17th March, 2008
I spent Wednesday afternoon last week in the company of those good people down at Atlantic FM. For one afternoon only I was given access to the airwaves as a business expert to comment on our expectations for, and feelings about, the results of Chancellor Alistair Darling’s first Budget. Fortunately for the listeners, I wasn’t alone: Peter McGahan from Worldwide Financial Planning, a real financial expert, was also there to give some proper insight into what was going on!
I’ve been into Atlantic FM a few times and you can’t help but get caught up in the buzz and I do follow the station’s progress with more than just a passing interest.
Because if there’s one industry that is obsessed with statistics and market research, it’s radio. Nearly all of us “use” radio; in fact (officially) 9 out of 10 of us listen in each week. Four times a year shareholders, stakeholders and station managers, BBC and commercial networks alike, eagerly await the latest figures from RAJAR.
I must admit that I’m fascinated by it – and commend the industry for having this running benchmark of its performance, with all of us able to see who’s made gains and who’s lost out. Though I do wonder how many realise they’re sitting on a fantastic source of market intelligence. Often the headline results are trotted out only to bash the opposition or to lever a sales pitch.
My business is tainted by that old maxim, “lies, damn lies and statistics” especially when data are used inappropriately or in absence of a genuine argument. On the other hand, sometimes you just need a stark statistic to get people to sit up and listen.
Which, of course, is exactly what Atlantic FM and co. would like you to do!