The most popular, and the most accessible medium is radio. It should come as no surprise that many PR professionals are scrambling to pitch their stories and clients to radio producers to help them get noticed.
Hundreds of millions of people are tuning into the radio weekly which has created one of the biggest audiences to advertise to. Despite all the changes in the last decade in the advertising landscape, including new mediums entering the space such as social media, radio is still the most cost-effective choice out there.
Radio is an inexpensive way to reach existing and potential customers and quickly too. Radio Media Tours (RMTs) have especially become effective in growing brands and selling products.
In order to book interviews to start telling the world what your client has to sell or offer, you need to get the green light from a radio producer or manager first, and this takes some strategy.
To grab the attention of radio producers, PR agents are realizing that their stories need to be compelling. They need to stand out in order for their clients to get consideration. They also need to know who to contact and what kind of stations they want to advertise on.
Here are 5 pitching tips that could help you successfully land an interview with a radio station:
1. Pick the right station. The radio market is highly fragmented and mostly targeted to specific audience segments. More than likely your story is targeted to a specific audience. But if you can find some overlap, it can give you more choices. If your client has a physical training video, you want to consider sport talk radio shows as well as regular radio stations when pitching your idea.
2. Know who to contact. To have a successful pitch, you will have to know who exactly is the correct person that you will need to address. Some shows have guests correspond with the producer to coordinate segments. Determine who the most appropriate contact is at the radio show and make sure you are addressing them in your pitch. If there is someone at the station or broadcast who is in charge of what gets put on the air, you want to make sure it is them you are addressing. In most cases however, it will be the producer or program manager who you will want to talk to. The hosts are the wrong target except perhaps at small radio stations.
3. Make a connection. You want to make sure you have been listening first. You want to know what has been said on the show in order to sound informed when you are pitching your idea. It can be as simple as hearing the host joke about not having motivation to workout. Your products could be exactly what the host needs to get his or her workout going and pitching this could lead to some on-air dialogue.
4. Your introduction should be gripping and eye catching. Much like when pitching a story to any sector in the media, you want to make sure that your title and your introductory paragraph stand out in order to reel in attention. Identify the most important part of your story and make sure to lead with that. You also want to make sure your pitch is clear and powerful as possible. Remember not to be too long. No radio program manager or producer has the time to read your five-page essay. Tell them quickly why your pitch is worth reporting on. Also include a list of discussion points and offer to provide sample interview questions. If you are promoting a product, make sure to send a sample along!
5. Be flexible, organized, and dependable. Nothing is set in stone when it comes to radio. It may be days or weeks before you hear back from the station and when they contact you, they may ask you if you can be available in only ten minutes. Also keep in mind that you could get easily bumped for breaking news or something that producers have decided takes priority over you. You want to be flexible, and ready to talk whenever they decide to call. Be organized. Have the products and story that you are pitching ready to go in your head.
According to the Nielsen’s 2019 Audio Today Report, 272 million Americans listen to traditional radio every week. This medium is a sure-fire avenue to gain publicity and name recognition, in addition to getting your story out there to your target audience.
The quality of your pitch, who you pitch to, and how flexible you are can determine whether your tour will ever get off the ground. Radio producers and managers get hundreds of proposals daily. Through the steps offered in this article, you can create an effective pitch that will generate interest in your interview.