Improving ROI of your SMT, radio's PR viability, more

How can I get additional ROI on my SMT?

How can I get additional ROI on my SMT?

The traditional SMT remains a popular broadcast PR tool, and "in today's fragmented media landscape," says Bev Yehuda, VP, product for MultiVu, "it is wise to consider adding additional media tools to extend the reach and increase the return on investment."

A multimedia news releases (MNR) can include sound bites from the SMT, edited into a news segment, together with a press release, logo, and graphics, she shares. An MNR distributed over a newswire reaches the media and general public through posting on thousands of Web sites, plus it can be optimized for search engines, helping to ensure visibility.

"Targeted e-mail distribution [also] extends the SMT message beyond traditional TV outlets, creating a viral communication tool and increasing the ROI," Yehuda adds.

In order to further extend messaging and increase ROI, consider adding radio interviews to the schedule, she suggests. "With your spokesperson already in a TV studio," Yehuda explains, "it's easy to initiate an Internet connection and produce a video webcast."

Radio
With the ever-growing popularity of the Internet, is broadcast radio still a viable form of distribution for PR content?

"Everyone listens to radio," states Michele Wallace of Medialink. "About 94% of all adults over 18 listen to the radio each week. It is the medium that cuts across the demographics of age, gender, economic standing, and ideology. It's even more powerful as a geographic targeting solution."

Due to its flexibility, radio can be listened to at home, in the office, in the car, and virtually anywhere air waves reach. And with diversity in programming formats, there is great potential in engaging your target audience with broadcast audio.

"PR strategists have to understand that they must start with a compelling story, regardless of how it will be delivered," Wallace adds. Audio led the way with evolving media such
as podcasts, streaming audio, and satellite programming.

Whether delivered via broadcast, satellite, or digitally on the Web, she notes that audio releases and radio interviews remain highly effective ways to promote new product launches, business announcements, or FDA approvals.

Measurement
In creating a media relations measurement system, what should I consider?

"You'll need to go way beyond clip counts," says Carol Holden, director of operations for the BurrellesLuce media measurement division. Media relations is aimed at influencing target audiences - customers, constituents, policy-makers, and more - who matter to your client.

"Be clear about what change you want your communications to make," she advises. "You have to know where you want to go to tell if you've reached your goal."

To know what people think, ask them, through opinion surveys and focus groups, Holden suggests. Survey first, to guide planning, then afterward, to see if you've made a difference. And closely watch their behavior, she notes. "Keep an eye on how they vote, whether it's with dollars or ballots."

Factors PR can't control, such as the quality of products and customer service, will sway opinions, so narrower measures of media relations effectiveness are also useful.

"Determine which outlets are covering you and competitors and what they're saying," adds Holden. Evaluate stories for tone and to see if your key messages and spokespeople appear. "And count those clips - that's where it all begins."

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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