Changes at Bauer Media… simple as 1,2,3

You may have noticed something different when listening to your local Bauer station. The media group have recently gone through a complete multi platform rebrand throughout their portfolio of 50 radio stations across the country.

All media platforms are constantly changing and radio is certainly no stranger to this ever-evolving market and audience. The story of media has been one of constant adaption and growth, from the first infant stations to todays’ strong networks.

Radio is no longer just in the home or in the car. Listeners are far more engaged now, listening across phones, computers, tablets, TV’s, the list goes on and on. Digital offerings are growing hugely across radio too. 22% of adults say they listen to radio via a mobile phone or tablet at least once a month. That’s up 38% year on year! Bauer Media for one are certainly investing heavily in this market as part of their ongoing strategic plans. Did you know that they own ten of the top 16 digital stations in the UK?

What we are getting at is that visual identity, the look, the feel and the way people interact is more important now than it has ever been for local radio stations. So rather than many different logos, different colours and out dated visuals, Bauer have developed a clean, clear and versatile, brand unification. One blue print and logo across all platforms mirrors their brand and identity in the local market place.



Their creative approach has been based on connecting with the listener under the heading – “CLOSER TO YOU”. Communicating with the audience however the audience chooses to receive their communications.

So what’s particularly new now?

Bauer have expanded their digital offering, transformed Magic stations into a national radio brand and introduced new younger-focused stations to their regional portfolio.

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 15.15.03And what does this mean for listeners and advertisers?

Bauer Media’s Place network of 16 regional stations, including Viking FM in Hull. Hallam FM in Sheffield and Key 103 in Manchester, have maintained their local positioning and brands but you may now notice the shiny new logo and design bringing their “Your music, your life” message to the fore. These stations target a 25-44 year old audience and reflect the lives of listeners, truly connecting with the daily and local broadcasting.

The second station in their local markets (which many will have known as Magic) are now rebranded as the sister station to the core brand. For example you now have Viking 2, Hallam 2 and Key 2. These are all playing “The Hits” to an older 45 to 64 year-old audiences.

The biggest change, however, comes with the launch of the third digital stations (Viking 3, Hallam 3 and Key 3) targeting a younger audience. These stations are networked, with local branding and some local content to feel regional.

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 11.09.28

If you would like to discuss radio advertising or any other media channels for your business, or would like some advice on how to grow your brand through advertising, have a chat with our team today. Be it television, print, outdoor, digital, radio and other digital platforms, we create unbiased campaigns to deliver tangible results.

Here’s our full rundown to what has just changed:


96.9 Viking FM = Viking FM
Magic 1161 = Viking 2
The Hits Radio = Viking 3

96.3 Radio Aire = Radio Aire
Magic 828 = Radio Aire 2
The Hits Radio = Radio Aire 3

Radio City 96.7 = Radio City
Magic 1548 = Radio City 2
The Hits Radio = Radio City 3
CityTalk 105.9 stays the same

Key 103 = Key 103
Magic 1152 = Key 2
The Hits Radio = Key 3

Magic 1170 = TFM 2
The Hits Radio = TFM 3

Metro Radio = Metro Radio
Magic 1152 = Metro Radio 2
The Hits Radio = Metro Radio 3

97.4 Rock FM = Rock FM
Magic 999 = Rock FM 2
The Hits Radio = Rock FM 3

Hallam FM = Hallam FM
Magic AM = Hallam 2
The Hits Radio = Hallam 3

Clyde 1 = Clyde 1
Clyde 2 = Clyde 2
The Hits Radio = Clyde 3

Forth One = Forth One
Forth 2 = Forth 2
The Hits Radio = Forth 3

Tay FM = Tay FM
Tay AM = Tay 2
The Hits Radio = Tay 3

NorthSound 1 = Northsound 1
NorthSound 2 = Northsound 2

MFR 2 = MFR 2
The Hits Radio = MFR 3

96.7 West FM = West FM
West Sound = Westsound

Radio Borders stays the same

West Sound FM stays the same (already part of ‘Greatest Hits’ network)


Superbowl Commercials 2015 – Estie’s Top Three

While the other half was obsessed with the game Super Bowl XLIX is all about the commercials for me…

Priced $4.5 million for a 30-second spot this Superbowl Sunday, It would appear that brands also love this prized advert break.

As always you get the great USA brands pulling out the big guns such as Budweiser and Microsoft… but sadly they didn’t make the cut in my Top 3 list.

Dodge were always going to come into their own this centenarian year… and that they did year with it being. Our elders have seen things we could only imagine, gained wisdom we are yet to discover… so it is always important to respect them and listen to knowledge passed on.

For their Super Bowl XLIX commercial, Dodge decided to recruit some pretty awesome centenarians to drop some wisdom on all of our collective heads. Heed the advice of the elderly when they tell you to never “bitch” and to “live fast!”

I liked where Fiat 500 were going with the lowbrow humour… they came out with a bit of a joke with an elderly old couple. Titled ‘The FIAT Blue Pill’ my mind began to wander just as did the viagra-type pill when it fell in the gas tank of a Fiat and it grew bigger. That’s the joke and I loved it

Dove really are great at baring all, to capture passion and emotion… and once again they have done it. This advert could turn even the most heartless human into jelly.

The clips of dads sharing moments with their kids, it is just amazing, you will be watching it over and over again.


Some companies Tweet, Some Pin and Some Tag… but these are doing it exceptionally

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 13.16.01Social media is a world of hashtags, followers and pinning… an incredible figure of 73% of all Internet users are active on social media. However you would be wrong in thinking that it is only the youngsters playing online… 60% of 50+ age bracket are busying engaging online like the rest of us.

So how do you catch their attention, communicate with them and most importantly build a connection with them… EASY… get to know them.

Social Media marketers say they know who their customers are, but most have never have tried to find out what is important to them.

76% of marketers say they know what their customer’s want, but only 34% have actually asked them.

The biggest mistake is to think you know your followers and feed them irrelevant content… don’t treat them like idiots… they are most likely to know your brand and watch it closer than you do.

When you hand your social media over to someone else, make sure they know your company, your values and your vision as well as you do.

Here is a list of some of my favourite players on social media…

  1. Innocent Smoothies – Easily the funniest brand on twitter… they always create relevant, yet funny content which envokes engagement. With great campaigns like Big Knit and brilliant banter… you can’t help but fall in love with every tweet or post… i dare you to resist.
  2. Visit Britain – I love this brand because they know what people want and they give it… they use incredible visuals to inspire and communicate on an international level.
  3. Movember – This brand had to be here because it is a great charity and I am a lover of everything facial hair. They have created an engaging social community across multiple platforms, and then use the user generated content… BRILLIANT! It is something that everyone can get involved in personal or business with #mobro and #mosister
  4. Disney – Who couldn’t love Disney to be fair? They set the standards on Facebook with over 49 million. They share images; quizzes, quotes and everything that makes you feel like a 5-year-old child again. Don’t blame me if you get addicted and start singing “A whole new world”.
  5. Fosters Beer – Where else would you turn for that much needed man advice. They are consistent with the brand, the partnerships they have and the message… it is always a #GoodCall. You need to be 18 to view the website… so don’t be cheating!
  6. Lad Bible – If you haven’t heard of this site then where have you been hiding? It is completely chauvinistic and I love it… they don’t take themselves too seriously and they know what people want. Once again it is a great brand that use user generated content… why not enter your own Lad story #sociallad

Above all of this it is important to be clear and consistent across multiple channels with your followers… let them get involved and feel part of something.

Networking and Dating… how the two go hand in hand



I was at an event the other week and I got chatting to a very lovely David Israel about how people just want to shove a card in your face at networking events rather than talk and build a strong, sustainable relationship… somehow and don’t ask me how… the conversation got onto how networking is like dating.

Now I am no expert at dating (which may be why I am single), but I could see the connection between the two… you are willing to trust someone and in turn asking someone to accept you, before you give it all up and begin on a whole new level of trust and commitment.

Lets break this down into a simple context… Businesses who go straight for the nightcap won’t sustain it… they will soon be back on the market looking for the next conquest. However for those lucky few who are now “going steady” it gives you butterflies and a level of security.

According to there are five stages of dating… so lets break these down…

Stage 1: First Meeting/Initial Attraction

In the first stage, you’ve spotted them across the room, you’ve exchanged glances and we have found ourselves “attracted” to a potential partner. This is our initial attraction, we can only hope that the feeling is mutual, that the timing is right, and that we will have an opportunity to explore the possibilities… and you then make your approach. Before either person has said a word your brain has picked up information from clothing, hair, jewellery and they are deciding whether to fight or flight… if they are still there then well done!!!

Stage 2: The First Date/Uncertainty

In stage two, the attraction and uncertainty are there… bubbling away in your tummy… is this right? Is this partner right for me, for my business? According to professional daters this feeling is completely normal and it doesn’t mean that this person is wrong for you. It just means that there is more to know… so get to know them… have a coffee, have a chat, understand where they have come for and their goals for the future… do these tie in with yours at all?

Stage 3: Its Official/Exclusivity

In stage three, they have impressed you, it was so much fun and now you have made the mutual decision to be in a committed and go exclusive. You can now truly begin to create a mutually loving and respectful relationship… it is all fun from here… new experiences and new projects. Take note: Now that you have them don’t take them for granted and let your effort slip.

Stage 4: The nitty gritty/Intimacy

In stage four, we begin to experience a whole new level of people. We are starting to see the less flattering sides; we now know how they cope under pressure, after a few beers and the real individuals. Everyone is feeling a little more relaxed maybe enough to let down the guard. It is now that you begin to truly understand how the other half works in order to create a real solid partnership, or maybe just realise that this is as far as this is going to go… its all go or no go from here.

Stage 5: Separation/Engagement

Stage five is when it comes down to the nail. Time to walk away or to celebrate your commitment… pretty blunt difference hey! So lets tackle the two… first happiness; this is the right person and the right time. You have accepted their faults and you begin to plan your future together, maybe you will plan a party or just send out a press release like normal people. Or on the other hand you walk away… hold your head up high and move on. It is very important in this time to reflect on what went wrong, how next time will be different… but DON’T switch to attack!

At Forward and Thinking we love getting to know our clients and love them getting to know our team. We work in a very open transparent way and we are great family of passionate and experienced professionals who have a great sense of fun and passion for what we do.

How are you dealing with the angry tweeters?

People will always be disappointed and vent frustration in different ways… it just means that now it can be public and even go viral, making sure that everyone knows just how they feel.

This can be extremely damaging for any company, and it is important to have procedures in place on how to manage these disruptions. Customer service on social media is now as important as face to face.

We have all heard of some pretty poor examples when it comes to dealing with complaints for example when BA lost Hassan Syed luggage and nobody responded to his complaint, he paid for this Promoted Tweet, which was seen by more than 76,000 users.


A study shows that 65% of consumers who use social media to “talk” to companies, and go there with problems and questions.

People just want to know that they have been heard, they want a response and sadly we are no longer living in a 9-5 world… like it or not if you want to be on social media you need to be available at all hours.

Another really important things is to have a socially clued up team. Make sure that they know the answers or that there is someone on call who can answer questions whether it is technical or admin etc.

Here are eight tips on how complaints can be turned on their head and become something one day you will laugh about.

  1. Always respond – You should never ignore any comment or message, complaint or not always respond and engage.
  2. Take it offline – Ask for a way to contact them… I would always recommend picking up the phone if possible.
  3. Be patient – Listen to what they have to say and don’t be on the defensive
  4. Be understanding – Try and put yourself in the customers shoes.
  5. Be honest – If it is a mistake at your end, put your hands up and be honest about how it happened.
  6. Offer a solution – Always have a way to rectify it, sometimes just an apology is enough but sometimes you may need to do more… always have a response to the problem.
  7. You can ask the individual to remove bad posts or comment regarding the solution of the issue – You are within every right once the issue is rectified to ask them to remove posts or comments.
  8. Know when to give up – Your staff should not be subjected to threats or verbal abuse, if a customer is not


Hey, Its ok…

In the world we live in people will also want to say their bit and give you some well meaning advice… but don’t be alarmed if you are still learning the etiquette of business dinners or the dreaded hand shake…

You are you and that is the most important thing, people buy people so why not try something really scary and try being yourself in business. Everyone is unique, with their own thumb print, culture, and family… The moment you realise this is what makes you exceptional is the moment you will realise that it’s actually ok to be different…

Hey, Its ok…

  • To seek support and ask for help
  • To make mistakes… you are only human
  • To take calculated risk
  • To make up your own acceptance speech for the one day that you WILL win that business award
  • To have a sneaky peek at your emails on holiday, Or not… you decide
  • To disagree with something or someone… your morals and values will carry you far, know who you are and what you stand for
  • To think about what your fancy for lunch… straight after breakfast
  • To not know the social media lingo, what does #tbt even mean??
  • To practice what you will say in the big presentation, out loud to yourself, in the sandwich queue
  • To let your clients find out about you – shocking that you are real people
  • To have your fantasy football league as your home page… boys will be boys
  • To have a pair of heels stashed under your desk just incase of an emergency meeting (i know you are nodding)

But it is certainly not ok…

  • To think you know everything and make that thought known
  • Addressing those in authority inappropriately… Respect is earned
  • Always be negative… it gets people down and people will get bored pretty quickly
  • Announce everything on social media… nobody really wants to know about your delicious bagel or annoying driver in front.

Modern marketer – Scientist or Artist

Data is rapidly changing the face of marketing as it once was. Companies are embracing the change and accepting that good data makes good marketing. Using this data allows businesses to enhance the effectiveness of marketing campaigns so they can target who you are, what you are like and how you engage. 

Data image

There are endless sources readily available to get a little bit of useful information on individuals including Twitter, Facebook, Census, Google even mobile phones data… We are living in a fully immersed and interactive society. Lets not also forget the data that companies source straight from you… many big brands are using their own information to find out about you. Tesco, Compare the market, Amazon and Love Film are fine examples. They are all smart cookies who know everything about you from how often you fill you car up, how many cars in your family, what films or books you like what products you buy and at what intervals.

Jonny Ross tells us in his blog  “The BIG issue of Big Data” that companies aren’t short on data. With the average large business storing more than 200 terabytes they have more than enough data to tell them who is buying their product, as well as how, when and where the buying happens.”

Yes, data marketing is impressive and it allows companies to deliver marketing messages to specific target markets as well as refining the messages in effort to change the behaviour of each market and it can be cost effective to successfully reach each member of that market.

However can software or data capture emotion or a brand? Can it captivate and inspire your customers… will it stop them in their tracks? Marketer Geoff Ramm talks about OMG moments – Observational Marketing Greats – those moments where you come across something so amazing, so outlandish that you have to tell the world… you can only get that from truly creative thinking.

Creative image

Charles F. Adams, working with the Bauer and Greyser data in 1965, emphasized that of the 76 advertisements a day of which a person might be aware, only 12 made any kind of impression on him, and three of those impressions were negative.

In a world where individuals are exposed to over 3000 adverts a day amongst a mass of promotions and businesses, businesses have to go even further to be noticed. Everyone wants to be amazed and ‘wowed’, marketing teams are having to be even more creative and outgoing just to stand out in the daily wave of advertising.

A truly impressive and passionate marketer will be neither a scientist juggling numbers nor an artist with incredible vitality… they combine both, to create powerfully inspiring and yet audience targeted campaigns.

Combined image

Google has this down – they get your information but they also hold your creativity on a daily basis with their home page graphics. Facebook too allows businesses to interact with a chosen profile. However it is for the audience to decide what stands out and how they engage.

Taking all of this onboard, data and creativity cannot stand alone where marketing is concerned. Yes creativity is there to stop people in their tracks but the data positions where those tracks are and how they got there. Without one you cannot wholeheartly embrace the other and you cannot fully engage your audience.

Scientist or artist – here at Forward and Thinking we combine the two to make your advertising truly memorable.

Employee Engagement – The power of a switched on and engaged team.

I was recently at an event hosted by H&H, an award-winning communications agency which was focusing on Employee Engagement…

I would have thought that creating a fulfilling environment where individuals are respected for their talents and skills was the norm for businesses… So you will understand why I was shocked when the facts and figures proved different…

First and foremost what is Employee Engagement…  David Macleod describes it as “How we create the conditions in which employees offer more of their capability and potential.”

You would be wrong in thinking that it is all around employee happiness and satisfaction… it is creating an emotional commitment to the employee, a mutual level of respect between both employees and managers.

  • 75% of individuals dislike work
  • 93% don’t feel like part of an organisation
  • 66% have no confidence in the management
  • 60% feel like an asset to the business rather than a person

A huge, 20million workers are not achieving their full potential or realising what they are capable of.

Should I go on??

You may be thinking that a pay increase will keep staff happy but no, money is not the answer, 78% stated that they just want recognition, a thank you or praise to keep them motivated.

When staff are not motivated or not using their key skills that is when issues arise… if you had a faulty printer you would get it fixed? So why ignore unhappy employees?

The result of creating a better environment are huge, companies with engaged employees have five times higher share returns – how does this work?? Simples…

Employee Engagement Image

Fig 1.

  1. Engaged Employees oose positive attitude and they cannot help but have pride in the company.
  2. This means that they want to go above and beyond in the role, fewer work place accidents, less sick days and increased staff retention
  3. In turn this creates great service which produces high customer satisfaction 
  4. Increased sales,  Increased Profit and share returns

So how can you face the challenge of employee engagement?

  •  Recognise People – Look at the talent and match these with objectives
  • Communicate Clearly and Positively – Inspire enthusiasm
  • Bloody Care – Create trust and respect
  • Be Yourself and have Integrity – Stay true to who you are, after all you are awesome
  • Shut up and Listen – Encourage open dialogue
  • Be Emotional – Understand emotions, they are part of a person and cannot be left at home
  • Develop yourself and others – Make the time

Let me leave you with a powerful statement from H&H “An organisation does not have a vision, a culture, goals or strategies. It cannot communicate, compete or grow… it’s the people who do that.”

No wonder that 94% of the world’s most admired companies believe that their efforts to engage their employees have created a competitive advantage (Hay).

Don’t be a Twit on Twitter

Twitter is increasingly important to any business, since the inception back in March 2006 there have been 300 billion tweets sent, with over 241 million monthly active users.

It has created a forum for 24-7 communicating, this also means 24-7 monitoring from high profile businesses otherwise it can go horribly wrong… for example do you remember in January when Lloyds TSB went down… customers were trying to access money to no avail. So the first thing they did was go on twitter, it was going crazy and you know what they did… nothing… All because nobody was covering social media between 8pm and 8am….HUHHH????

Here is another example of where business have failed at social media and a customer actually took it a step further to get their attention… It may seem slightly extreme but i bet it caught the right attention. Mr Syed used Twitter’s advertising services and paid to promote a tweet ensuring that everyone could see what he had to say.

However there are some incredible examples… The most recent one that caught my attention was when comedian Chris Ramsey created #pizzaonatrain… this was an opportunity that was spotted by Dominos Pizza and they ran with it. This story was covered by local and national media, it was trending worldwide… right there that is spotting a moment and taking it with both hands.

Again here is another great example of making social media work for you this twitter campaign added real imagination and interaction. It got many excited from children to adults… Baby Spiderman took over the Evian water Twitter account in the second phase of the Amazing Baby & Me 2 campaign led by a video you can’t help but love. Followers were invited to share their dilemmas using the hashtag #AmazingBabyRescueMe, and Evian responded with creative and funny solutions to these problems.

What I wanted to get across here is that your audience never stops and never stops wanting more, they are constantly tweeting a feeding their followers with over 350,000 tweets sent per minute…  your social media strategy should be creative… grab attention and never switch off.

So now we have looked at how some businesses have used it well… how are you going to involve social media in your organisation? Everyday you will have a chance to communicate, share, discover and create with your customers and other businesses…

Here are a few more tips that may help you… I like to call them good practices more than rules, so go get tweeting…

  1. RT and Favourite people
  2. Don’t believe articles which tell you when you should and shouldn’t post, you know your audience better than an infographic
  3. Find people who are asking questions… and if you can answer them, participate in industry chit chat
  4. If your twitter account is personal then feel free to avoid tweets that you don’t like or wish to respond to – But in the words of Jennifer Holloway remember your personal brand
  5. However if you are on a professional account you MUST answer all questions and messages… don’t ignore your customers good or bad
  6. Change the default profile picture… nobody wants to communicate with an egg, you may be considered spam or an infrequent user… and above all people want to see who keeps RT’ing them
  7. Ever taken a look at your profile… would you want to follow them?
  8. If you aren’t going to have a good chit chat with followers then atleast give them great content
  9. Don’t drink and tweet… switch off at the party
  10. Need new content… don’t know what to share… have you looked at your competitors? They sometimes have fab ideas
  11. Champion your success… link to your latest press release, tweet it to others… tell everyone about it
  12. Twitter is not a selling tool… it is a relationship tool so be social not promotional… so why not ask the next person who tweets you about themselves… and then maybe even RT
  13. You cannot keep everyone happy even on twitter… so just don’t try… be yourself and be amazing
  14. Mention your @Estie_dt whenever possible… sorry i meant your twitter name
  15. #Do #not #overuse #hashtag, check for popular #Hashtags before tweeting
  16. Carefully check your facts and quotes before you post them… there is always someone who will make it known and they don’t usually do it quietly
  17. Respect other peoples copyright… if you are going to use it then at least acknowledge them
  18. This is a big big world that we live in… so share your content repeatedly to hit different time zones
  19. Everything is better when you see it… by 64% actually so share pictures and videos
  20. Make sure twitter apps don’t post without your permission… nobody likes spam

So there we have it… it doesn’t take a genius to set up a twitter account so get rocking and do it… don’t forget to follow me @Estie_dt

A thank you to Gary Butterfield who shared his favourite twitter campaign. It really highlights the fun you can have with twitter and a little bit of banter can lead to great things… This really is the best Twitter conversation you will ever read.

And also to Debbie Dakeyne who highlighted other social media forums that can be used to have a profound effect to any campaign. See how Unicef New Zealand used Instagram to feed millions of children suffering from severe malnutrition #FoodPhotosSaveLives