Commit to Community Radio Campaign wins CommsCon Award for Best Government Relations

enadmin, 24th March 2014

On Thursday 20 March 2014, the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia’s Commit to Community Radio campaign claimed some fantastic recognition as one of the best performing campaigns of late by winning a CommsCon award. The CommsCon awards recognise excellence in the fields of PR and communication.
The Commit to Community Radio campaign won ‘best government relations’ for the strategy to ensure the future of digital services for the community radio sector.

It all came about when the Federal Government’s 2012 budget revealed a $1.4 million annual funding shortfall, which endangered the future of community digital radio services.
Without this funding some of the country’s most-popular community radio stations would have been forced to take their digital broadcasts off air. And with digital being seen as the future of radio, stations were rightly concerned about being left behind.
In response the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia partnered with Essential Media Communications to rally the community radio sector to tell the Government that funding promises must be kept.
The CBAA had the audience. About a quarter of all Australian radio listeners, 5.2 million of them, tune into community radio stations each week, their broadcasts offering an important voice for indigenous Australians, ethnic communities, religious groups, services for print disabled communities and the youth and seniors of Australia.
Research revealed that although diverse, what community radio listeners had in common was an extreme passion and loyalty to their stations and programs.
To activate these supporters a campaign was devised to harness listeners’ passion to fuel political engagement with the issue of federal funding and create localised pressure on MPs in their home electorates, regardless of their political leaning.
A Commit to Community Radio brand, logo, website and key messages were developed as part of a multi-stage campaign incorporating a digital strategy and earned media opportunities with the launch and campaign actions coinciding with the 2013 budget and federal election.
The website and Facebook page became a hub for key campaign updates and information.
The results were explosive. Within hours of the campaign launch, thousands of supporters had signed on and tens of thousands of people signed up on the day of action alone.
Altogether some 43,000 supporters signed on in the lead up to last year’s federal budget, taking a range of actions which included sending tens of thousands of emails to then Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and other key politicians.
Stations and broadcasters lent their support on the airwaves and stars got on board including Goyte, H.G Nelson, John Safran, Paul Kelly and Andrew Denton.
In June 2013 we achieved our objective with the Government pledging the $6 million required for the 2013-2016 period to maintain all current community digital radio services.
In addition the campaign has converted the 43,000+ supporters and 5,700 Facebook followers into an ongoing and active presence.

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Community digital radio stations are breathing a sigh of relief today after the Federal Government announced it will rectify the funding shortfall that has been threatening the future of current services.


The Federal Budget has failed to maintain funding for metropolitan community digital radio services in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.


On Friday 14 June, Channel 10 news program The Project examined the Government's budgetary funding shortfall for community digital radio and the overall success of the 'Commit to Community Radio' campaign.