Radio & Online Communications: Breadth of vision

Ask enough corporate PR specialists how they evaluate the success of the broadcast element of their communications strategy, and you will eventually come across a vision that would depress even those with just a limited knowledge of the metrics available: 'If the CEO requests extra copies of his fleeting appearance on the business slot of BBC Breakfast, it was a success.'

The line is no longer funny because the level of client budget committed to broadcast communications is high enough to justify real attempts to create both action strategies and evaluation systems that fairly reflect the outcome of the work carried out. And yet there is still too much of a reliance on ink and paper cuttings as evidence of a campaign's success and not enough attention paid to planning approaches to - and content for - the broadcast media in the same way as one might a reporter or editor of a print product.

Of course, this critique does not apply to all. There is a sizeable minority of practitioners who understand the real value that broadcast communications can create and who share the breadth of vision that those at the cutting edge of broadcast in other media and marketing disciplines embrace. PRWeek is proud to be associated with them, and with a supplement that attempts to boost the profile of best practice and raise the bar on what's possible and on how to achieve it.

One of the most obvious offences is the focus on TV at the expense of radio. In an age when digital radio use is increasing and multi-channel TV has led to unprecedented audience fragmentation, such an approach misses a vast tranche of available airtime that PROs should be offering to fill.

This supplement demonstrates techniques that practitioners are already using to break into public consciousness. In addition to the very best of media relations activities aimed at garnering space on broadcast news outlets, it includes examples of the use of paid publicity and of the type of listener offer or sponsorship deal we all hear on our radio stations of choice. Broadcast media are especially susceptible to integrated marketing strategies, and it is integrated strategies that tend to bear the juiciest fruit.

Gidon Freeman, executive editor, PRWeek.

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