We let the facts do the talking.

How to get TV or radio coverage

LOTS of coverage is what most clients want, and as PR practitioners we should do the best we can to get the maximum media exposure possible for our clients – whether it’s in newspapers, television or radio shows.

We might be surrounded by internet technology, but let’s face it, a lot of people still get the news from TV or radio stations. Sending out a press release can be easier than getting coverage on these channels, but, as some of you might know, few press releases ever make it to newspaper, and from those few press releases, even fewer catch a presenter or a producer’s attention to become a worthy story.

Here are some tips and thoughts on how to get TV or Radio coverage:

  1. Keep in mind that the reporter/producer has to continually come up with fresh ideas for future interviews and that he/she is always on the lookout for some new material. In order to appeal to them, you should have a general knowledge about the shows, and the topics and issues that they cover.
  2. Identify the local media and ask yourself the following questions: What types of shows do they have? How can my client contribute to the show? What audiences are they targeting? Answering these questions will help you in directing your efforts.
  3. The presenter will be looking for something that interests the listeners or the viewers so make sure you give them what they want! Remember, when you meet the needs of the audience, you are meeting the needs of the presenter/ producer.
    If you have a client that produces wellness equipment, and you want to pitch for a show targeting women, you have to find the right angle to generate interest among women in general, so that they are open and receptive to your message.
  5. When pitching for radio, you have to study the demographics of the show – for example, if it’s a show that runs in the late afternoon that means the audience is generally made up of people who are on their way home from the office. You always have to put yourself in the shoes of the listener, while considering what might appeal to you, in order to get more people to listen.
  6. The UGLY truth
    The reporter, producer, radio presenter couldn’t care less about your client and what they do! What they do care about is getting a good story. All it takes from your side is a little bit of creativity to deliver upon their expectations.
  7. Once you get the interview, you have to sit with your client for a media training session. If you’re on a budget, you can always talk about the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’, and most importantly, the message that they want to convey.
  8. TV is a visual medium, so be prepared to use the company or brand’s logo. On the radio, you have to be able to tell the story and convey the message without the aid of pictures or props, so delivering your message in an interesting way is very important.

Finally, you have to let your client know that, even though you are investing a lot of time and effort into finding exposure opportunities, sometimes your efforts do not translate into coverage and, at the end of the day, success is not measured by centimeters and columns of a coverage report – PR is about so much more.