Q&A: ZM's Jase and PJ on the evolution of the radio jock

  • Media
  • July 5, 2016
  • StopPress Team
Q&A: ZM's Jase and PJ on the evolution of the radio jock

Like all media channels, radio is going through a period of enormous flux. And to stay relevant in this changing environment, radio jocks have had to evolve. We chat to ZM's afternoon jocks Jase Hawkins and PJ Harding to find out how they're dealing with the challenges of doing their day jobs while simultaneously coming up with creative ideas that brands can use across channels.        

StopPress: How has your role changed when it comes to clients?

Jase and PJ: In the past, radio announcers would rock up and do what we were told to do. These days it’s far more integrated – we’re there from the conception of an idea right through to its execution and post analysis.

Do you often attend client meetings? How do they respond when you arrive?

Yes, being involved with an idea from the beginning often means we’re quite passionate about it. We often attend meetings to show that passion and put faces to names/voices for clients .

Who on the team is responsible for coming up with commercial ideas? Has this changed over time?

Jase and PJ: Everyone gets involved. Doesn’t matter if you’re a jock, producer or promo coordinator – the more brains we have the better!

Do you sometimes worry that listeners might be turned off by the thought of you guys working on promotional campaigns?

Jase and PJ: Not at all – in fact we think our involvement in the creation of promos means they’re a lot more relatable and attractive to listeners. Listeners aren’t dumb, they know what commercial radio involves. 

What are some of your favourite client campaigns? Do you have a few examples of editorial and commercial working together seamlessly?

Jase and PJ: Queenstown Winter Festival is one of our faves – having an entire week at a location that showcases a client’s product (in this case Queenstown) is awesome. We hosted our show that week from a hot tub in -10 degree temps. Our partnerships team were super keen to integrate content heavy story arcs into what they were trying to accomplish for Queenstown Winterfest.

Integrated campaigns require a lot more work than a simple radio slot, so is this adding pressure on the jocks?

Jase and PJ: Definitely – we certainly have to be far more across every aspect of media and how it relates to the campaign. We have to juggle multiple platforms at once. Facebook, Facebook Live, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, On Air, Periscope … list goes on

Have you guys ever upset a commercial partner by getting one of your ideas wrong? What happened?

Jase and PJ: Yes it’s happened. The biggest thing we have learnt is to have both parties be 100 percent honest with what they want out of it, from the beginning.

With the new approach to radio ratings (with the survey running over a much longer period), do you think the age of promotional stunts is over?

Jase and PJ: Nope. We’ve just ended up doing more of them, more often!

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