Pitching Spanish-language radio, PSA 'dos,' and more

It seems like more and more radio stations are converting to Spanish-language formats. Do Spanish-language radio stations accept pitches in English?

It seems like more and more radio stations are converting to Spanish-language formats. Do Spanish-language radio stations accept pitches in English?

Many of the big radio networks are buying Spanish stations or converting stations to Spanish-language formats because of the growing Hispanic population in the US, says Carmen Cruz of News Generation.

While some stations accept pitches in English, Cruz warns that it can depend on who picks up the phone. "You may find yourself speaking to the producer, who may not speak English well, if at all," she adds.

Although Spanish-language stations may accept a pitch in English, there are a number of benefits to providing a pitch and supporting materials in Spanish. By pitching and providing background in Spanish, you are allowing the producer to hear firsthand the news as his or her audience would. Pitching in Spanish also limits the possibility of the producer/host losing the meaning of the pitch in translation.

B-roll

Are there general guidelines for when you should consider producing b-roll as opposed to a "full-package" VNR?
Choosing a b-roll-only VNR over a packaged narrative means discovering what category your subject matter fits into, says Chris Sweet of VNR-1 Communications. Stories can fit into such categories as corporate announcements and product rollouts, community- or public service- related messages, medical or health related, and features.

The more complicated the story, the more the need to illustrate details through a narrative. A complicated surgical procedure or medical study results are served well by a narrative.

Shots of a new campus or company headquarters might be better served by a simple grouping of pictures that show the public what the new facilities look like, Sweet says. TV stations are only into those stories with pictures, so give them what they want. The story's less complicated nature lends itself to a less complicated means of getting the message across.

PSAs

How can you make a radio PSA campaign more successful?
As radio ownership consolidates, less time is given for PSAs. More often, it requires strategy and creativity to get your PSA used, says Sean Amore of Strauss Radio Strategies.

Follow some tried-and-true "dos" to help clients through the radio PSA process. Use a famous voice whenever possible. Produce spots of varying lengths, and send live-read scripts, too, for more usage options. Radio is very "targetable," so choose a demographic-specific voice talent, and send the PSAs only to outlets with the desired audience.

Use packaging to make spots stand out. Label PSAs with suggested air dates, and mail at least a month early, if possible. Finally, "localize" PSAs using interchangeable "tags" where appropriate, to help the spot hit closer to home.

Celebrity marketing

What are some benefits to working a celebrity marketing strategy?
Most savvy companies are finding the perfect mix of advertising and celebrity marketing to gain exposure for their brands, says Janice Rosas of Backstage Creations.

Celebrity marketing programs are effective because most people know that paid advertising is just that- claims made by the advertiser. One benefit is personal interactions with celebrities where powerful relationships can be established.

Photos of celebrities with your product to use on Web sites and in media are important, as are lists of celebrity recipients and stories of celebrity interactions. And having celebrities wear the products from a gift suite to the stage in front of millions is key to getting consumers exposed to the brand.

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

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