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#Ndlozi the #MediaExpert – If you’ve got bad news, drop it on regional radio

Date: 04.14.2024

Written By

Tonya Khoury

I’m afraid it’s been a tough week.I’ve had all sorts thrown at me and I must be honest; I’m not feeling so well.  I was going to skip this week’s report and stay in my bed but then I saw the stupidest thing I’ve seen in a very long time:   #Ndlozi trying to grapple with the concept of media buying, not just grapple, but his intent to prove racism and favouritism  amongst media buyers.  I watched an insert where he was telling his audience that #BlackRadioStationsMatter and that they don’t get enough media spend when compared to likes of #702 and #Jacaranda  He used the SABC stations by way of example, forgetting that they offer huge discounts and added value when you purchase time on SABC. I have a duty to set the record straight, and some of you might find this a bit of a bore, but given the week I’ve had, I beg you to indulge me.

#Ndlozi, I have two words for you, “Target Audience”.  One cannot criticize the media landscape, especially radio, without understanding how radio works, and clearly you do not.  Listen carefully, there are three different groupings  of radio stations namely: the Independents (regional), the SABC and community radio.  In total, this gives us about one hundred and fifty stations in South Africa to work with. I have been working in the media game for decades and although I’ve spent most my life in editorial monitoring, I’ve also spent  some time with advertising and media buying.

Let’s start with editorial as that is my forte.  What is editorial?  It is when the DJ or Talk show host picks a topic, or person to feature.  This could be good or bad news (generally it’s bad).  You’ve all heard the term, “If it bleeds it leads”. Sadly, there are not many vernacular talk stations, but t here are a few; the biggest of which is #Ukhozi FM. #Ndlozi got that right.  Ukhozi is the second largest radio station in the world and is treated as such.  It is prioritized in all media buying and editorial work because of its enormous reach and its impactful messaging.  Once you’ve pushed your message to #Ukhozi you are left with a bouquet of SABC African language stations including; Umhlobo Wenene, Lesedi, Thobela, RSG etc ,and the primarily regional English speaking stations like Primedia’s 94.7,702 and Cape Talk. While some of the independents remain talk heavy, most  play music,( and believe me, music playlists come with their own rules and regulations) and carry newsbreaks like Kaya FM,KFM and YFM.  The rest, for the most part are community stations that play music, carry newsbreaks and focus on the community within its footprint (area of broadcast), for example Jozi FM and Alex FM. These “footprints” are determined by licensing agreements. In short, all radio stations and their footprints, along with Centaurs and Dinosaurs,  have to be treated in isolation when you consider messaging and advertising.  .

Now, let’s look at the life of a media buyer.  These are the people who place adverts on radio. Their task today is to promote a new shop on William Nicol that sells Levi Jeans. Do you think they  just simply say, “I have some chommies at #CapricornFM so I’m chucking thousands of rands at that station”?  No. Capricorn’s broadcast is isolated to Polokwane and that is not the audience for a shop on William Nicol, especially at today’s petrol price.  That, Ndlozi, is bad media buying. The audience, the demographic if you will, should be Gauteng based, and not far out of Gauteng.  Choosing to place adverts only on community stations like MixFM will only draw a certain number of audience ears.  You see, they are community stations and they have a smaller listenership when compared to the regional stations like Kaya FM.  A  media buyer would have to work within a budget and decide where the money is best spent. Do they choose either 5FM, or MetroFM. Perhaps there is too much wastage? A couple of music stations to compliment their strategy like Highveld, YFM and Kaya and some community radio to spread the message? Despite the fact that these would have to be aspirational audiences, we only have a fistful of dollars and we cannot risk any of it on radio stations that won’t show a return on investment, and given todays’ trends, there has to be a social media element as well.  Dropping your ads on #Capricorn will not get people into the shop on William  Nicol. If it sounds complicated, it is.   These are #FactsNdlozi.

This media strategy (if it was with a good agency) would spill over to editorial content. The real conversation; people are talking about it. Here companies like Acumen will be monitoring for mentions of the new Levi store in the media.  We are required to listen to twenty-four hours of tape on any station which is  impossible .  We would need 300+ people to listen to all those radio stations and summarise every mention that we heard about your jeans. So, we work smart and this is where it gets interesting.   We begin with talk- heavy stations and then our clever tools remove the repetitive music and jingles, leaving us with just the small talk and news items. The communities are next where the same process is followed by removing repetitive of music.  If we weren’t smart then we would have a  bill that the client couldn’t afford, and for stations that produce very little editorial coverage.  We have to prioritize crisis see?  If a client is in a situation where they are headline news like Clicks and their “fine hair” story.  It will first break on a news station, and if we are too busy dabbling in music stations first, then we will only hear the crisis long after it has broken.  The key to handling crisis is speed.  It’s that simple #Ndlozi.  I think the #PeoplesBae should sit down with a strategist, even the EFF’s own strategist would work, because their narrative is handled exceptionally well and it’s not on community and vernacular stations half as much as it is on the big hitters.  Not everything is about race and bias Sir.  Stick to your politics and we’ll stick to our marketing ok?

My, my, my, that was a rant. I apologise because it’s Friday, but stupid shots at my industry make me angry.  No one understands how hard we work to make you look good.

Let’s focus on the primary news this week and the big and social media trendsetters, just in case you missed it.

The war waged on #Ukraine continues.  We keep hearing that no one is getting involved, but everyone is sending arms to #Ukraine.  I once heard a phrase: “War is just a money-making machine and we are just collateral.”  Imagine how much money is changing hands as refugees flee for their lives and civilians are killed.  Arms are not the only money churner, oil and gas make the war seem even more terrifying.  This week the US met with Saudi to beg for oil.  I wonder how that went? Strangely enough, why is there little mention of food shortages? Combined, Russia and Ukraine are huge exporters of wheat, and make up the bulk of exports to countries in the Horn of Africa and its surroundings, countries that are currently experiencing a drought. Where will the food come from?

Here back at home.  #DaliMpofu, well talk about a bad week, I think I may be cheering up.  Another #EFF crony was in the firing line, literally, this week.  #Mpofu was found guilty of breaching the ethics code when he told fellow counsel #LeRoux to #ShutUp at the #StateCaptureEnquiry. (A bit like I want to tell #Ndlozi).  Of course, he is going to appeal. .  I’ve never rated #Dali., He meanders and uses political rhetoric in a legal setting that has naught to do with politics and everything to do with grand theft.

#Comair and #BritishAirways were grounded “indefinitely” and prices for a one- way flight to Durban sky -rocketed to R3000 where they would normally be around R800.  A little later in the week, “indefinitely” had an end date, and now both airlines are back in the air.  Maybe I should have listened to #Ikwekwezi to understand what on earth happened here?

In politics, mainly sourced from TV and mainstream online news (for those who care) #Ramaphosa is on the money hunt for looted funds. He also called #Zelensky (whatever) and he extended the #StateofDisaster.  That was the story that got #Steenhuizen frothing in the #RamaphosaQ&A.  John wanted to know why we were still in a state of disaster, well, we all know why.  I can’t believe you asked such a stupid question.  Once we drop the state of disaster then  we have to pay back the money that was stolen. Duh!

Good news made its way to SA; Senzo’s alleged killers have been arrested.  About time too!  #TrevorNoah stood up for women’s rights in the face of the all mighty Ye!  Kanye didn’t like it and rhymed some racism at a black man from South Africa.  #StupidDoesAsStupidDoes

More political news found on high yield stations and media outlets;  (not on #LesediFM) #ZwelinzimaVavi may be suspended.  DA’s #MbaliNtuli resigned, and although she didn’t say it in so many words, it was because of Zille.  Bathabile Dlamini did such a bad job that there is talk of disbanding the #WomensLeague. Wow, can someone tell #TrevorNoah – my advice, tweet at him. Don’t go via #TygerburgFM

In other news,  apparently, SA wants to prosecute Facebook for being hoofed from a Whatsapp Service.  We have more #WaterShortages than radio stations.  #CharlotteMaxeka had a mass exodus of 220 staff because of no pay, no food for the sick and no care.  Perhaps they should have announced that on #ClicksRadio?

I’m a grumpy Tonya Khoury, and you’ve just scratched the surface of the media (real media).



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