Audio Can Save Lives

By Idil Cakim, SVP, Research & Insights, Audacy

We are not a public health organization. But we do care a heck of a lot about the communities we serve. And we recognize the power of connection we have with our audiences, and with it – the opportunity to truly make a difference. America, Audio can save lives. Really. This was the jaw-dropping finding from a survey we did among vaccine hesitant people.

We live and breathe audio. When we started hearing questions from our audience, friends and family about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, we knew we could offer guidance. People were fearful. They had doubt. How does it exactly work? What will it do to my body? What are the long-term effects? We had a powerful solution to a critical problem, in the race against time.

Our study showed that audio influencers can play an important role in getting vaccine-hesitant people to listen… and there is a high potential these listeners will then take action. Trust plays a key role. Vaccine hesitant listeners trust audio more so than TV news shows, friends and family — and certainly social.


Here’s what vaccine hesitant listeners want to hear: Objective information delivered with a touch of empathy. They want the local/podcast hosts to interview medical experts and also share their own experience with COVID-19 vaccines. They want to know the good, the bad and the ugly. So, the conversations between hosts, experts and listeners need to address vaccine safety and side effects head-on. Such objective and bold reporting, delivered through authentic voices, would get nearly half (49%) of vaccine hesitant listeners to get their shots. Even more would talk to a medical professional (64%) or to their friends and family (51%).

Our Phoenix market stations have been doing just that. Our influencers across Top 40, Country and Classic Hits stations interviewed front-line nurses about the dangers of COVID-19, safe behaviors  and the vaccine.


They answered questions that were on the minds of so many. The KALV-FM team turned Jeana Shephard’s interview from the morning show into a PSA and shared it with the Arizona Broadcasters’ Association, cascading the messages further. Hear it from a pregnant, pediatric nurse who is sharing her knowledge and personal experience with the vaccine.


“It’s the personal perspective that is relatable. That’s what we wanted,” says Chris Hernandez, Brand Manager of KALV-FM and KOOL-FM. Indeed. As we continue the battle against COVID-19, our eyes are set on the horizon…where there is no fear or doubt.

Want to talk more about reaching your target audience?

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Study Source: S. Radoff Associates, Custom Survey of vaccine hesitant U.S. adults (n=363; P18+) conducted February 9-22, 2021.

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