When You Think Local Radio, Think Community

posted by Bob Leighton

Some people have trouble figuring out where radio fits into a modern media market. But people who are involved with it know: local radio serves as a hub for communities to grow and blossom.

Read why radio is especially suited for this role, and how Leighton Broadcasting leads the pack of radio companies helping local communities thrive.

Radio's Biggest Strength

When You Think Local Radio, Think Community

Radio may seem like an oddball in the Information Age, because it's not universal. Sure, many broadcasters will offer online streaming of their live feed or archived shows. But in general radio is geographically bound: you listen to it in a broadcast area.

This may seem like a weakness, but it's actually a tremendous strength. Radio is hyper-local. It is always present in a certain area -- just turn it on and tune your dial. Each radio station is, ideally, an artifact of the particular geographic location it serves, with its own personality and feel that's a reflection of its local community. Nothing feels quite like your hometown's radio station.

Partnering With Communities

This isn't just sentimental. Radio's uniquely geographic nature, especially in our modern age, allows broadcasters, advertisers, event organizers, and others the chance to step into a station's story and build community from the ground up - literally.

Perhaps the most visible example of this is via advertising. Local businesses rely on radio spots because they know they can reach their local market that way, far more effectively than they might via other advertising media. This relationship of mutual support strengthens both small businesses and the radio station.

But a good radio station knows that it's involved in the ebb and flow of community life in ways that go beyond advertising. That's why Leighton Broadcasting has worked so hard to give back to the communities it serves. In St. Cloud, Grand Forks, Winona, and elsewhere, Leighton's stations find ways to get involved and make a name for themselves.

The Importance of Stewardship

Leighton Broadcasting and other companies know a local media company is part of the community. That's why Leighton has put so much time and attention toward making the community a better, brighter, more positive place to be, and focuses on leveraging its brand and media presence for the community's benefit.

For instance, Leighton Broadcasting's employees, on all levels, are strongly encouraged to give their time and talent back to the community, in volunteer efforts like coaching youth sports teams, serving on the boards of local non-profits, and more. This gives real benefit to the community, but it also helps employees keep their attention on the communities they serve.

Another key component of Leighton Broadcasting's outreach has been in partnering with local organizations to deliver important messages. For example, Leighton partners with local company Bernick's to promote the Bernick's Family Fitness Series, an affordable, family-friendly series of fitness events that encourage healthy lifestyles and build strong communities.

Radio is a hyper-local medium and is an expression of the personality of the region it broadcasts from, but broadcasting companies shouldn't stop at being the voice of the region. Be a community partner and give back, whether that's by getting involved in large local events or engaging in smaller-scale volunteer work.

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