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From race issues to social networking…. Media@SAfm with Ashraf Garda

Published: 9 March 2011

Last Sunday's Media@SAfm radio show, hosted by Ashraf Garda, was kicked with a discussion on how media report race issues. William Bird, Executive Director of Media Monitoring Africa, and Lucy Holborn, Research Manager of the South African Institute of Race Relations, were in studio chatting about the topic, including the racial debate made by Kuli Roberts.

From race issues to social networking…. Media@SAfm with Ashraf Garda
Bird says, “If our media don’t comprehensively cover and address issues of race and racism, then our country will spiral into violence. We have to talk about these things. Racism is alive and well; xenophobia is alive and well in South Africa. Media is the key mechanism for addressing these issues.” Holborn adds, “It’s not the matter of whether to report it or not, it’s very important to cover these issues. It’s more a matter of how the media reports race. They have a huge responsibility in the way they are reporting race."

Bronwyn Tippet, Marketing Manager at Tracker, and Peppie Marais from Joe Public Creative Agency were on next to discuss the Tracker advert that was run in October last year. When explaining the campaign, Tippet says, “We were looking for a way to entice people to understand that there is a greater need. Very often, if your car is stolen, there are either belongings in the car, there could be one of your loved ones in the car, and so it was about some of the real life situations that we find ourselves in.” Marais says, “Interestingly, people spend more money tinting the windows of their cars and putting ‘mags’ or upgrading their Hifi’s.” This comment was in response to how interpreted the brief of the advert and what was the aim with regards to audience interpretation.

Next up was newly-appointed head of SABC Radio News, Mike Siluma, to discuss SABC. With regard to what is working and what is not working on SABC radio and TV news, Siluma says: “It is important for us to reflect on South Africa as a whole and not carry on like South Africa consists of those three metropolitan areas and we need to change the issue of professionalism.”

Andrew Smythe, Head of Direct Response Radio at RadioHeads, talked about direct radio response. Smythe says, “RadioHeads is a radio specialist ad agency, we specialise in radio advertising. We speak to the actual execution of the radio campaign and as well as increasing the efficiencies of the campaign as well. We don't delve into television, we don't delve into outdoor although a couple of our clients have asked us to cross over into outdoor to back up radio campaigns and so on.”

Johan Meiring, from Blue Financial Services, talked about the reason behind the relaunch of the brand saying, “We had a look at the things that we wanted to change, we wanted to become more customer-centric and introduce a whole new set of values into the organization. Andre Lombard from Ogilvy said: “We started to reinvent and redesign it and I think we came out with something absolutely true to Johan's brief, that is customer centric, [and] that is friendly.”

Ending off the show was Kay Nash, CEO of Yellowood Future Architects, who spoke about her report on marketing trends. “The message has a huge impact on people's behavior and obviously that is the only reason we're interested in trends… Once you can see behavior changing, you've got to respond. It's the concept of social, beyond the social network, everything is now social. This should be used [by] everybody who's in a position either as a CEO, as a business leader, marketer, strategist, product managers,” says Nash.

Catch Media@SAfm every Sunday from 09:00 to 11:00 on SAfm 104-107FM.
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