Webcast promotions, the impact of HD Radio, more

What are the most effective tactics to promote my webcast?

What are the most effective tactics to promote my webcast?

"Based on our experience in working with several publishers, we have found that since webcasts tend to be part of a larger campaign, they should include integrated marketing principles," says Sharat Sharan of ON24. "Maintain a similar branded look and messaging as other related components of your marketing."

Leverage everything - from press releases, to print and online advertising, to e-mail blasts and newsletter promotions. "While you should be actively promoting your webcast for three weeks before the event," Sharan explains, "most live attendees will be driven through the promotions in the last two weeks." Print advertising can effectively influence up to 25% of all registrations, he notes. And, if you have enough time and budget, test your promotion on Google's AdWords.

"Most people think promotion ends once the webcast concludes, but that's a mistake," Sharan says. "Budget at least 20% of your marketing dollars for post-event promotion like e-mail blasts, online banners, or Google AdWords. And remember, three months after the live webcast, more people will have viewed it 'on-demand' than those who attended."

Radio

What is HD Radio and how will it impact radio broadcasts?

HD Radio refers to a brand of digital radio technology that transmits digital sound. While people assume that the "HD" refers to High Definition, as it does in "high definition television," HD in this case actually stands for hybrid digital, which means that it's transmitting both analog and digital signals at the same time, explains Lynn Harris Medcalf of News Generation.

HD Radio has been chosen by the FCC as the standard for local area broadcast of digital signals in the US because it offers multiple programs on one channel and works on the same frequencies allocated to analog (AM/FM) stations.

"Primarily used to provide 'CD quality' music, HD Radio is the first step in digitizing the radio spectrum," notes Medcalf. "While listeners don't have to subscribe to it, like they do to satellite radio, special receivers are needed to pick up HD stations at this time. Eventually, it is expected that all radio broadcasts will be digital, although the FCC has not set a timeline for that migration."

As of now, since most HD broadcasts are focused on music, this new technology hasn't yet impacted PR pros pitching stories to news and talk programs. "But when the FCC outlines a timeline for all broadcasters to move to the HD platform, that's when PR pros should take note," says Medcalf. "There is great hope that this technology will allow easier tracking of stories through digitized search and retrieval."

Trade outreach

How can I increase my media coverage in trade publications?

As 2007 approaches, it's time to get a jump on campaign activities for the new year by taking advantage of the editorial calendars posted by your industry's publications, says Courtney Bencze from Bacon's Information.

"They can help you discover more than just placement opportunities," she says. "[They offer] valuable guidance when you're looking for a tie-in to a story idea you're pitching. Typically these calendars are usually posted two to three months in advance."

Make sure to use a vendor who posts those calendars as soon as they are available, Bencze adds, because the competition can be fierce and often it's first come, first served.

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

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