Recently I was asked to make my ‘much-anticipated’ debut on the airwaves on behalf of a client. Working with journalists and broadcasters on a day-to-day basis, PR’s are often the ones in the shadows – pulling strings, setting up meetings and shining the spotlight. But with a new local sporting initiative to promote called Local Pubs for Local Clubs, it was important that we looked further afield than a conventional press release.
A quick history lesson
Were it not for a young Italian named Guglielmo Marconi tinkering around in his parent’s attic back in 1885, our history books would tell a very different story. Patenting the world’s first ‘wireless’ radio, his invention has played an important part in the way we communicate and whilst we are now in a golden digital age – the radio isn’t finished yet!
From shout-outs to topical chats, the power of the radio is often underestimated – the BBC’s local and regional stations alone have a total reach of 8.8 million listeners a week. With listeners tuning in on their drive to and from work as well as throughout the working day, the potential to target a huge captive audience is there.
Your audience awaits
Radio stations themselves can offer different forms of exposure. The BBC is a world-renowned broadcasting station, appealing to a variety of audiences from the young and happening, to the topical and cultured. Stations like Capital, Heart & Radio X, unlike the BBC, offer a more promotional and commercial vibe, and are often more willing to work with companies and partners to drive content. Digital stations also boast large audiences due to their accessibility.
Like with any PR campaign, it’s all about relativity. Regional broadcasters often need a local link, whether this includes a local news story or people from the local community. If your campaign includes one or more of these links, targeting and getting your story in front of those smaller communities, won’t just mean higher listener figures, but if you have a call to action, they are more likely to act upon it.
So how do you go about making your mark ‘On-Air’?
Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as just ringing up the studio on the way to work, and hoping to mention your story. Most programmes are planned, scheduled with some content often pre-recorded, but if the story is strong enough, there’s no reason a telephone interview or visit to the studio isn’t on the cards.