Reaching urban audiences, bloggers' PR role, and more

What kind of messages work for urban radio?

What kind of messages work for urban radio?

Radio
What kind of messages work for urban radio?

Messages created for the urban market should be tailored to the issues and concerns affecting their community. "If you're executing an awareness campaign on a health issue, it is helpful to provide specific statistics for African Americans," says Valerie Kinsey Harris of News Generation.

It's also important to avoid the "one-size-fits-all" approach. "For example, on a hip-hop station, craft the messages in a trendy, fresh way," she adds. "You might want to use a celebrity spokesperson with whom the audience can relate."

Overall, the best advice for urban outreach is to get to know the media you're pitching. Listen to the radio stations you're targeting to understand what kinds of stories they cover. It's also a good idea to have a spokesperson from the same demographic as your target audience. When possible, train your spokesperson to ensure they understand the culture and nuances of that audience.

Blogs
What is the best way to incorporate bloggers into a media relations campaign?
"Blogs are attractive to PR pros because of the 'community' aspect they bring," says Tom Biro, MWW director of new media strategies. Bloggers are more than willing to link to one another and cite other sources when writing up a blog posting, he adds.

But understanding what a blogger covers is vital. "I've always found that treating bloggers with the same level of respect as I would a writer from a major publication creates a great relationship over the long haul," says Biro.

Many blogs have a snarky tone to them, while others are notoriously unpitchable. Spend some time reading the blogs you're interested in, see if the blog has covered your client before, and, if so, see if you can provide any more information on the topic.

Executive coaching
What are the key benefits of working with a comms coach?
According to Oliver Schmidt of C4CS, success increasingly depends on an executive's ability to lead through communicating well. More managers are aware that effective communication skills can be learned and seek expert advice on how to improve in that area.

A communications coach can provide expertise and guidance, adds Schmidt. Whether it is interpersonal or group communication, public speaking, media interview skills, or effective listening techniques, a skilled coach can help even naturally gifted executives progress by devising a coaching plan that is tailored to the individual's specific needs.

"Many who have worked with a communication coach have enjoyed quick career advancement and prolonged success in senior management posts," says Schmidt.

Measurement
Do I need real-time measurement of my PR e-mail efforts?
"Contacting interested editors within minutes of them reading your news can make the difference between in- depth coverage and missing the boat," says Peter Brand of Virtual Press Office.

Real-time measurement allows you to prioritize follow-up, reach the media at precisely the best time, and learn more about the interests of your key constituents. Refining your PR e-mail campaigns through a detailed understanding of what interests your audience and when they are most receptive to news will build strong relationships, he adds.

There are services currently in the marketplace that will work with PR pros to create an e-mail campaign, develop an appropriate target audience database, deliver real-time measurement, and document exactly what captured their interest in the message.

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