Lobby harder for ad dollars: Tourism Minister Joe Hockey

Federal Tourism and Small Business Minister Joe Hockey has told the commercial radio industry to lobby harder to get a greater share of government advertising spend.

“The advertising agency experts didn’t recommend radio to me when we were doing the new tourism campaign… I know how powerful radio is, but they say it hasn’t got power or penetration… You need to do more from your end to encourage agencies and press secretaries to understand the power of radio.”

Hockey says he had to continually go back to the agency which was making the government’s multi-million dollar tourism ad campaign and ask them to include radio in the media buy and to think of ways to develop good creative.

“We were using Delta Goodrem, who should have translated well to radio, but there was huge resistence from the advertising agency… agencies don’t seem to make as much money out of radio ads,” Hockey told the conference.

Hockey suggested that proving how well radio works in smaller campaigns can pay off later. “It’s the smaller fish that often taste sweetest,” he said.

He gave the example of an earlier tourism campaign where the government had only $5 million to spend promoting domestic tourism after the Ansett collapse. When he used radio advertising to promote the campaign it was a huge success (as reported at the time on radioinfo).

“Commercial radio has lifted its game significantly in recent years, I compliment you on that. But you need to do more, lobbying does matter… you’ve got to put forward your case… Use your network owners and your high profile personalities to be most effective.”

The upcoming $45 million domestic tourism component of the new tourism campaign “is wide open and in play” according to Hockey, who urged radio to put forward strategies to get a share of that money.

Personal endorsements and familiarisation visits by high profile personalities is one strategy he recommends for radio: “Use your personalities more for us.”