Radio City powers up its activation cell

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | October 24, 2008
Sheetal Mehra has been appointed national sales head of the activation cell, Radio City Connect, with the aim of strengthening operations

If there & #BANNER1 & # is someone for whom the economic slowdown has proved to be a blessing in disguise, it is the people in activation. Many companies going through a slump are focusing on cost-cutting measures. But there's one company that is working on strengthening its operations and increasing its workforce.

Radio City 91.1 FM has roped in Sheetal Mehra to head the national sales for its activation cell, Radio City Connect. Mehra will report directly to Ashit Kukian, executive vice-president and national head, sales, Radio City.

The activation cell of the FM station has been working on increasing its staff, increasing the number to a solid 35, since its launch one and a half years ago.

However, the recent slowdown has presented the activation side of the advertising space a huge boost. Slowdown or no slowdown, it is an established fact that advertising is more a necessity for today's brands than a matter of choice. However, the medium is the choice and as per Kukian, it is below-the-line.

He points out that BTL is fast becoming a favoured advertising medium, given its ability to deliver innovative advertising solutions at a comparatively low cost. Says Kukian in conversation with afaqs!, "Today, most of our clients are looking for maximum returns from their spend. Below-the-line gives them localised focus and a chance to target revenue driven markets. Add to it the far reach of radio stations, and you have the perfect brand communication."

Sheetal Mehra

Ashit Kukian
On the decision to appoint Mehra, Kukian says, "This is in keeping with our decision to strengthen our activation department. Activation gets us almost 15-20 per cent of our revenue. We are hopeful that with Mehra's efforts and with the increase in our services bouquet, we are working to increase that share to 35 per cent by next year."

Some might consider this a long target, but Radio City Connect is serious about it. The activation cell is working hard to update its service portfolio. Unlike many other radio activation cells, it provides integrated services to its clients - from sharing the brand's brief to developing the concept, executing the campaign and, in some cases, even providing the post-activity effectiveness measurement.

Kukian remarks, "Turning the campaigns into club-work is a mutually beneficial exercise. It amplifies the campaign and gives our clients a far better reach than a mere, say, mall activity would provide. Clubbing the two media provide the campaign the much-needed consistency of communication both on-ground and on-air. It's a great traffic amplifier."

When asked if the station's biggest asset, their RJs, are also used to act as crowd pullers, Kukian says, "Most of our clients are aware of the potency of using RJs in on-ground activities. Therefore, depending on their needs and our judgement, we do bring out our RJs on ground."

Mehra has more than 14 years' work experience in sales media spanning print, radio and television. A postgraduate in psychology and a specialist in marketing management from Mumbai University, she has worked on many brands, including Mid-Day, Indian Express, Zee TV and STAR India.

As for Radio City Connect, it has clients such as Nokia, Vodafone, Marico, Ford India, Kotak Mahindra and Idea Cellular.