The communication challenges of bringing together two different verticals by Sony’s Neeraj Vyas

Sony Mix relishes the reputation of being a destination channel for music right from the day it was launched. To keep up to the reputation in the music genre, which is like second nature to all Indians, the channel has to constantly keep innovating and raising the bar. That’s why this quarter we decided to move out of the ordinary programming routine and merge two strong verticals of radio and television with a new show ‘TV Ka Pehla Radio Show’ (TKPRS).

The unique format came with its own set of communication challenges. Both media platforms have different target audiences that are divided by the manner in which they get their dose of daily music but are united with their love of the same.  Cross promotion and keeping the communication straight was very important for the show to be a success. The idea was to increase the audience of both shows via integrating new ideas with innovative cross promotion and not snowball the numbers on each side. Merging the strengths of both these medium we decided to implement a strong common communication strategy on both platforms so that the cumulative effect would lead to more bang for each platform’s buck. Keeping this in mind we took strategic steps to ensure that the music audience received relevant and clear communication that helped them tune in to the program and enjoy the music.

The name of the show was the first decision in this direction, ‘TV ka Pehla Radio Show’. We decided to name it as such so that it addressed any confusion on the content of the show and increased curiosity of the same. Along with the name, tune in time was also an important factor and as we wanted to bridge the gap between the two mediums we kept the same show time for both radio and television. Because of the same timing the maximum chunk of radio listeners in the morning and evening will get to enjoy the show on the go! The radio chatter increased their curiosity to view the program. At the same time the audiences relaxing at home also got a sneak peek in the radio station and could tune in anytime to the radio to listen to the show in case they are not near a visual medium. 

The content of the show is the same for the radio and television airings. Addressing the biggest challenge of transforming radio, to a moving medium, television, we had to offer something more and something interesting to keep the viewers’ attention. So, the audiences can now get a sneak peak of how the show is shot in a radio station on their own television sets, along with the popular RJ Anurag Pandey, aka ‘Picture Pandey’ who already has a strong fan base and is excellent in communicating the message.

Public Relations is a strong tool that we leverage in all our marketing plans. Along with sending out the tune in press releases with relevant images across the country to media strong cities, we also looked at unique story ideas that could be explored with the RJ, spokesperson and the programming format. Each unique story enhanced qualitative visibility. To enhance the communication message we also targeted relevant publications across the country and ran a print campaign along with it.

Aggressive social media activation via Facebook, Twitter and Google marketing campaigns, and reaching out to a wider population from across the country has driven up the number of viewers and touch points at a rapid pace. A contest on social media platforms urged listeners and viewers to win and participate in the telephone call in for requests and be viewed on television and heard on radio simultaneously. The communication on the social platforms was modified in a manner that it instilled a strong call to action.

Promotions were done across all leading multiplexes in metros before the shows of expected hits like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and D Day which also helped enriched our communication message.

Each vertical had a clear objective of engaging the audience at multiple levels and communicating a crisp message. The idea of engaging multiple forms of communication, leveraging each one’s strength, helped us to reach out to a wider audience, and increase the fan base of the show on both verticals.

Neeraj Vyas, Executive Vice President & Business Head at Sony Max & Sony MIX