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Keeping it Local

On 26th May, radio stations around the UK will join forces to celebrate Local Radio Day.

This year’s event is the second of its kind and promises to be bigger than before.

Dave Coull, group content director at UKRD, tells TVBEurope the initiative aims to celebrate the partnership between local radio stations and their listeners: “Local Radio Day is an opportunity to celebrate the communities in which local radio stations operate up and down the country.”

“This year will see over 50 local radio stations work together, but also on an individual level, focusing on those elements of their community that they wish to highlight and celebrate. By doing that, they signpost the importance of Local Radio Day and of local radio, and the key role it plays in the everyday lives of the people who listen to it.”

Coull notes that it won’t just be local commercial radio stations taking part: “This year we will see hospital radio, school radio, community radio, commercial radio and the BBC come together and celebrate the day – we’ve even got a prison radio station that’s going to participate.”

“It’s an all-encompassing day that brings together like-minded radio operators and radio programmers who want to shout loud and proud about local radio.”

There’s no set plan for the day – instead, each station is being encouraged to celebrate in its own way.

“All the stations involved in Local Radio Day will be doing completely different things. They will be local decisions, because a key part of local radio is doing exactly that,” says Coull.

“It could involve everyone working at the stations, whether it’s a tech op, a presenter or, in a commercial radio station, the sales teams themselves getting involved – it is an opportunity for anyone who believes that they work for a local radio station and has the backing of their management to get involved.

Has there ever been any discussion about opening up Local Radio Day to include other local media, such as newspapers or local TV stations?

“We haven’t thought about that as of yet, but it’s certainly something I’m going to think about,” says Coull.

“Should an opportunity arise that works for both parties, I suspect there would be positive conversations about how we all would be collaborate – and not just on Local Radio Day. The day is one day in 365, it is just an opportunity for us to magnify what it is we do day-in-day-out. Whether that’s providing essential local information, attending local events or being the voice of, when needed, the community.

“Local radio stations do that day in, day out in the way they work with local newspapers and local TV channels, so if they’re doing that already, I suspect there is a fair chance that they could continue to do that on a day when they would magnify all aspects of their business.

Find out more about Local Radio Day at the event’s website.