Letters - 04 October 2005

Radio staffing, Financial Times hits the spot, and direct marketing.

Letters - 04 October 2005
Letters - 04 October 2005

Letter of the Week - Radio industry must address staffing issues

John Greening Managing partner at The Greening Group

Why is a cutting-edge industry such as radio so reluctant to modernise its recruitment methods?

The radio industry has expanded massively over the past few decades.

Where once each town or city had one BBC and one ILR station, with maybe a pirate or two, now listeners have a dazzling choice of analogue and digital stations.

That means competition for a slice of the advertising pie is tougher, making more demands of middle and senior radio managers.

Radio used to be a cosy industry, in which everyone who mattered knew everyone else who mattered.

With expansion, those days are gone and now it's more important than ever to have the best people on your team. It's also harder to track them down.

At least one management recruitment consultancy has recognised this changing situation and is ready to help meet the challenge of finding those special people for key media roles so important for the future of the industry.

It is amazing therefore to see that broadcasting companies still persist in the old boys' network and little black books.

In order to face the challenges of the future, broadcasting will need to absorb skills from outside its industry, as well as within.

It also needs fast solutions and must recognise the costs to its business of not having the right people in key roles, both in the short and long term.

Surely now is the time for broadcasters to concentrate on their core skills areas and embrace a more sophisticated, professional, cost-effective and time-saving approach to recruitment.

Financial Times is read by many young affluents

Joanna Manning-Cooper Director of communications at the Financial Times

The profile of Lawson Muncaster, managing director of City AM, mistakenly assumes that the Financial Times does not have a high readership among an affluent, young UK audience ( Fuelling the City village, page 26, 20 September).

This is a false premise. If you look at people in the UK aged between 20 and 34, almost twice as many FT readers have a personal income of £50k+ than our nearest competitor (Source PremTGI 2005).

In fact, the FT has a higher proportion of readers under 35 than any other quality daily title, with 37%of readers in the UK falling into that age bracket (NRS).

Direct marketing can pay dividends

Mark Long, client services director at Business Development Research Consultants (BDRC)

I read with interest about plans for the Government to begin a new programme of promotion for the Child Trust Fund, launched in April 2005. BDRC has been researching parental reactions to this initiative on behalf of a syndicate of organisations since the start of this year.

The majority of parents with eligible children have still yet to redeem their "free money" voucher with a CTF provider – resulting in a huge missed investment opportunity for their children. To address this key issue of dormancy, the thrust needs to change.

Perhaps the thorny issue of auto-allocation needs to be raised – the Government will self-select a product provider and stakeholder CTF for parents who haven't acted within 12 months of voucher issue.

We know this makes parents question their inaction and they resent the removal of choice (though they haven't exercised their own option of choice).

TV may not in this case be appropriate, but data we have supplied to HMRC demonstrates how effective clearly positioned direct marketing can be in reaching mums of toddlers.

I believe that it may well take the veiled threat of action by the Government to generate the level of account opening activity that it and CTF providers desire.

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