Uganda: Power FM curving out a niche in broadcast business


For a church owned Christian station, one would expect regular preaching and saving of souls to be part of the growth agenda. Not so for Power FM, a Watoto Church owned radio station which has been around since 1999. Since then, it has been growing and spreading inspiration.

"Growth of the station has been amazing. We attribute this to targeting an urban, English speaking listenership between ages 18 to 40, and so we try to reach them through our programming and Christian music", says Christine Nabutiti, the station Marketing head.

This unique targeting seems to have led to the growth of a station which has gone on to partner with both businesses and churches to meet its mission. The station partners with different Pentecostal churches like Rubaga and Kansanga miracle centres, St.Francis chapel in Makerere University as well as All saints church to promote their activities. As a result, Ms Nabutiti says Power FM enjoys a reliable and loyal listenership which is good news for the advertisers and partners.

The station also carries out its Easter in Prison events where they visit, counsel and provide consumables and Easter gifts to prisoners in Luzira and Kigo as part supporting the needy; a key Christian value.

Besides these visits, Ms Nabutiti says they hold annual Phat- fest gospel music events where top artists perform. This also serves to bring the station in touch to its listenership.

Last year Power FM participated and was ranked among the Top 100 Small and Medium businesses in Uganda, a unique club of businesses with annual turnover of between Shs 360 million to Shs 25 billion. This recognition, according to Ms Nabutiti has been a good boost.

"Our staff is proud of the recognition, and I am sure our partners take us more seriously too."

This should spell more growth, which Ms Nabutiti says is surely likely to come. However, the station has not participated in any of the Club's training or networking activities, something that Ms Nabutiti, being the marketer - is to look most forward to.
Ms Nabutiti encourages other business to participate in this survey.

"Participation in the Top 100 business survey portrays you as a serious entity and the recognition is surely one of the ways through which growth can be achieved as clients take you more seriously and give your business that high regard," she said. The Top 100 business survey for 2011 is currently running and small and medium enterprises can participate till close of October.

"We believe we are offering something unique in our programming and music and we should be able to expand this brand beyond borders in 10 years," she says when asked where she sees the station over the next decade.

Power FM has already expanded to Gulu and branched into online streaming which has attracted more listeners and partners. The Power FM Facebook page alone has 14000 fans.

Despite the current economic challenges, Power FM soldiers on and even with a slight drop in advertising revenue, Nabutiti says the station is growing according to their business projections. The station has not had to reduce staff or drastically cut budgets to address economic challenges.