Radio gets an ombudsman, courtesy My FM

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | December 16, 2009
Giraj Sharma, the ombudsman for My FM, hails from brand advisory firm BehindTheMoon Consultants

My FM has appointed an ombudsman to help reinforce its relationship with listeners and advertisers. It has got on board Giraj Sharma, founder, BehindTheMoon Consultants, to act as an ombudsman for the radio station.

An ombudsman is a person who acts as a trusted intermediary between an organisation and the internal or external constituency representing the broad scope of constituent interests. In print and TV industry, the concept is an old one, with newspapers such as The Hindu having ombudsmen to address and clarify the doubts raised by readers.

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For a nascent medium such as radio, the move is a first of its kind. Speaking to afaqs! on the need and relevance of having an ombudsman for the radio station, Harrish M Bhatia, chief operating officer, My FM Synergy Media Entertainment, says, "FM is a young industry and as is the case with any industry, radio, too, has pressure to perform well by getting more clients on board. Secondly, at times, an unintentional stray comment or reference on the airwaves results in chaos. Both advertisers and listeners would feel more comfortable in approaching a neutral figure when it comes to communicating the difference of opinion, if any, with the radio station."

The move is aimed to increase credibility, satisfaction and faith among listeners, as well as customers of My FM. The presence of an ombudsman is meant to make the medium more listener-friendly. The services of the ombudsman will be available to both listeners and corporate and retail clients. The idea is to find adequate solutions for problems faced by brands while advertising on radio.

Explaining the role of Sharma for My FM, Bhatia shares, "He will act as a visible friendly entity, easy to approach for any suggestion or for addressing any grievances on the part of the listeners and advertisers. At the same time, the consultant will indulge in independent research for the brand; come out with better means and ways of utilising the medium; provide suggestions for client retention and build long term relationships with the audience and the brands associated with My FM."

Sharma acting as an ombudsman for MY FM is a brand advisor and consultant such as Mother Dairy's Nutrifit, Air Hostess Academy, L&T and McGraw Hill Education. To begin with, he can be reached through emails at

My FM plans to introduce and familiarise the concept of an ombudsman through extensive on-air promotions on its stations. It will also employ advertisements and direct mailers targeted at its dedicated listeners and clients to communicate that the radio station now has a facilitator to address their reservations related to the medium and the brand.

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