Abraham Thomas, CEO, Reliance Broadcast Network Limited, spells out how smart planning and dedication have not only ensured that thanks to the RJs and tech staff, his 58-station BIG FM network is broadcasting smoothly from home; its business teams are interacting with more than 500 clients each day, and the support teams are maintaining the highest level of operations.
And BIG FM is not just informing, educating and entertaining its listeners in these troubled times, it is also enthusing its purpose-driven brand partners who might want to be part of Public Service Advertising
Come join the conversation.
When did you start Broadcasting from Home? Which stations and/or RJs are doing this from home?
Big FM was the first to move to a remote working model where all our 58 stations are live from their homes, since the 15th of March’20. Thanks to our disaster management plan and in-built contingency plans, our operations are now functioning seamlessly from remote locations using our sound equipment and IT systems connected via VPN.
Our dedicated RJs, from the cities of Jammu, Chennai, Mumbai and Guwahati to name a few, are leading by example by being there for our listeners at such a crucial time by disseminating information right from their homes.
That’s awesome! How much time and effort did it take to set up broadcasting from home in your RJs’ homes?
We were able to overcome this challenge on the back of our efficient contingency and disaster management plans. Successfully implementing them was a smooth transition that now helps us work from remote locations and conduct our business operations without any hindrances.
Well, congratulations on setting this up with the AROI’s help, and also for being part of the Radio4India initiative for genuine news. How does it feel, and how do these initiatives demonstrate the emotional investment your network has in the people who listen to it, who help it grow, and whom it serves?
As one of the leading radio networks in the country, we believe that we must continue to fulfill our three core responsibilities.
The first: ensuring safety for our team members, our families and the society at large. As one of the leading radio networks in the country, the onus lies on us to raise awareness and make them feel safe and prepared against the pandemic.
Secondly, to provide accurate information, dispel any rumors, fake news and keep them engaged and entertainment.
And third: to stay open for business so that the economy keeps moving, so people can stay employed and societies can continue to function.
In such times, it is best that we urge each and every one of our citizens and listeners to stay safe indoors. We must ensure that we practice social distancing and hygiene as well as avoid falling prey to false information. As suggested by our honorable Prime Minister, it is the need of the hour for us to be resilient and restrained as we do our best to overcome this pandemic.
At a time, when all other media are battling with challenges of fake news, content creation and production and ground distribution due to the lockdown, Radio is the only true ‘free to air’ medium which is live 24-by-7, is local, is credible and trusted. This crisis has once again demonstrated the true Power of Radio
With the power to inform & educate our listeners, we shall play out free PSAs in parts of available inventory. We're also in talks purpose-driven brand partners who want to be a part of these PSAs: @abethomask of @bigfmindia Click To Tweet
We know that advertising is now down, if not totally out, but how are ads — even if only PSAs — inserted into shows that are created and broadcast from homes?
We have harnessed the full potential of technology at our disposal. Our business teams are interacting with more than 500 clients on a daily basis via video conferencing, messaging, email or phone call. Our advertisers too have responded favorably by communicating with our sales teams via digital mediums.
Our support teams too are equipped to service client requirements from multiple remote locations while maintaining the highest level of sales servicing, creative solutions, scheduling, traffic, billing and collections.
With the power to inform and educate our listeners, we shall play out free Public Service Announcements (PSAs) by utilizing part of the available inventory across metro and non-metro markets.
Furthermore, we are in talks with our purpose-driven brand partners and are working with other partners who want to be a part of these PSAs.
We spoke with two popular BIG FM RJs on what Broadcasting from Home, and the Radio4India initiative mean to them. Here’s what they said:
RJ Nitin from Delhi
“We are grateful for the implementation of a host of accurate measures that ensure each one of us is safe. As RJs, we understand the influence we have on people, and we take this as a responsibility to be for them at all times in such critical moments.
We want to help and contribute by giving people factual updates and at the same time keep them entertained.
We urge everyone to practice social distancing and stay at home. We want to assure everyone that we are in this together and will soon overcome this pandemic that the world faces.”
RJ Vrajesh from Mumbai
Given the situation outside, it is vital for each one of us to follow government directives, stay home, stay safe and maintain our hygiene as much as we can. At the same time, we understand the power of radio whilst everyone is sitting at home, wanting to hear some good news on the pandemic.
As influencers and as role models, we want to ensure that people must get the right information. Along with radio, we are also engaging with our listeners and keeping them entertained through social media and are happy to see that they are responding positively.