CovidComms Awards Ireland

Primark Radio takes to the airwaves

Primark Radio
Winner: Best employee engagement
CovidComms Awards Ireland

Primark prides itself on its culture of colleague interaction and team engagement, so when Covid-19 forced the closure of stores and its head office in early 2020, it became a priority to keep its 70,000 colleagues across 13 markets up-to-date even though they were remote working or furloughed, particularly as it quickly emerged that they too missed the buzz of the workplace.

And so, Primark Radio was born. It took to the airwaves in April 2020, bringing Primark’s ‘everyone’s invited’ mantra to life. Mindful of costs and time constraints, the show was created completely in-house pulling together colleagues from across the business.

With adverts created by Primark’s brand team, messaging managed by internal communications, guests from around the business and a DJ, who was the son of a director, Primark Radio was ‘created for our people by our people’.

The first Isolation Station broadcast took place on 8 April 2020 – just weeks after Ireland went into lockdown – and the hour-long show, which was filled with ‘quaran-tunes’, initially aired daily. The Primark Radio team quickly refined their initial ‘blue skies’ ideas into a structured approach, which was then woven into a single, fit for purpose schedule framework for each show.

To keep the show fresh, there were listener challenges, quizzes and other repeat features that took a different form each week. Listeners could contact the host via a chatbox or Instagram during each show, to request their favourite ‘quaran-tunes’ or simply ask for a ‘shout out’ for colleagues at their stores. Celebrity guests even made appearances, with Scottish actor Alan Cummings ‘dropping’ in for the second show.

A designated Primark Radio in-box welcomed submissions and ideas from colleagues, while a ‘Sneak Peak’ invite was shared every week to drum up excitement for the upcoming shows. And, while the shows were broadcast in English, care was taken to ensure that colleagues from different countries appeared in each show.

With average listening figures of 2,450 for each show, plus hundreds of comments via the chatbox, Primark Radio was well received throughout the business.