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6 June 2024

The Joy of Connection at IAB Engage 2024

After a restless decade of disillusionment and overwhelming news, it was amazing to be part of an event which was focused solely on joy. On Tuesday 4th June, IAB Engage brought ‘The Joy of Digital’ to an audience of advertisers and marketers, with a brief for each speaker to build their talks around ‘The Joy of _____’.

Bauer Media‘s session, titled ‘The Joy of Connection’, was fronted by Bauer Media Advertising’s Managing Director Simon Kilby and Chief Creative Officer for podcasts Lucie Cave, joined by KISS Breakfast’s Jordan and Perri.

The session opened with Simon and Lucie summing up the feel of the nation, with one of the staggering statistics being that two thirds of the nation are currently feeling disillusioned. Lucie went on to state that ‘the media industry has a duty of care for its consumers’, despite this not being easy in a digital first world.

The duo then revealed that Bauer conducted some research for Engage, to find out what people believe makes for good connection in media.

A quality that consistently shone through with respondents was the need for human connection71% said it was important, with 81% wanting to avoid artificial presenters.

Engaging with authenticity is also essential, with 70% placing importance on comfort and familiarity, whilst 80% turn off disingenuous content.

Personality was another key element of what we found makes ‘good’ connection. 79% are put off by soulless content and presenters, contrasted with 83% who seek out engaging humour and personality.

And a final key element is trust74% say it’s important in their content with 86% avoiding untrustworthy media.

Lucie summarised the findings, stating “audiences look for four key characteristics in their media – four simple things that as an industry we can do, to build good connection and create joy. We need to bring humanity, authenticity, personality and trust to everything we do.”

As connection is something radio presenters do better than anyone else, Jordan Banjo & Perri Kiely from KISS Breakfast then joined Lucie and Simon on stage to answer some questions about how to master the art of both connection and joy.

After chatting about Hits Radio’s Sam Thompson joining them on their show that morning (someone who is the human embodiment of joy according to Jordan Banjo), Simon kicked off the Q&A by asking if there was an underlying theme for how the presenters connect with audiences, no matter the medium. They were quick to ascertain that authenticity needs to be at the heart of everything you do, especially in radio where you have such a personal connection to the listeners, which for them is a one-on-one experience.

Authenticity was a running theme as they then shared their top tip for connecting with audiences, with Jordan answering “authenticity, being yourself and simplicity – trying to stay consistent to who you are and the messages you put out there”, with Perri agreeing that “overcomplicating things is the worst thing you can do”.

At an event based on joy, it was a fitting way to end the session with the presenters’ infectious energy lifting the room up and serving as a strong reminder why radio is Europe’s most trusted medium, proven to boost mood and shown to forge strong bonds with audiences.