With the rise of Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube it’s very easy to think that radio is dead, but in fact it’s still a huge part of how we consume media. With 90% of the population of the UK tuning in to the radio at least once a week, it’s a platform that shows no sign of slowing down and certainly can’t be ignored in your publicity campaigns!
Getting a handle on how to get yourself or your brand on the radio can be challenging, but with some top tips from our recent meeting with Sky News Radio Editor, David Terris, we’re here to help. Here’s our top tips on how to make the most of radio…
When you’re deciding whether to pitch your story to radio it’s important that your news is current, topical and has mass appeal. If it ties in with an awareness day (you can find a full calendar of those here), a breaking celebrity story, new Government legislation or just a topic that people are talking about at the time, it will be much more likely to get picked up by the station in question.
Provide the full package
Providing radio journalists with all the assets they will need is key when pitching. If your story is great but you don’t have excellent case studies, data and a spokesperson you may well see a lack in pick up from the station.
Radio stations prioritise stories with data attached to them above all else, and absolutely LOVE a survey story with regional results. We recommend pitching to journalists with the full results, brilliant case studies and a broadcast trained spokesperson ready to go should your story get picked up.
Gone are the days of having perfect pronunciation and Queen’s English on the radio. Having a ‘voice for radio’ can help your case studies to get you on air. Regional radio stations in particular like to hear from a broad range of regional accents, so don’t shy away from showing off your accent loud and proud!
Give them a call
As David Terris, Sky News Radio Editor says: “We should all be talking to each other more on the phone”. Picking up the phone to a big-shot journalist can be intimidating, but ensuring you are prepared with a succinct pitch and all your assets will make it a much easier experience – and who knows, you may even enjoy it!
Timing is everything
So you’ve got your assets ready, you’ve prepared your pitch and you’re ready to pick up the phone and shout about how brilliant your story is. What next? Well, radio journalists have certain times that they like to receive phone calls ready for their planning meetings. David Terris says 9.30am is the best time to send an email, before their morning meeting, and following up with a call after 10.15 will make you much more likely to get an answer.
Clear your diaries for the day if your news breaks! If your story gets picked up, you and your spokesperson could be called into a station for an interview at a moment’s notice.
Don’t forget podcasts
With many more people enjoying their TV and Radio ‘on demand’ don’t neglect podcasts! Sky News Radio for example puts out a daily news podcast, a weekly politics podcast and their entertainment podcast ‘Backstage’ fortnightly. These can be excellent opportunities to get yourself and your brand longer and more in-depth pieces of coverage than the brief news snippets you hear on live radio.
Don’t stop pitching!
Getting amazing broadcast coverage can take a lot of hard work and perseverance. If your story doesn’t get picked up don’t be disheartened. It could be that a breaking news story came through or it just wasn’t right that day. David Terris says: “Don’t stop pitching!”. Just because a story doesn’t break, doesn’t mean your next story won’t!
To find out more about how to do your own PR, including getting yourself and your business in front of broadcast, print and online journalists make sure you check out our Reaching Millions – PR and Publicity course! You can find more information here.