Giles Squire presenting live on-air at a Metro Radio Outside Broadcast, 1974.

An Independent Local Radio (ILR) Programme Contractor, was, and still is a business and just like any other organisation grows through carefully targeted marketing and promotional campaigns that identify the brand with its customers, or in the case of commercial radio its listeners. One of the reasons that Metro Radio was, and still is so successful is due in no small way to its very effective marketing of what is an excellent brand.

What better publicity for Len Groat's Morning Show than this fantastic
car sticker! Len paid for these himself!
Even in its first very difficult six months following the launch of the new station in July, 1974 it embraced interaction with its listeners in a big way via the use of merchandising with car stickers, badges, car sun visors, hats, pens, t-shirts and of course superb on-air branding via the use of the PAMS Productions Inc. of Dallas North East Sound jingles package, sourced by Len Groat. Fantastic sounding jingles consume a lot of funds and there is a reason why companies use them, especially broadcasting companies, and it isn't just because they sound good, although that's important. It's to get the catchy station 'audio logo' firmly embedded in a listener's psyche. Keep humming the brand and you're more than likely going to become a loyal listener. And plenty of loyal listeners means a station popular with both the public and hence advertisers who will be willing to commit much more in 'ad spend' to get their own message across.

Building brand loyalty, and popularity! Len Groat, Number One Metro Radio DJ in 1975, as voted by readers of the magazine of Independent Local Radio, Radio Guide. The Top All-Country DJ was the legendary Kenny Everett.

Another method for enhancing a radio station's listener loyalty is to literally get out into its community and meet its listeners. And that is exactly what Metropolitan Broadcasting, even in its early days did. At all large events in the north east, Metro Radio was there and in a highly visible form too whether it was at the fantastic and sadly missed Tyneside Summer Exhibition that took place each July in Exhibition Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne with a huge Outside Broadcast (OB) marquee or smaller scale events in local communities and villages.

And when it wasn't having a presence at someone else's event it took the opportunity for more publicity and organised its own to create its own news that was often picked up by other media such as Tyne Tees Television or some of the north east's popular local newspapers.

Giles Squire with two of Metro Radio's promotions staff in the mid-1970s.
Presenters Giles Squire and Big Phil with the Metro Radio Roadshow at
Madisons, Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the mid-1970s.
To a point, any publicity is good publicity and even OB vehicles, presenters and advertising representatives logo-emblazoned cars and news reporters all contributed to establishing Metro Radio as a quality brand.

To BBC local radio stations such successful promotion and marketing is important, but the state broadcaster enjoys the benefits of guaranteed income from the television licence fee. To commercial radio stations such as Metro Radio however effective marketing isn't just an optional extra. If it's to turn in a profit and survive it is absolutely vital.

Now, please enjoy the following images of all forms of marketing over the decades by Metro Radio I'm sure that they will stir up some fantastic memories.


Metro Radio's programme schedule taken from Radio Guide: The magazine of Independent Local Radio, October 1977.

Metro Radio's programme schedule taken from Radio Guide: The magazine of Independent Local Radio, January 1977.

1977 double page spread from the Newcastle-based Journal newspaper about Metro Radio.
The Metro FM Roadshow at the Tall Ships event on the Quayside, Tyneside in 1993.

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