Freedom Fone

At the radio station

Radio stations are in many ways, ideally positioned to benefit from and launch a successful Freedom Fone service:

  • Radio stations already have an audience
  • they are familiar with the challenges and opportunities of audio
  • they usually have in-house IT competencies to support the installation of Freedom Fone
  • they have a powerful channel for advertising their Freedom Fone service through on-air announcements/spots on the radio
  • Freedom Fone can leverage the impact of any radio programmes.

Imagine you have a radio station that is packed with a schedule of popular radio programmes hosted by presenters who each have a group of loyal listeners. Perhaps your station is looking for new ways to interact and engage with listeners because you lack a comprehensive system for two-way communications with listeners. Here follow some ways that Freedom Fone can be used at the radio station.

Gathering your listeners' voices

Including the voices of listeners in radio broadcasts adds a richness and depth to any radio programme but is especially powerful for community radio stations. Getting into the field to conduct direct interviews can be expensive and logistically difficult. The Leave-a-Message functionality of Freedom Fone enables your radio station to receive a variety of audio messages from your listeners. Here are a few of the possible applications:

  • Citizen Reporting: Citizens can become reporters by recording their news stories directly into the station's leave-a-message inbox;
  • Wedding and funeral announcements can be recorded into a community announcements leave-a-message inbox for replay on-air at a later time;
  • Call in questions can be recorded by callers and answered on-air by the show's presenter;
  • Games and competitions can be created on-air and listeners are invited to participate by leaving a message. Radio presenters can then re-broadcast the winning entries;
  • Multiple Leave-a-message inboxes allows each presenter of a programme to have their own service on the Freedom Fone. It's possible to have different phone numbers per service;
  • Audio auditions for new DJs can be conducted by asking applicants to call in and leave a message sharing why they think they're a good candidate for the job.
How would you use the Leave-a-message service at your radio station?

Gathering your listeners' opinions

Through the SMS poll functionality of Freedom Fone, audience members are able to participate in opinion polls on topics by sending an SMS from their (or someone else's) mobile phone. As a radio station, conducting frequent listener polls can be a powerful way to get your finger on the pulse of your listeners in a quick and measurable way. A listening audience is usually keen to participate when possible and polls can deepen their relationship with your radio station. A few possible applications of SMS polls at the radio station:

  • Accountability: Your radio station can ask your audience to report on the status of public services in their area including clinics, power outages and garbage collection;
  • Song of the day: Listeners can vote for their favorite song of the day;
  • Tomorrow's topics: Invite your listeners to vote on topics they would like to learn more about in upcoming broadcasts.
What ideas do you have for using SMS polls at your radio station? Lets talk!

You can also receive standard text messages using Freedom Fone's Incoming SMS function. Any message the doesn't qualify as an SMS poll 'vote' will automatically be received as an Incoming SMS. This means that you can receive free format queries, reports, tip-offs, feedback and other requests via ordinary SMS if you wish.

Giving your listeners audio-on-demand

By creating Voice Menus, content from the radio station's different radio programmes can be used to make précised versions of audio information available "off-air" to listeners over the phone. Information-on-demand allows your audience to choose when and from where they want to listen to audio you make available. A few possible ways to use Voice menus at the radio station include:

  • News summaries: Highlights from each day's news can be recorded live and then edited into short audio segments for listening on demand through a phone call.
  • Weather forecasts and market prices: Commonly accessed information which has been broadcast throughout the day, can be very useful for listeners to get on demand.
  • Advertising rates: Audience and community members can easily learn about your rates if the latest information is made available.

What information would you make available through Voice Menus? Lets talk!

To announce the service to your listeners, why not prepare several radio spots that explain the new features as well as the phone numbers to call. Stickers and postcards advertising the service and phone numbers can be distributed in communities and handed out at any radio events.

The Freedom Fone Service can be used to generate an extra income stream by having sponsors put their own jingles in the Voice menu and/or Leave-a-Message services. For example, callers could hear a short message "This competition brought to you by..." before they are prompted to record their message for the radio station. This sponsorship could be changed periodically.

 

Resources needed

Equipment

  • 1 OfficeRoute with 4 SIM cards
  • 1 dedicated server connected to the station's local area network, allowing the on-air studio to access callers' messages and SMS polls

Staff and Competencies

  • 1 audio technician to work with the station's presenters and help produce their content
  • Each presenter administrates their own Leave-a-message box to manage their competitions and to check for questions and comments from listeners

Advertising costs

  • N/A

Role of Freedom Fone

  • Gathering listeners' voices
  • Opinion polling
  • Generating extra income
  • PrĂ©cised information on demand