The value of relationships in content creation

By Elzette Boucher-Krüger, OFM Content Manager

With radio still being the most intimate of broadcast mediums, the industry knows all too well of the close bonds that are formed between presenters and listeners. However, behind the scenes, relationships are just as vital.

Any cub reporter who’s shadowed a seasoned broadcast journalist can attest to the value that is placed on trusted sources and contacts – you are who you bring to the daily news conference.

There is no way that one would be able to produce evocative content in isolation. To relate to others, one must interact with others. That’s why AI outputs often feel ‘cold’ to us – they were created without interaction between human beings.

Distilled down to its core, the content we disseminate is a collection of experiences; narratives of what someone has experienced or the experience that someone has of something. Thus, there is the opportunity to share knowledge from a wide variety of perspectives.

This diversity is also crucial in content creation, lest we create media vacuums or echo chambers that leave no room for anything ‘other’ and inevitably leave the audience poorer for being exposed to inferior content that holds no substance. Of course, there is always room for frivolity, considering how quickly users adopted platforms such as Snapchat and TikTok and brought them mammoth popularity.

The relationships we nurture and the stories we tell forge communities. Our stories can inform, inspire, and even help heal ourselves and others. Our stories can also hurt and destroy the relationships that we’ve worked so hard to create. Brand reputation, built up from narratives over decades, can be shattered in an instant with one ill-conceived or poorly placed utterance.

It’s also easy to forget that while we chase hits and clicks for traffic to generate income on our digital platforms that real people are the subjects of our stories. Have we afforded them the necessary respect? Are you piling on to someone’s misery with your on-air skit? Do they (or anybody) deserve this treatment? Would you do it with them in the room?

Telling stories is part of the human condition. And it’s never mere entertainment. Through our stories we shape our world and we can create whichever mould we please.

Relationships in business count among those scarce resources that have the potential to position us above competitors. Your collaborations hinge on how much you as a person and your brand are trusted. The synergy between partners and the amplification of messages are invaluable and can only be achieved where there is trust, and a willingness and the energy to create something bigger and meaningful to serve our collective communities.

Decades ago OFM began referring to our broadcast footprint, covering the Free State, Northern Cape, North West and southern Gauteng, as ‘Central South Africa’; even going so far as to reference this word as a proper noun.

Today, our listeners, followers, clients and stakeholders know what it is to be proudly ‘Central South African’ and what it means to belong to this resilient tribe. It is no longer merely a place, it is a state of mind. And it is a great testament of what can be achieved through our relationships and storytelling.

In conclusion, in a world seemingly and increasingly enslaved by algorithms, and on a medium considered one of the last ‘real’ mediums, let us cherish our relationships – in-house among our teams, with our trusted sources and collaborators, our stakeholders, our clients and our audience. Only then can we do the profound work for which radio is renowned.


OFM, the Sound of Your Life, is Central South Africa’s premier commercial radio station, offering a mix of music, news, and entertainment. The station celebrates 38 years in the broadcasting industry this year. OFM is part of the Central Media Group, with its head office in Bloemfontein.

The station serves the affluent SEM 7-10 economically active marketplace with a broadcast footprint across the Free State, Northern Cape, southern Gauteng and North West. OFM is synonymous with the people of Central South Africa, and includes a full spectrum of listeners, from urban working moms and dads to corporate professionals, as well as rural communities and agricultural producers.

The station has an incredibly loyal and supportive audience. OFM enjoys one of the highest occurrences of time spent listening to the radio in South Africa. This is achieved by the station’s great music offerings – such as playing listeners their favourite songs on the Request Network and counting down Central South Africa’s 30 biggest hits on the Central SA Top 30.

OFM offers several niche features – including a dedicated agricultural programme with three additional agricultural news updates a day, as well as a dedicated business programme.

Sport is close to OFM listeners’ hearts and is what brings much of Central South Africa together. The station is a proud partner, sponsor, and supporter of the Cheetahs, Griquas and Leopards rugby teams as well as the Knights, Heat and Dragons cricket teams. OFM is committed to living the real good life, while at the same time helping Central South Africans to live their best lives.

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