Radio PR: Does it work?

**This is a guest post by Steve Barnes. Learn more about him at the bottom of the page!**

I’m sure you’ve noticed that the world has changed – the social media revolution isn’t happening, it’s happened. We all know that we live in an online world that is dominated by social media and therefore this is where a large part of your focus as a marketer should be, however, you should still give your attention to the traditional media outlets.

5 Reasons Why You Should Target Radio:

1.) Radio stations exist to cover every different type of content out there. Some only exist online, some are local, some national, but each has their own listenership & target audience. This gives you a larger pool of opportunities to target, as with any PR strategy you want to start small & work your way up to the big boys.

2.) Radio listeners are more engaged – This may surprise you but when listening to the radio, everyone is more engaged with the content than they are when watching TV. This is because the only source of output is what the listener is hearing. When you compare this to someone watching the TV, this person must split their concentration between what they are hearing & what they are seeing. Therefore they will listen less to exactly what the person is saying & are less likely to retain it.

3.)  They need people like you – Most radio stations run 24/7 and every show needs interesting guests to come on & talk about their subjects of the day. Chat shows make up a large part of radio output and they often cover current affairs or will have features based around what is in the news. Every so often there will be something surrounding your niche and they will need an expert on to put the story into context or to give their opinion. Why can’t that expert be you?

4.) The audience is tailored – As I said before the audience is highly targeted with many radio shows. So long as you know what this demographic is before you go on you can tailor what you say directly to appeal to them. Few other mainstream media outlets (ie TV & newspapers) have this amount of targeting.

5.) If you add value your time will be extended – The 2 main reasons why you would be invited onto a show would be one of these reasons.

–       You’re an expert in a subject area

–       You’ve got a great story to tell

No matter which reason it is you need to hit the right notes quickly & succinctly. This means adding value to the show and providing useful information that is thoughtful & engaging for the listener.  You are not on their to tout your product so should avoid shoe-horning it into the conversation unless it naturally comes up.  If you’re brought on as an expert then you need to be armed with some great information, tips or facts on your subject area. If these are really compelling & interesting then it will lead to further questions from your interviewer and your time on air will be extended. If you’re on to tell a story then this needs to be very well polished & practised so that it can be told in a way that the listener’s attention is held and the message isn’t lost within a load of waffle.

If you really think about how you’re going to be an interesting radio guest then the benefits can really pay dividends. Not only will that interview last longer than it might have done thus extending your airtime & peoples exposure to you & your brand. If it goes well then the presenter & producer of that show will have you in their mind as a “good guest” they will be happy to invite you back on and even recommend you to other radio producers etc (like most industries it’s a smaller world than you’d think).

What Can You Expect?

I was fortunate enough to be invited onto one of the largest national radio shows here in the UK called The Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2, it has an average listenership of around 4 million. I was invited on to talk about the business I co-founded – Appetise.com – within the context some very bad youth unemployment figures being published here in the UK. My time on air lasted about 4 minutes & was during the day, which is a time when our online takeaway food ordering service is very quiet.

While I was on air we tracked the hits to the website using the new real-time analytics feature in Google Analytics. The results were immediate & instant – you can listen to the interview & see our screencast of the hits in this video.

As you can see the interview prompted enough curiosity for many hundreds of people to check out the website both immediately & for the rest of that day. We are still feeling the positive benefits now even weeks later.

So yes your focus should be online & with social media but there are great opportunities out there to get yourself known using the traditional media outlets so why not target them too?

Do you have any experiences of going to talk about your business on the radio or in other mainstream media outlets? If so, please share with everyone in the comments.

**This was a guest post from Steve Barnes – Co-founder of UK based online takeaway website Appetise.com. You can follow Steve on Twitter: @stevejohnbarnes**

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About Jim Mignano

Jim Mignano is a young professional practicing and learning Public Relations in Rochester, NY. He is passionate about the possibilities that digital media provide and loves utilizing new platforms for a variety of functions. James' blog is about people and the technology they use. It's about communication and persuasion... the old and the new ways of doing things... the struggle between sticking to the tried, true recipes and experimenting with intuitive, innovative ideas. It's an extension and reflection of James himself: the convergence of ambition & ability.
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