Optimizing radio interviews, event budgeting, and more

How can I optimize radio interviews?

How can I optimize radio interviews?

All radio spokespeople should be media trained to make sure they know how to integrate client messages into their interviews and sound as conversational as possible, says Zcomm's Rise Birnbaum.

"Little things can make or break a radio interview and also help the client amortize its investment," she adds. Birnbaum also notes that using a land line (not a cell phone), being about an inch away from the receiver to avoid sounding shrill, and dialing a call-in number if there are more than three people on the line are all good ideas.

Even with the best media training, she warns, a spokesperson might forget to mention the client's Web site or promote an upcoming event. If that happens, Birnbaum stresses the importance for someone on the line to politely ask the spokesperson to work that into the next interview.

"For radio interviews that are live, the spokesperson should have enough valuable information to engage listeners and allow them to also weave in client messages subtly, yet effectively," Birnbaum notes.

Audio services

How do I determine if an audio news release or an audio bite line should be used?

The primary difference between the two services is the element of pitching, explains Susan Matthews Apgood of News Generation.

"ANRs are phone pitched to targeted outlets," she notes, "while an audio bite line is distributed by sending an alert about the availability of the audio." If he or she is interested, the reporter will proactively access the audio via phone or the Web.

Determining when to use each primarily depends on who the target audience is for the project, and what the goals are for the message. Without actively pitching, the story will have to be compelling enough to have reporters proactively record the audio. "This means that stories should focus on breaking news and other 'hot button' issues that happen quickly," Apgood says.

She also mentions that if the goal is to reach a large number of stations in a short period of time, the audio bite line is the best technique. If there is local information relevant to specific geographic areas and a smaller target audience, then an ANR is the way to go.

Events

What aspects of an event should I keep in mind when planning the budget?

Mark Cheplowitz of event-planning firm Wizard of Ah's says, "You'd be surprised how many permits (and associated fees) there are for any event." Some of the more obvious are tents, street closings, health, and general event permits. The more obscure ones are hazardous gases (propane), electrical, dance hall (music ordinances), sidewalk obstruction, and aerial (for laser shows).

"The problem is there is no uniform guide from state to state or city to city," he adds. You have to pay a general contractor to "pull" the permits.

The other thing to consider is catering. "You're against a deadline and have staff, volunteers, and vendors on site.

You certainly don't want anyone wandering off to find a meal," Cheplowitz explains. Most people think of providing liquids, but inevitably projects take longer than expected, and people can go hungry. Expect to add $8 to $16-plus per person for food - other than your guests.

Send your questions to toolbox@prweek.com. Please contact Irene Chang if you are interested in contributing to PR Toolbox or to suggest ideas for future columns.

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