FOR UNDER 24s: Create Content Without Boundaries

109934945_0b552b44bc_oSometimes you stumble on something that catches your imagination and fills in some of the blanks.

That happened listening to Millie Riley a broadcast assistant who was talking on BBC Radio 5’s Review of 2013.

She was talking about how under 24-year-olds consume their radio and how their radio is online, face-to-face, shared… and on the radio.

It reminded me that you can learn things from people outside public relations and I was listening thinking of how this affected me in my job as local government public relations.

Listening to Millie talk about her radio was like listening to someone talk about a foreign country. But that’s fine. I’m not in that generation born post 1982 that are known as Millenials.

Just think of it all as content without boundaries.

As Millie says:

“It’s just to do with great content. Wherever there is great content we will be. The main understanding is that it can be funny, it can be news, it can be documentaries. We can put lots of different hats on. There’s a misunderstanding that we want really funny stuff or just music. Actually, we can do all sorts of things.

“As clichéd as it may sound, wherever there is great content that’s where we’ll be.

“They’re listening to the radio and they don’t even realise they’re listening to the radio. They’ll be listening to clips on the BBC website or whatever. They’ll suddenly realise: ‘oh, that’s radio.’ Everything out there is just an amalgamation. It’s just stuff to be interested and enjoy. It might be radio. They may not even realise it.

“We do have lots of options. But if you create content that’s multi-platform and multi-media and Radio One are really good at this. They’ll create a video and then they’ll talk about it on air and people will watch it online and they just bring the two together and I think that’s the way to do it.

“The more their content becomes ubiquitous and the more they become a name on YouTube and that’s the main platform that they’re using the more people will become connected to Radio One as a brand. They’ve definitely upped their game at the beginning and end as that tells them that it’s Radio One. They’re getting better at that.”

You can hear Millie’s contribution on Soundcloud too here…

So, that leads to this kind of content. A Muse track with a homemade video and 60,000 views.

So, what does that piece of radio advice mean for my corner of communications?

It made me think of something Julie Waddicor wrote on comms2point0 about making friends with creative people from colleges as part of a campaign. That makes sense. There may be some rough edges but you’ll get a different perspective.

By thinking of something more creative you may open the door to something like Melbourne Metro system’s ‘Dumb Ways To Die’ which saw a 21 per cent dip in track incursions and 67 million views on YouTube.

So, it begs the question, what are you doing to get a message to under 24s? And others?

Are you really sure that press release of yours is making it?

Or should there be different talents in the team too?

Picture credit 


Join the Conversation


  1. Hey Dan.
    Top blog to start off the New Year.

    At Staffordshire we have been doing work with 11- 14 year olds to make them think about drinking & the impact it can have using Minecraft style ‘fail’ video content designed by young people for other young people. You can see it at I am planning to write a blog on it in the New Year. We are really pleased because it is designed in a way that resonates with young people & that for us is what all about. Tailoring content for the people you’re aiming it at. It meant taking a few risks but it is paying off. The campaign has been extended, they are being played in cinemas & young people are spreading the word about it themselves which is the top result we were after. Check it out if you haven’t seen it Dan. It would be great to get your feedback on it. Cheers Em.
    PS IEWM sponsored this campaign using their Best by WM ideas fund

    PPS Big up to Julie Waddicor. Great to see a talented colleague get a top mention.

  2. I think a lot of younger people struggle with the concept of a “radio”. Why have a separate device to listen to stuff on when you can do that on a smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop? And the radio will only play stuff that they programmers want to aim at you, whereas I can use a smart device to find what I am interested in.

    I have always been a gadget freak. But, in recent years I have found I have a lot fewer gadgets, because the ones I have now multi-task. I no longer need separate digital radios, digital TVs, video players, etc, because, between them, my laptop, iPad, and smartphone will do everything. And, actually, if I really needed to, I could probably get rid of at least one of those 3 devices and still be able to do most things I need to do.

    We have seen the internet gradually take over from all other channels of delivery. This is why is makes no sense for government to keep pushing the out-dated tech of DAB radio when internet radio has over-taken it, both in terms of sound quality and station choice. And, going back to my original point, radio is simply not flexible enough, when people can access to the internet to find any content they like, which can be a mixture of video, audio and text.

    1. I interpreted “radio” as audio content, consumable through various media, rather than referring to the device we call a radio.

      In fact, I thought this was really the gist of the whole piece, that 18 – 24 years olds think of “radio” as the content, not the device, and the BBC tailor their output according to the delivery medium.

  3. This a great piece and a timely reminder that we should never forget the power of radio.

    In fact, Shortwave and Amateur Radio enthusiasts were the probably the original tweeters, or should that be Snapchat, given the transient nature of the medium?

    There’s actually innovative stuff like WSPR, ( still happening with radio.

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