Optimizing SMTs, selecting a Mat release service, more

How can I optimize my satellite media tour?

How can I optimize my satellite media tour?

"A little tweaking of your approach to SMT planning can reap the big audience numbers," says JoAnn Mangione, VP of Zcomm.

"First," she suggests, "put your money where your mouth is - invest in a well-known spokesperson and stick to health, entertainment, topical issues, and nonprofits." Topics related to special observances, such as American Diabetes Month, are helpful, as are charity tie-ins. Full disclosure is important, "so build trust with producers by telling them up-front who is sponsoring the SMT," Mangione advises.

Use your studio time wisely, she points out. Don't forget to incorporate radio bookings between TV interviews to pump up audience numbers. Also think about extending the length of the tour to increase station participation.

Finally, repurpose the interviews by creating a series of video and/or audio podcasts, Mangione adds. Consider streaming part or all of the interviews on your Web site and on related or partner Web sites. Also use viral marketing.

Mat releases

How do I know which Mat release service to use?

"Mat release services employ a variety of methods to distribute your content to the media," says Brian Agnes of Family Features Editorial Syndicate. "So it's important to distinguish which one is right for you."

Some services send material to a large group of editorial outlets via an e-mail or direct mail blast - not considering whether the editor asked for the content or is even likely to use it, Agnes says. "This approach can backfire, as some editors view this approach akin to spamming," he explains.

Other services allow "pre-orders" - that is, they encourage editors to sign up to receive a stream of continuing content. These orders are often reported as a media placement, but in reality, are not likely to be published due to space or quality of content, Agnes notes.
Ideally, one should select a service that targets specific editors and verifies the circulation and editorial appropriateness of the title. Ongoing promotion should direct editors to a secure site where they can view and download content.

"By capturing these downloads, the syndication service can then follow up with editors personally to determine expected publishing dates and to secure tear sheets - providing a more accurate ROI for you and your client," he adds.

Radio vs. television

How do I know if my message will work better on radio or TV?

Radio is all about voice and description, whereas TV is all about visuals. "Many stories that work for TV might not work on radio because they demonstrate or illustrate something that cannot be described by the voice alone," explains Susan Matthews Apgood, president of News Generation.

"One thing to keep in mind: Creating a visual for the radio listener when possible can make for a great story," she notes. For example, when using statistics, illustrate how much of an impact a story has by creating a picture in the listener's mind.

Also, radio interviews tend to be a bit longer than those on TV, Apgood says. TV interviews are generally about three minutes long. Radio interviews generally last five minutes.

Stories that need a bit more explanation on issues, such as healthcare and legislative matters, tend to work well on radio since there is time to explain these subjects in depth.

"Keep in mind that there are many messages that can work on both radio and television," Apgood adds, "so pitching both can be your best bet."

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

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