Pitching satellite radio shows, lead generation tactics, more

What is the best way to net coverage on satellite radio shows?

What is the best way to net coverage on satellite radio shows?

Satellite radio companies XM and Sirius are now trying to merge, which may alter future outreach. The two ended 2006 with over 13 million subscribers between them, so PR pros have reason to include satellite radio in broader initiatives.

"As with pitching traditional radio outlets, the first key is to lock in on the right producer," says Richard Strauss, president of Strauss Radio Strategies. XM and Sirius offer hundreds of programming options, so it is critical to research channels on their respective Web sites to identify the most appropriate producer contact, and also see which programs even allow for guests. For example, most music channels don't do guest interviews, Strauss notes.

Second, target the pitch. With satellite, it's easy because services and channels are aimed at extremely niche audiences.

"There is likely a niche program exclusively targeted to [almost every] demographic," Strauss explains. Because XM and Sirius carry scores of talk shows that originate on terrestrial radio, he adds, guests booked on these shows will be heard not only on the satellite channel, but also on the show's original terrestrial syndication AM and FM stations.

Lead generation

How can PR support my company's lead-generation efforts?

"PR is often seen as a separate entity from marketing, instead of as a key part of a well-rounded marketing effort," states Kim Ryden, director of lead generation for ON24. PR, she adds, is vital to helping create multiple touches in the industry - from the Web site, marketing collateral, and trade shows, to media coverage and analyst relations - for sales lead efforts.

To fully maximize how PR can support lead generation, Ryden recommends search engine optimizing your press release by incorporating links to keywords in that release to increase search rankings. Also, tracking Web site traffic from media coverage and press releases helps to determine which venues and news are resonating with prospective audiences.

"It's also important to understand what sources have contributed the most number of leads to the organization," Ryden shares. "An article in a niche publication may generate more interest than one from a national outlet."

Lastly, she suggests leveraging upcoming media placements and editorial calendars for prospective ad opportunities.
Media relations

How does a young company become a trusted source without the help of a customer?

"Business and trade reporters like to insist that they require customers to deliver market-shaping coverage, but that's not really true," says Amy Bermar, president of Corporate Ink.

"Identify the right reporters and create relationships that have value," she stresses. This means going beyond 'did you get my news release' calls, and offering unexpected market data, trends, and tidbits when they're not expecting it. Share information you know they care about - even if it doesn't advance your own client. It pays off because these reporters know that you have something real to offer, she explains.

"Feed them story ideas that tie into national trends," she suggests. If the story is big enough, there is room for a vendor, especially if they can provide meaningful market data and credible anecdotes. Feel free to offer ready-made quotes on a hot topic. It can make a reporter's job easier and it often inspires them to pick up the phone.

 Once a relationship is built, remember it's still a two-way street and not all stories are a fit. "It's OK to decline an interview," Bermar notes. "Sometimes, it's the best approach."

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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