Information design benefits, Hispanic radio tips, and more

Environmental issues can be overwhelming and confusing, which is why organizations seeking better communication tools to persuade, change, and challenge constituents are well served by information design, notes Lori Wilson of Funnel Incorporated.

Green launches
How can information design be used in the launch of a new green product or initiative? Environmental issues can be overwhelming and confusing, which is why organizations seeking better communication tools to persuade, change, and challenge constituents are well served by information design, notes Lori Wilson of Funnel Incorporated.

"Transparent organizations seeking to avoid the greenwashing backlash are wise to eschew superficial claims, window dressing, and data manipulation," she suggests. "We advise clients to stick to the facts and respect their audience by presenting data in a clear, thoughtful manner."

For example, water conservation is easier to comprehend when various threats to groundwater are visualized. Before-and-after images are a great way to powerfully convey a problem or proposed solution, Wilson adds.

"An information design firm will explore visual metaphors that articulate an organization's environmental stewardship in a unique way that goes beyond the ubiquitous green leaf," says Wilson. "An added benefit is the universal appeal info graphics and icons have to a variety of audiences, cultures, and languages."

Spanish radio
How can I generate exposure for my client on Spanish radio stations without paying their high advertising rates?
Because of the skyrocketing growth and popularity of Spanish radio stations across the US, it's becoming more difficult and more expensive to break through the clutter, says Sheila Burke of Win Win Radio.

Revenues at Spanish radio stations are outpacing other formats in the medium, growing by an estimated 6% in 2008. While you will likely have to pay to secure an on-air promotion, there are ways to get airtime without spending top dollar, she adds.

"For instance, if you're not focused on specific markets, partner with syndicated programs or national networks rather than individually paying local stations for separate promotions," Burke suggests.

"Perhaps most importantly, it's critical to put your best foot forward," she continues. The person representing your firm should speak Spanish fluently and have a good understanding of the inner workings of Spanish media outlets.

Radio
Are all the big name talk-radio hosts still only found on AM?
In markets across the country, radio listeners are discovering that their favorite talk show has moved from the AM to the FM dial, says Martha Sharan of News Generation.

"In city after city, talk stations are flipping to FM," she reports. "And that could be a signal that a new radio trend is taking hold."

Research shows that this switch began slowly about three years ago, Sharan notes. In 2005, Salem Communications Corporation, a radio broadcaster focused on Christian and family-themed programming, began to simulcast news-talk programming on FM and AM stations in Sacramento, CA.

"A little more than a year later, sports-talk stations started to move in the same direction," she explains. "Now at least a dozen sports stations provide live and local sports-talk programming around the clock."

News-talk stations have their sights on FM, as well.

There are a number of recent examples of news-talk stations simulcasting on both FM and AM to better reach into their respective markets.

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

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