Two minutes with…Howard Kosky of markettiers: Howard talks the relevance of broadcasting for finance, the rise of virtual events, and how cash-strapped broadcasters are utilising regionally-pitched stories to extend the life of their content.
- Tell us about markettiers? How did you get into it?
We started broadcast specialist PR markettiers 26 years ago as we saw a need for it. At the time, radio in particular was an under‐used medium and was never a mainstay of a comms campaign. That’s all changed now, with broadcast, be it radio or TV or podcasts or streaming, a key part of how people communicate.
- What are the key considerations / top tips for companies considering a broadcast campaign?
For financial services firms, there was a real need for change post the Retail Distribution Review back at the end of 2012. Broadcast can reach strong indexed audiences and deliver a message with trust. Buyers of PFS are listeners and viewers, and there is a lot for financial services firms to work on to improve how they use broadcast.
The key for financial services firms to having a successful broadcast campaign is to move away from treating it as a “finance” slot – they need to speak to a real issue and help to tackle it, rather than use it to directly promote a product. They need to be brave in what they say. But once you have a strong message the tough part is making sure people see it. As we always say, content is king, but distribution is King Kong. Everyone thinks they can do a podcast themselves now, for example, but if you don’t know how to get it out to people then its impact if going to be very limited.
- How has the current situation changed working habits, either on a personal or industry level?
At an industry level, broadcasters are cash‐strapped. For many across the regions as part of their license agreement with Ofcom they need 20% regional output, so the ability to regionalize a story will help all. With disruption in programme production and less resource, a piece of research with regional splits, for example, is therefore a great way to enhance your coverage via broadcast.
In addition increased opportunity exists the acceptance of remote guests for broadcasters. There were fears among them before the lockdown that viewers/listeners would be turned off if guests were not in the studio, but COVID has changed all that as there’s been no negative impact on audience figures.
The other major change is events. The biggest thing happening now in broadcast is the rise of virtual events, for obvious reasons.
- Once lockdown is over, what do you think will change/what will stay the same?
I’ve personally never known the media to be so open about having guests on remotely but it’s cheaper, it’s easier to manage and audiences are happy, so it’s here to stay.
- What positives on a personal/industry level have you taken from the experience?
The trust of people is a big thing – I can’t state enough just how impressive it has been to see our team switch over to this new way of life. The professionalism they have shown has been amazing to see, and we wouldn’t have accelerated remote working if people hadn’t been able to do it so successfully. The old stigma of working from home is long gone.
- What does financial services get right in the UK? What is its biggest flaw?
Post the RDR there’s been a real need to humanise what financial services actually does. Companies have tried to address this with varying degrees of success but a lot if it still looks dated when it comes to broadcast campaigns. It needs to tackle a direct issue, and promote narrative, not just push product.
- If you could give a younger version of yourself one piece of financial advice, what would it be?
Don’t take credit until you can afford it.
- What three things would you do if you were head of the FCA or Prime Minister for the day?
Money Management should be mandatory or the entry level for taking credit should be far tougher to pass. This cheap access to credit is a real problem and if I was the regulator, I would crack down on it.
- What is the one column or website that you read every day?
The Times on the iPad.
- What would you do if you received a windfall of £10,000?
Say thank you! …and put it away somewhere safe.