PRFM Radio: dynamism in mainstream media and public engagement
PRFM is a local radio in Bandung area owned by Pikiran Rakyat Group, a respected leading media group in West Java, Indonesia. Despite its long history, PRFM started to use the name and rebrand itself in 2009 using the tagline “Inspiring News and Music”. Within less than a decade, PRFM become one of the leading local radios in Bandung. This paper argues that one of the most important contributing factors to the success of PRFM is in its public engagement strategies and implementation. PRFM compensates the lack of crew, vast area of coverage i.e. Bandung city and Kabupaten Bandung, as well as high operational cost by intensifying its strengths. PRFM emphasizes proximity and hyper-locality aspects in its contents and encourages real conversation with its audience. The personal characteristics of radio are optimized and become best friends with the people of Bandung. It successfully recognizes and optimizes the role of their stakeholders, strategically using social media together with other channel of communications to accommodate their audience’s preferences, thus creating a space for the public to actively congregate. PRFM consciously assumes the role of mediator in times of conflict, advocator in times of hardships and provides assistance in public related issues. In so doing, PRFM is effectively building its brand image as a trustworthy media while at the same time re-strengthening the functions of many organizations both governmental and non-governmental entities in the public spheres.
Keywords: public engagement; public sphere; local radio; PRFM
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