Shout! worked to promote the start of English apple season with a national and regional radio day and creative corporate video for English Apples’ social media pages.See full case study >
The no fail guide to planning a radio day
If your PR strategy entails a radio campaign, then congratulations, we think you’ve made a great decision. Ignore what you’ve heard about radio being a dying form of media, as statistics prove that it is still a fantastic opportunity to reach out to your target audience. 90% of adults regularly listen to their favourite radio stations and this year 20 new stations are launching across the UK. If you have decided to make use of the opportunities by conducting a radio day, then read our no fail guide to make the most from the media activity.
Take time to assess the potential and the limitations of the campaign to create a target list
Decide the demographic of your story. If you have an idea of exactly what audience you want to reach out to then you can shape your target list accordingly to include stations who appeal to the specific age group who you want to listen.
Don’t create an unrealistic target list, instead be aware of the stations you’re story probably wouldn’t suit. For instance, if you’re trying to secure radio coverage for a campaign about the dangers elderly drivers face from driving, then music stations for younger audiences, such as Capital FM, probably wouldn’t take it.
Back the story up with valid research
Have solid research to prove your stories to strengthen the validity of your story to broadcasters. On the majority, they won’t take stories they deem to be PR-generated puff.
To appeal to regional stations make sure you have an area breakdown of stats. Local producers will want a regional angle that is backed up by research specific to their area.
Case studies can help boost coverage, as they offer a personal outlook on the story to make it seem less commercial. Broadcasters want local, relevant voices and if you can provide them with that then they are more likely to take your story.
Make sure your case studies are available during the radio day and understand what key messages they need to get across. We offer media training in our London office if it is required.
A non-commercial third-party spokesperson or celebrity is preferable to maximise coverage. It is key that they have a personal attachment to the story, for instance if the campaign is about kids the spokesperson should really have had children.
The spokesperson should be filled in on what is expected of them from the media activity. For instance they should agree to a morning of interviews, early morning telephone interviews and additional pick up on other days. They should also be made aware that they are plugging the campaign, rather than promoting their own brand or product.
Lead your press release with a news hook to make your campaign stand out to broadcasters. This could be done by using stats that you can imagine making a headline.
Make it easy for the journalists to book in an interview. Include key information and availability of the spokespersons and/or case study along with your contact details.
Before you start to sell in make sure you have an up to date database along with a simple and strategic way to monitor the progress.
Pull on contacts at regional and national stations to make sure your story gets a personal look over. If you don’t have the right contacts then your email could end up in the generic inbox, although this is regularly checked, there is less chance it could be picked up.
Before media activity
Make sure the logistics are sorted. Radio campaigns usually entail a lot of interviews, some pre-recorded, some live. The spokespersons and case studies must be fully prepared for them and must know where they need to be and when, who they will be talking to, the key messaging and other vital information.
Try to make the day enjoyable for yourself and for the spokespeople. If everyone is happy this will be reflected in the interviews.
Keep the interviewees on message without too many commercial mentions. We say two mentions at most: one to the brand, the other to the URL of whatever is being plugged. If the spokesperson veers off then reign them back in during feedback between interviews. Always remember to include positives when feeding back to keep the energy levels high.
Create a detailed report from analysing how many key messages were included in the interviews as well as the AVE. This will give you two measuring tools when it comes to analysing the success of the campaign.
Jot down any lessons you’ve learnt to enhance your PR strategy next time. If there were any glitches that you encountered or anything you could have done differently then it’s important not to dwell on them, but learn from them.
If you enjoyed reading this blog, or it’s piqued your interest in broadcast media relations why not check out our media relations e-book – it’s free and has lots more practical advice for enhancing your broadcast PR campaigns.
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