Have you ever wondered why broadcast journalists ignore your press releases but print journalists love them? Chances are you’re one of the many PRs who fall into the trap of sending the same release to a newspaper as you do for TV and radio.
We all know that we should plan our pitch and make it targeted to the right person with the right angle. But have you really thought about what a broadcast journalist is really looking for, beyond the story? Here are some great tips to be a successful broadcast PR.
When it comes to your press release make sure you Keep It Short and Simple. Broadcast journalists don’t need long narratives or quotes. Unlike print or online, who can include it in their papers or on their website, broadcast journalists can’t use written quotes on-air. For the rest of your release, the best broadcast PR professionals focus on what sounds will be available for a radio journalist to help them tell their story. Can you send sound clips? Can they come down to your site? If you’re promoting a farm, it’s much more likely that you’ll secure media coverage if they can visit the animals, record the sounds of the sheep bleating and the cows mooing, rather than a guest in the studio.
We all try to plan the best time to pitch to a journalist. Is it better after their editorial meeting, or later in the day? But there’s added concerns when pitching for radio. The breakfast team will be live on air until 10am, before this they’re making sure that the programme airs and they’re covering any breaking news. Wait until they’re off air before calling.
Try to avoid calling from 10 minutes to an hour until 5 minutes after the hour as this is the time that journalists are preparing and reading their news bulletins and don’t want to be disturbed.
When you’re clear of breakfast and the bulletins are over then you’re ready to pitch. Remember you only a short amount of time to get their attention and secure your media coverage. The best broadcast PR pros will focus on: why the story matters to their audience, how local the story is and if there are any relevant case studies!