Reading this article will give you a glimpse to how a Swiss media company succeeded in combining radio and social media. The company created an innovative program where social networks became the source of information.
When the Web 2.0 era first started pointing its nose in our lives, we mostly heard of the incompatibility between traditional media and social media. Today, I am more than ever convinced that both of them can go through life hand in hand. Why so?
By now, if you’re not living like a hermit – but then again if you are reading me right now, you are definitely not ! – you’ll have probably already witnessed the booming use of Facebook comments and tweets on your favorite television programs, no? Well, this practice is already widespread in the USA and is starting to grow in France.
After the celebration of the wedding between television and Twitter, Radio Télévision Suisse (also called RTS) has been willing to provide us with a unique swiss union between the radio and social media. An innovative radio program came to light on February 2012: “En Ligne Directe“. The program is broadcasted on the channel “La Première” and is based on public participation via social media.
However, the radio being a non visual medium, how could such a combination of medias be possible? On the most simplest way. Yes, really! But one should have thought of that. Inspired by the program “Your Call” from the BBC Scotland radio, the idea of RTS is to integrate social media with a radio program thanks to a multimedia team and a facilitator who manages everything together.
Concretely, “En Ligne Directe” is a radio program that will deal, on a day to day basis, with hot issues (either local, national or international) in the form of a debate during which the audience participates. “But the debate is not a new concept “, you say? In fact, what is new in this program is that listeners and Internet users can take part in the debate, not only by telephone but also via social media.
Every evening, one of the program presenters publishes a question to the audience on Twitter, Facebook and on En Ligne Directe‘s mobile application. This question will be the topic discussed on air the next morning.
Internet users can then share their opinions and/or discuss the topic of the day on these social networks. The host of “En Ligne Directe”, Magali Philip, will also take an active part in discussing the topics on the social networks, and this until 10.30pm. She collects the opinions of Internet users posted on social networks.
In parallel, the public also has the possibility to record a voice message via the “En Ligne Directe” mobile application which allows them to send their opinion to the Radio program.
The show is broadcasted every day from 8am to 8.30 am. During those 30 minutes on air, the facilitator summarizes the discussions that took place during the previous evenings on social networks. She also cites comments made by users, and broadcasts few collection of voice messages sent from the mobile application. The program gives the opportunity to listeners that call the studio to have their voice and opinion heard on air. If you click on the following link, you will find a video report realized by RTS about “En Ligne Directe” explaining how the program works. (Video only available in French. Sorry for those who do not understand french).
The combination of all these ingredients is a successful recipe: it gathers 210,000 daily listeners. If you have always dreamt to speak up and give your opinion publicly as well as a fervent news follower, then this program is made for you ! It gives the public the opportunity to take part in the public debate and to contribute to the realization of information (i.e. the idea of citizen journalism).
That’s a good concept for the public, but not only! This program also has benefits for the RTS company. It allows the company to evolve along with social media while taking advantage from them. Indeed, for “En Ligne Directe” social media are not only a source of audience for the program’s web platforms, but also for all the media channels of the company (TV channels, radio channels, Website, etc.). More precisely, the debates taking place on “En Ligne Directe” program are the opportunity to invite Internet users and listeners to learn more about topics treated and in this way it encourages the public to use the information provided by RTS in its various channels.
So this is the way how RTS operates to take advantage of social media – marrying social media with classical media in order to catch the audience attention and staying along with Web 2.0 developments.
Being myself keen on following the latest and “hottest” news, I was excited about the whole concept of the show. However, as all of us out there, I am a terribly busy person and I do not have the time to participate in the debates on social medias. Therefor, no time to listen to the radio at 8am. Although, this is not a problem! The RTS has a solution for every situation! If you can also describe yourself as an extremely busy person, get yourself on Storify as soon as you have a few minutes off your crazy life, and read the discussions’ summary where you will find the best comments and tweets.
So now we know the theory about this innovative media concept, you are probably asking yourself: « In practice, is that complicated? ». The answer is « Not at all » ! The only requirements are: having a phone or Smartphone… but who doesn’t own one nowadays? And being motivated in giving your opinion on a topic, of course!
So, you, dear reader, will you dare in taking part to a debate with all those exciting possibilities to express yourself ?