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BBC Radio to raise awareness of MMS via one-day campaign

BBC Radio 1 is teaming up with the Mobile Data Association to give listeners in Britain a free picture messaging day.

Consumers will be able to send the radio station free picture messages from their mobile phones on Friday, Dec. 11 as part of the broadcaster?s planed Access All Areas week. Listeners who send their pictures to the BBC short code 81199 may see their photos on the BBC Radio 1 Web site.

?BBC Radio 1 knows that mobile phones are  loved by  young people in Britainand that they use their phones to connect with the station on a daily basis,? said Ben Chapman, interactive editor at BBC Radio 1, London. ?An average of around 450,000 text messages arrive into the station a month.

?Now that camera phones are prolific and in young people's pockets, Radio 1, the MDA and the carriers collaborated to remove the critical cost barrier and explain how simple it is to send a picture to others,? he said. ?The MDA have also prepared to help people change the settings on their phones so they can take part.

?This fits with the BBC's [strategy] to build a digital Britain.?

BBC Radio is a British national radio station operated by the BBC that plays the current popular music and chart hits throughout the day.

The MDA claims to reflect the common voice of the mobile data industry and is a mobile trade association in Britain that promotes the use and benefits of mobile data.

Raising awareness for picture messaging
To participate in the free picture messaging day, consumers need a wireless data plan with 3, O2, Orange, T-Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Vodafone or Virgin Media.

Only picture messages sent to the Radio 1 short code 81199 between midnight Thursday Dec. 10 and midnight Friday Dec. 11 will be free.

Radio 1?s target demographic is consumers ages 15-29. 

Mr. Chapman said that the message around digital literacy is broad and that BBC Radio 1 hopes to reach a wide range of consumers so they get the best out of their phones and interact with the radio station.

The free picture messaging event will be talked about on-air and linked to from the BBC Radio 1 homepage and Radio 1 mobile pages.

Mr. Chapman said that the key issue for the BBC is to manage the picture messages and ensure they are appropriate and then do something creative with them.

According to the BBC, the main goal for the promotion is to raise awareness of multimedia messaging ? MMS ? as a valid and interactive communication medium.

?With the picture messages gathered, BBC Radio 1 hopes to produce compelling interactive online promotional content which involves their listeners,? Mr. Chapman said.