a crew out to cover your story, so anything you can do to help, and to remove this barrier, is certainly going to be viewed favourably by the journalist you are pitching to. This often means that you will be more likely to get your spokesperson on the TV. Ahead of the interview with your spokesperson, the broadcaster’s production team can select the footage they want from your B-Roll and get ready to cut to this during any interview they are doing to support what your spokesperson is saying. This often results in more airtime and perhaps even helped them make the decision to interview your client in the first place. The end result? All parties are happy.

So, the next time you’re planning your PR campaigns and you’ve got a story to sell in, stop and think before you craft your pitch to the journalist. Think in pictures: what would I want to see if I was the end audience? What visuals can I provide? What filming could be done to illustrate this story? Producing some well-crafted B-Roll could just be the ticket to delivering an impactful, engaging story.

This blog has been contributed by Cheryl King, General Manager of our Dubai office. For more information about B-Roll or for any other enquiry for the Dubai team please contact

June 19, 2015

Posted by in Broadcast at 9:19 am
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This article has been contributed by Howard Kosky, @howardkosky.

So this week we read the news that Chris Evans is the new host of Top Gear. But in this initial sentence the omission is the BBC. I should start by saying that a) I don’t work for the BBC, or think they are faultless and B) I’m a petrolhead.

The reason for my interest in this news story is the media’s handling of the announcement. Do I believe the BBC got enough credit for this? No. As an employer myself and having run a business since 1994, we have seen employment issues become a lot trickier to deal with over the years.

So imagine a member of staff, a good performer at that, one the client’s love, and helps you generate huge revenues decides one day he’s a bit too big for his boots and smacks another member of staff. The dilemma for you as the employer; do you do nothing, do you try and smooth it over, do you defend your star performer, or do you quite rightly decide the star performer has overstepped the mark and their position is no longer tenable. Then, imagine that once this decision has been made, to the outside world and other clients, you the employer are in the wrong! You’re a star performer down, the clients think you’ve acted out of order and you’re about to lose a lot of revenue. What you need to do is recruit and replace, and not just fill a hole, but recruit even stronger than the star performer… and this was achieved by the BBC this week.

I didn’t witness one article which paid compliment to the BBC for its commercial business manoeuvring, perhaps because rival broadcasters hate to praise their competitor, which is a great shame. So whilst my reach isn’t great, from me, well done BBC – master stroke and business result. And as the petrolhead and huge fan of Chris that I am – long live Top Gear!


June 15, 2015

Posted by in Broadcast at 10:48 am
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This article was originally written for by Howard Kosky (@howardkosky)

Since the appointment of the new culture secretary, John Whittingdale, speculation has sprung up surrounding the funding of the BBC, and specifically the license fee. Whilst it is unlikely the license fee will be scrapped any time soon, hiring someone who has been a vocal opponent of the BBC to head up their imminent Royal Charter review could mean that we can expect some profound changes to the current system in the long term.

Whittingdale’s committee has stated “the model is becoming hard to justify and sustain” and have proposed alternatives such as obtaining commercial support through advertising.

However, as controversial as it may sound, I have no real issue with the BBC as it is. Why? Well it’s been 21 years since I started the business, at a time when there were only four terrestrial TV channels, the launch of BBC Radio 5 live and Global Radio group didn’t exist, and YouTube was still over a decade away … and how things have changed! In that time the depth of content across all platforms and the way in which the BBC has led and held my metaphorical hand (as a news junkie) has been superb. No matter how much choice there is in the market I still find myself using the BBC’s news platforms as my main news inputs; when I wake up at 5:30am I’m watching BBC World Business Report, later BBC Breakfast in the office, and then regularly check its and respective programme twitter feeds throughout the day. Do I as a consumer/ license fee payer take it for granted? Possibly, and hence why when reminded of the cost I do not have an issue.

I also have a non-terrestrial broadcaster service in my home which I pay for, I have a mobile telco contract which I pay for – the list can go on. The fact and reality is, I expect to pay for services and choice. If I wanted all my news and entertainment content via a shared economy model would I only use YouTube? But then who would be the broadband or telco provider to ensure I could connect?

At a time of increasing competitiveness for our time, across all media and platforms, the BBC still holds firm. Rajar stats out last week shows us once more that in the 21 years since our inception the BBC is still doing it, still delivering strong numbers, so surely it must be doing something right – not least taking our interviews!

The argument rages that the BBC should be co-funded with advertising or adopt a different model, and rest assured I fully acknowledge that the business practise in all guises of the BBC is not flawless, but tell me of any business that doesn’t have its commercial flaws, or that can’t be streamlined.

For anyone who has consumed media in the US or UAE even, where the quality of programming, the controls over output, the ad breaks and lack of formal regulation such as Ofcom, can lead to a lesser audience experience makes me value what we have in the BBC.

If we as a nation have issue with the licence fee I’d rather we debate what it pays for and the range and diversity of service the BBC offers rather than compromise the audience experience. I only hope that in 21 years from now, the BBC will still be doing what it does best, with its commercial flaws, and it’s still acknowledged globally as one of the world’s leading broadcasters.

June 2, 2015

Posted by in Broadcast at 8:30 am
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Weekends can offer brilliant opportunities to secure top tier broadcast coverage for brands and organisations. In a time of 24-hour rolling news channels and a constant need for fresh content, the media has a big appetite for news outside of the working week. Just this weekend, markettiers4dc has secured national and international TV coverage on the likes of CNN, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, BBC 5 live and Mail Online for our clients Audi, Bupa Global, Touchnote and

Speak to us today about how we can deliver trophy coverage for your organisation next weekend. Email or call 020 7253 8888.

International news distribution from the Audi Polo Challenge with HRH The Duke of Cambridge and HRH Prince Harry

The markettiers4dc team was at the Audi Polo Challenge in Ascot on Sunday, delivering an onsite edit for a B-Roll package and online cut news package for same day distribution to media. Story advisories and target lists were drafted for approval by the Palace Press Office due to the attendance of the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry who were playing in this exclusive Audi event. Strong media interest was achieved from pre-sell in on the morning of the event with strong interest from ITN and PA Multimedia. Coverage to date includes Mail Online, International Business Times, Digital Spy and ITN Productions’ Entertainment bulletins on ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4.

Global consumer research for World No Tobacco Day with Bupa Global

To support Bupa Global’s campaign around World No Tobacco Day, markettiers4dc conducted a consumer survey in the UK, Australasia, UAE, USA, Italy, Spain and Greece looking at whether people felt encouraged to smoke by Hollywood glamourising the addiction, with 007, and Don Draper seen as the most popular characters associated with smoking. We may see James Bond smoking on screen and then running to catch Dr No, but never wheezing or out of breath which is one of the common effects of smoking. Using these findings markettiers4dc secured interviews on Sunday for Dr Fiona Adshead, Bupa’s Chief Wellbeing and Public Health Officer on Sky Sunrise and CNN. A short video news feature was also produced for online media highlighting how Hollywood needs to assist with encouraging a smoke free environment by 2040.

Amplifying’s rebrand from CarLoan4U

markettiers4dc worked alongside on their rebrand campaign from CarLoan4U. To raise consumer awareness of the car finance organisation markettiers4dc developed a storyline detailing the history of the driving test which celebrated its 80th anniversary yesterday. Research was commissioned to identify the key aspects of the test that consumers think should change, for example motorway and night driving. The research also identified the UK’s favourite first cars to offer media outlets the opportunity to discuss their experiences and shed some nostalgia onto the story. markettiers4dc worked closely with the Institute of Advanced Motoring to provide an independent spokesperson alongside the CEO of Zuto. com. The IAM and Zuto took part in pre-recorded interviews with Sky News TV which played throughout Sunday and Sky News Radio, and also spoke live to the likes of BBC Radio 5 live Morning Reports, BBC Radio Coventry & Warwickshire, BBC Radio Cumbria and BBC Devon.

Future gazing tech trends with Touchnote

markettiers4dc were tasked with raising awareness of Touchnote, a mobile app which lets you customise and send your postcards from anywhere in the world. We crafted a story that looked back at the history of the postcard to mark its 175th anniversary, whilst also promoting the five millionth postcard sent using the Touchnote app. An interview was secured with Sky Sunrise on Saturday morning with TV Presenter Maggie Philbin talking about the future of postcards and the way in which we now communicate with emojis. The story was so interesting that the producers extended the air time by several minutes.


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