Since & #BANNER1 & # it is a local medium, radio is increasingly being used as a mode for voicing the concerns of the masses. Almost all radio stations have been involved in one social cause or another. Taking the idea of social responsibility a step forward is Red FM, which has a dedicated show, Morning No. 1, advancing its theme, 'Bajaao for a Cause'.
The show is celebrating its third anniversary. Anuj Singh, national marketing head and station head, Mumbai, Red FM, spoke to afaqs! about how the show has helped create awareness and raise funds for the issues adopted. Explaining the idea behind airing a theme based show, Singh says, "Morning No. 1 was launched three years back as a show that would wake listeners and get them ready for the day ahead. But it was last year that we initiated Red FM 'Bajaao for a Cause', marking the second anniversary of the show with RJ Malishka. The idea was to club all our social initiatives under a single umbrella, concentrating and dedicating all the efforts in fulfilling the station's social responsibilities."
Last year, the show supported Committed Communities Development Trust (CCDT), an organisation that works with HIV affected children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The station succeeded in raising funds for this cause. This year, the show has decided to champion the cause of an NGO, Make a Wish Foundation, which provides aid and support to children suffering from life threatening diseases.
"Red FM has sustained itself on a very strong brand proposition of being the 'station for expression' of the common man. Our attitude of 'Bajaate Raho' has evolved over a period. The philosophy is to keep playing and raising issues that affect people. The 'Bajaate Raho' attitude is ingrained in all the programming, marketing and communication efforts of the station. Our jocks personify this attitude on air."
Over the last year, Red FM has garnered some loyal listeners through Morning No. 1. Besides that, other campaigns such as 'Machhar Ab Tu Darr!', a drive to eradicate mosquitoes, and an HIV/AIDS awareness drive for truck drivers have received support from listeners. Issues raised on air are aggressively supported through contests and on-ground activities to engage people.
"We raised approximately Rs 14,00,000 for CCDT through pledges from Mumbaikars, which were sent on the short code and phone lines," says Singh. The short code was promoted through on-air mentions, hoardings, print ads, flyers and pledge boxes at strategic locations across the city.
According to Singh, aid in kind and cash comes from various sources. For example, 62 computers were pledged by Mumbaikars on the first day itself, after the announcement of supporting Make a Wish Foundation. Red FM employees donated a day's salary to the NGO. Celebrities such as Sushmita Sen and Vidya Balan have come forward as well, with Sen pledging Rs 1 lakh towards the cause. Corporate houses too have pitched in with donations.