In what appears to be a ‘mad rush’ away from traditional and proven ways of communicating with their customers, many companies are allowing their brands and messages to be placed between fake news and questionable posts.
Company reputations and brands run the risk of suffering collateral damage by being associated with the plague of fake news surrounding hot-off-the-press topics.
Do you really want your message to appear alongside a post which proclaims that it has been proven that the current pandemic escaped from a sample of pixie moon dust?
Having your brand in close proximity to sensationalised (clickbait) posts puts your credibility at risk.
Readers may assume that you placed your advertisement either ahead of or behind a particular post because you agree with its contents.
Ask yourself, is this third-party algorithm designed in such a way that it is making the right decisions for my brand?
The veteran advertising executive, Chris Brewer, says in his latest “Brewers Droop”: “Social media is like the parson’s egg – good in places and disgusting in others. With a few (very few) exceptions, it disseminates fake news; hate; racism; extreme irritation and basically rubbish. A handful of our very good writers get published on the internet from time to time but who knows how many take any notice?”
As the head of Algoa FM, I am naturally biased towards radio, of which Brewer says ‘it works’.
A station like Algoa FM ‘works’ for advertisers and listeners because we put credibility and their needs first. Our news team’s maxim is ‘we’d rather be right than first’.
Or, as historian and author Yuval Noah Harari put it in the opening line of his latest book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century: “In a world deluged by irrelevant information, clarity is power.”
Our commitment to fact extends into our online presence.
We are among Brewer’s ‘very few exceptions’ that share quality content and listeners have taken note.
A recent Colony Live study found that the majority (69%) of respondents rely primarily on the radio for their Covid-19 information, followed by television (53%), news websites or news mobile apps (46%) and then social media (41%).
At Algoa FM, the figures confirm that there is a strong correlation between the credibility of the radio station and its online presence.
Both we and our advertisers know just how many people take ‘notice’ of the content in our online presence.
Visits to the Algoa FM website and social media pages spike almost every time we report on a major announcement prior to the pandemic and now during the lockdown.
Online traffic to Algoa FM’s social media pages has increased by 44% during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Visitors click through from the social media pages to our website, which has fact-checked and curated content that adds to the credibility of the advertising messages displayed on the site.
To answer the question posed earlier, the content in your feed is prioritised by the likelihood that you actually want to see it and we’ve seen results through our integrated and targeted approach.
Algoa FM listeners hear it on the news (which they know is credible), check their social feeds and then visit the website for more detail or to be able to spend more time analysing the information.
Advertisers who place careful and strategic thought into their image and how they spend their money are observing approaches of this nature that prove the success and are in a less questionable space because you get to choose where you go.
Our sales team is seeing a trend towards advertisers seeing the value in more integrated offerings.
Our clients are also realising that radio seamlessly integrates with their social media and digital strategies, thus creating more reach and frequency for their campaigns, a known fact from countless studies done the world over.
Thirty years ago, it would have sounded foreign for any brand other than air-conditioning manufacturers or air-conditioning retailers to sponsor weather reports.
But, over time, the advertising community realised that ‘the point of connection’ had nothing to do with the weather, but everything to do with the audience.
I’ve heard so many ad agencies and corporates say that they don’t want their brand associated with the news because it is negative and filled with murder, rape and corruption.
But here’s the thing: audiences with high levels of disposable income want to be informed, which is exactly why they ‘tune in’ to listen to the news or visit the news pages on our website.
Covid-19 may have amplified the figures but ‘consumer behaviour’ with respect to accessing their news was no different prior to the lockdown.
Radio, more so than other mediums, also carefully curates the content on our websites, which, as a result, attract millions of impressions to an environment free of fake news, questionable posts and random algorithm placement.
In an era where fake news is widespread, people are turning to brands they trust and Algoa FM’s philosophy is to report the facts – do so fairly, accurately and within context; all the while serving the interests of the audience and advertisers and ‘that isn’t ever going to change!’
The Covid-19 crisis is confirming that radio has retained its stronghold as the medium of choice which people turn to in times of trouble; for information, companionship and entertainment.Confused and startled by the “rash of fake news” on social media, listeners tune-in for the news and visit algoafm.co.za to find the facts.
Our news team’s long standing philosophy to “rather be right than first” is well respected in our footprint and is core to this increased tune-in trend.
We know that more people are tuning in because of the growth in engagement with listeners via our social media pages: Telegram, SMS and phone-ins.
For those of us who “live and breathe” radio, this has by no means come as a surprise.
These are the strengths of quality radio which epitomise Algoa FM:
We are trusted because we are mindful… not to broadcast fake information;
We report the facts; do so fairly, accurately and within context; all the while serving in the interests of nation building and a better life for all who live in our footprint… and we are not streamed from a remote location disconnected from the Eastern Cape;
The trust we have built and the relevance to our audience helps to connect our advertisers with their customers;
Radio advertising is an essential and accepted part of the mix, particularly in our region where client’s offerings serve the interests of our loyal and growing audience;
We are proud to have been instrumental in the growth of a number of local companies by introducing them to their customers;
We are accessible and portable… listeners tune in from their cars, their homes and their mobile devices;
We help to combat loneliness – which is particularly important during a time like this and our radio personalities are treated as friends by their listeners, who invite them into their lives merely by flicking a switch;
Our on-air personalities relate to their audience because they are a part of the community. They live where the listeners live and they understand as well as feel the daily highs and lows of life as experienced by our audience.
We have always welcomed engagement and feedback “live” and in the moment;
Online, Algoa FM also respects the privacy of its audience and is fully POPI compliant;
Our digital and social media are integrated into the information and entertainment mix offered on Algoa FM;
In short, at heart and in practice we are the champion of “fun, fact and context” in our community.
Listeners and advertisers have welcomed a new Algoa FM line-up that includes exciting new voices, and a fresh sound, says managing director Alfie Jay. This refresh and new energy celebrates Algoa FM’s move to its own iconic purpose-developed building in Port Elizabeth’s trendy Baakens Valley.
“We are capitalising on the excitement about having our own building for the first time in the 34 years since Algoa FM first started broadcasting,” says Jay, who has been in the broadcasting industry for 30 of those years.
“Our music mix has been given a tweak together with new on air imaging and some other changes to refresh the sound,” adds programme manager Baydu Adams.
On weekdays listeners wake up to Algoa Country’s favourite early morning voice, Siobhan Momberg, who is on air from 5-6am weekdays.
Multi award-winning broadcaster Wayne Hart has joined Charlton Tobias and Lee Duru “in an all-new breakfast show adventure, which promises to entertain listeners with some fresh and interactive radio.
“The team know each other well, and the energy and creativity that sparks in the room when they are together is really energising – just what is needed first thing in the morning while preparing for a day at work,” says Jay.
Mio Khondleka and KayCee Rossouw have traded morning weekday slots. “From 9am-12pm Mio provides some mid-morning magic for listeners, with KayCee hosting us through lunch until three in the afternoon.
“We have added more vooma to the high-octane Afternoon Drive where Roland Gaspar has teamed up with Roch-Lè Bloem,” says Jay.
There are two parallel Afternoon Drive transmitter splits serving the Garden Route, with Lance du Plessis, and the greater Buffalo City metro with Brian Ndevu.
The two evening shows with Queenie Grootboom Khondleka and Vinny Nogemane have proven extremely popular with listeners and “if it ain’t broke… don’t fix it, so we have not made any changes there,” says Jay.
The station is also attracting national talent.
Among the new broadcasters is Linda Nzuzo, who started her broadcasting career in Port Elizabeth and was most recently on Kaya FM, after stints with Tru FM, Bay FM and Nkqubela FM.
“Algoa FM has also introduced some fresh voices to our highly-acclaimed news team.
“Two-time Vodacom Regional Journalist of the Year Award Winner, Siyabonga Sesant, who is originally from Port Elizabeth, is on duty behind the news mic from early until mid-day during the week.
“Siyabonga is a sought-after freelance radio and television news journalist who has spent many hours refining his craft on 5FM, Eye Witness News, eNCA and Newzroom Afrika.
“Popular Algoa FM presenter, Roch-Lè Bloem takes over the hot seat from Siyabonga from the one-o-clock news report and sees us through to the end of the afternoon drive with Roland Gaspar.
Popular broadcaster and sports fundi Mio Khondleka kicks off Saturday mornings from six till nine with the Saturday breakfast. Next is the popular award-winning Top 30 with Wayne Hart from nine till noon.
He is followed by Nzuzo, who “brings an authoritative yet smooth vibe to the Saturday lunch-time show from 12-3pm.
“Then we unite the province with East London-based Brian Ndevu and Briony Sparg from Port Elizabeth, who team up in a show which crosses the divide between the eastern and western halves of the Eastern Cape and Garden Route.
Another new voice is Jean-Pierre Botha (JP), who is on air from seven till ten on Saturdays.
He is the former breakfast show presenter of community station Bay FM.
The Sunday line-up starts with Roch-Lè Bloem, who says she wants to keep listeners “calm but motivated.”
Lance du Plessis continues to present the very popular “Sounds of Time” from 9am-midday, followed by Charl Leslie.
“From 3-7pm KayCee Rossouw continues with his Sunday Soul, another show that is a hit with our listeners.
“The rest of the day is unchanged, with Queenie Grootboom Khondleka on air from seven till ten, followed by Vinny Nogemane.”
In addition to a new iconic building and fresh on air sound, the station has also re-launched its new responsive and mobile friendly website: www.algoafm.co.za
A record crowd of nearly 13 200 walked in celebration with cancer survivors and all those affected by cancer at the annual Algoa FM Big Walk for Cancer presented by the Eastern Cape Department of Health on Saturday.
Funds raised by the biggest mass participation charity event in the Eastern Cape will go towards purchasing a passenger transport vehicle for the Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa) Eastern Cape.
“The vibe at this year’s event is a wonderful testament to a civil society determined to find common ground and integrate socially,” said Algoa FM managing director Alfie Jay.
“Our loyal audience has once again proven that they stand as one to celebrate every step and contribute towards humanity.
“Through the Algoa FM Big Walk for Cancer, we have brought various corporate businesses, government, NGOs and the people of Algoa country together, and I am extremely grateful for the ongoing support,” he said.
The benefits stretch beyond the Nelson Mandela Bay metro.
Examinations using a Fotofinder mole analyser purchased for Cansa in 2018 with the funds raised have found that at least one in 20 people in the Eastern Cape is at risk of developing skin cancer, according to Gavin Kester, divisional manager of Cansa Eastern Cape.
The passenger transport vehicle to be purchased this year will be used to take patients to treatment centres in Port Elizabeth.
Many of the patients stay at the Cansa facilities because they come from out of town.
Most do not have transport, according to Kester.
The 2019 event was held in perfect weather, with a light breeze and partially overcast skies.
Leading the walkers were the two 2019 ambassadors, Xylon van Eyck and Dr Lesley Lee, both of whom celebrated their own steps and victories against cancer.
Dr Lee, who is a divisional head at Volkswagen South Africa in Uitenhage, lost her right leg to a rare form of cancer when she was in grade 11. Undeterred, she continued to study and today holds a PhD in change management.
TV presenter, sports promoter and keen cyclist, Van Eyck grew up in Booysens Park, Port Elizabeth. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 26, and has been in remission since 2014.
In the run-up to the event, the Eastern Cape Department of health held free screenings and information days in Maclear, Peddie and Graaff-Reinet.