Although it doesn't provide the visual qualities of television, or the "newness" of the Internet, radio is still a good fit for technology PR campaigns.
"Radio is one of my favorite media to work with," says Chris Barker, account director at Text 100. "It allows you to talk about more complex issues that you wouldn't be able to package in a minute-and-a-half TV segment." And because technology frequently lends itself to issues that require a more in-depth explanation, radio is often a more strategic choice.
Sheri Baer, broadcast director for The Hoffman Agency, notes that radio played a big part in
the firm's recent work for ThinkFree, a Web-based alternative to Microsoft Office. The agency was able to secure an interview on Craig Crossman's Computer America, a nationally syndicated show that reaches 30 markets and offers an hour of interview time.
"The potential reach and impact is tremendous," she says. "If you are looking for good bang for your PR buck, radio delivers."
In addition, Baer notes that many of these shows offer podcasts of the broadcast on their Web sites. "It goes well beyond the initial airtime," she says. "They become a valuable marketing sales tool."
Bob Angus, president and managing partner of A&R Partners, sees two types of opportunities for tech stories on radio: products, and the personalities behind the products and issues. And the fact that most tech product stories are visually oriented and pitched to TV first makes radio a more "receptive" medium, he adds.
Angus notes that radio morning shows are also a good place to target, citing contests that give away products that often are technology-related, including cell phones, televisions, and MP3 players.
"Technology is finding its way into everything that we do. Cars are technology; radios
are technology," he says. "This is a great way to reach people with the latest, coolest stuff in a place where they can spend a little bit of time paying attention to it."
Radio programs allow more time for in-depth discussion of complex technology issues
Radio shows make podcasts available for a tech-savvy audience
Morning show contests present a good opportunity to feature tech products