Radio stations offer easy access to a target audience

With all the possibilities that modern media offers for communicating a message, PR pros shouldn't forget about one of the simplest means of outreach: terrestrial radio.

With all the possibilities that modern media offers for communicating a message, PR pros shouldn't forget about one of the simplest means of outreach: terrestrial radio.

Radio stations offer easier access than many other alternatives. They aren't pitched as often as television and print outlets, so it can be fairly easy to secure airtime, says Susan Apgood, president of News Generation.

"If you have a good story and can make a compelling case, you can definitely make some good placements on radio," she says.

Terrestrial radio can be a particularly helpful messaging tool
during crisis communications situations, whereas it may take a longer period of time to get placement on television or in print, Apgood adds.

"It's easy to get [local DJs] to speak about breaking news," she says.

Kelly Walhof, client services supervisor at Win Win Radio, adds that pitching a credible DJ at a local station can be one of the most effective ways to create buzz around a brand or product because listeners feel a personal connection with local radio hosts.

"Radio personalities are often out in the community, so the listener [usually] trusts what they are saying," Walhof says.

Communicators are also more likely to receive airtime when they research the stations before making contact, explains Kelly Hansen, senior affiliate relations associate at Win Win Radio.

Each radio station targets specific demographics, making it an effective way to reach a certain group of people with a message or product. Communications pros often use Arbitron statistics, which track listenership and group radio stations into specific formats, to reach targeted listeners, Walhof says.

Positive results can be achieved after finding out the station's audience, the types of topics it covers, as well as some information regarding the region where it is based, Hansen says.

"What it really comes down to is the listenership and having a sense of what is going on with [the] station," she says.

Key points:
  • Reaching out to a local radio DJ can help to create positive buzz about a brand or product
  • Radio can be a highly effective tool to get your messaging out in an expedient manner
  • Researching the station before pitching is crucial

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