Trusted Voices Build Brands and Save Lives

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Cover image for  article: Trusted Voices Build Brands and Save Lives

Spring is here. And with it comes nicer weather, budding flowers, and more time spent out in the fresh air. But for many, the excitement of the new season is balanced or even overshadowed by the stress of an ongoing pandemic, misinformation campaigns on social media, and rising costs of inflation. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed or even hopeless.

Those of us feeling that way are not alone. In fact, more than 40% of Americans report that they are struggling with mental health issues as a result of the Covid-19 crisis (CDC, August 2020). Struggling or not, this is a big issue. In reality, 100% of humans experience mental health; after all, just as we have physical health, we all have mental health too.

The good news? Science shows talking about every day mental health experiences improves wellbeing.

We are accustomed to turning to Audio when we need a break -- knowing trusted personalities from our favorite shows and podcasts will be there, providing companionship as we navigate our lives.

Could the same voices that join our daily routine -- with news and information, keeping us laughing, entertained and engaged -- also hold the key to solving our nation's mental health crisis?

In short, yes. In the media landscape, Audio and all that it offers, stands out – as trusted sources of information.

Audio: The Most Trusted Medium

Audacy knows first-hand the power -- and the responsibility -- of using its voice and platform to connect with our fans in meaningful, personal ways. To our listeners and fans, we are the trusted voice of loyal companions and friends.

Since 2017, we've realized the growing need for and importance of hosting mental health conversations across our platform.

Audacy's I'm Listening

Our on-air talent responded to the crisis when the untimely deaths by suicide of Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) and Chris Cornell (Soundgarden) shook the foundation of the rock community in 2017. Growing organically from its Seattle origins, I'm Listening became our platform dedicated to more mental health conversations -- hosting countless artists, celebrities and athletes as they recount their mental health experiences -- and connecting directly with consumers as they also share coping tips and stories of hope. I'm Listening uses the power of talk to save lives sharing mental health conversations across all Audacy platforms -- over the air on our 235+ radio stations, digital & social communities, podcasting, live events -- and of course, with our team internally too.

Real People, Real Impact

With deep roots in 50 communities across the country, our talent and influencers -- Riggs -- 103.7 KISS, Audacy Milwaukee, Emily Raines, 100.7 The Wolf, Audacy Seattle, and David O'Leary, Magic 106.7, Audacy Boston -- are a few of the many Audacy champions active in ourI'm Listening support of mental health.

More than Passionate Advocates for a Cause, These Powerful Local Influencers Move People to Action

This matters. Listeners share their first-hand experience -- when they hear messages from local influencers -- 60% feel a greater connection to the brand message. This is great news for brands aligned with mental health, and even better news for addressing our collective mental health needs!

Seeing an opportunity to use this influence to impact our nation's mental health crisis, Audacy activates this influence in our partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) -- to promote more mental health conversations and to engage with fans locally to join us at AFSP Out of the Darkness walk events across the country -- serving and celebrating those impacted by suicide loss, while supporting mental health and suicide prevention awareness.

Brands that Align with Values that Matter to their Consumers, Earn Sales & Build Loyalty

We know that aligning brand values with consumer values is a smart business practice and a proven growth strategy (see Unilever, P&G and Nike as a few stellar case studies), especially among younger audiences. Consumers care deeply about issues affecting them, their families and their communities -- including mental health. Gen Z consumers increasingly expect brands to make efforts for social good.

As the most trusted medium, Audio has a uniquely powerful role to play in responding to our nation's mental health needs. Our known influencers connect with people and prompt action -- talk to a friend, access the resources you need, share your story. Talking about mental health improves outcomes. Brands seeking to build connections around mental health and wellbeing, can look to Audacy's I'm Listening as a safe and trusted platform -- talk saves lives.

How's your mental health today? It's Audacy, I'm Listening.

This article was written by Sarah Harris, Vice President, Social Impact, Audacy

Photo courtesy of Audacy

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