State radio networks, online community interaction, more

What type of story works for state radio networks?

What type of story works for state radio networks?

When it comes to using minimal client time for maximum results, state radio networks offer a unique opportunity to target tens of thousands of listeners across a state, says Richard Strauss, president of Strauss Radio Strategies. Not every topic is right for such networks, however, and no two state radio networks are alike.

"Some state radio networks - like Florida - have their own offices, while others - like Texas - operate out of prominent news/talk stations within large markets," he points out.

Whenever possible, Strauss adds, the pitch should be relevant and of interest to stations and citizens in the entire state, not to just one large market.

"When it comes to pitching news, state-specific data, polls, and surveys will always garner attention," he explains. "And if a spokesperson is pitched, it helps if they have tangible ties to the state."

New media
How can both b-to-c and b-to-b companies maximize social media opportunities?

B-to-c brands can use all of the elements of social media to distribute their content in as many forms as possible, says Thom Brodeur, SVP of global strategy and new products at Marketwire. This can help generate word-of-mouth buzz where discussion drives the dialogue about the brand.

B-to-b brands can use social media to present themselves differently and engage audiences in unique ways, he adds. "Social media allows b-to-b brands to distill their messages into more user-friendly, digestible elements," Brodeur explains, "effectively 'consumerizing' and simplifying the perceived complexity of the brand."

Engaging your brand, whether b-to-b or b-to-c, in social media democratizes the product development and customer feedback process. "It also improves and sometimes hastens your ability to deliver high-quality products and services to your markets," he notes.

Client pitches
What is the key to a successful new business pitch?

Competition among agencies can be fierce. The point is to separate yourself from the parade of sleep-inducing pitches that drone on about how wonderful the agency is, says Ed Barks, president of Barks Communications. "Prospective clients tune these out," he adds.

The limelight belongs to the client, explains Barks, so prepare for your pitch by gathering some information about them.

"Conduct online research and dig into clip files," he advises. "And don't stop there. Pick up the phone, call some colleagues, and see who knows what."

Many agency pitches miss the strike zone, Barks believes, because the firm's people are talking too much. "Get your client-to-be involved in the conversation," he suggests. "This sounds like heresy to many agencies, but if you use a one-size-fits-all slide presentation, scrap it." And every time you do open your mouth, Barks concludes, you must speak to your prospect's concerns.

Send your questions to Please contact Beth Krietsch if you are interested in contributing to PR Toolbox or to suggest ideas for future columns.

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