When you’re starting to define which mediums to use when marketing your business, radio probably wasn’t the first to pop into mind (if at all). However, utilizing radio advertising can be rewarding if you’re pursuing an older target market. So, where to start?
Keep in mind that it’s better to repeat an ad multiple times within a short frequency than over long periods of time – more likely to reach the same audience, which typically needs to hear an ad around 3 times before it really registers with them.
A few ways to make your radio ad stand out are to localize the ad, capitalize on trends, add music, utilize humor, open with a catchy hook, or use a great voice actor. When it comes to the actual writing of the ad, you can utilize this template for quick and easy ad creation.
Now that we’ve covered Radio advertising, we’re going to completely switch gears and look into advertising in magazines. The process of getting your ad into a print magazine is completely different than that of placing a radio ad, as they typically have to be finalized 3-6 months in advance. Be sure that you’re sending your request for an ad spot to the correct person, not the editor in chief. In the first of your request, show that you’ve done your research, know what they cover, and are offering a good story/angle for their magazine.
Press releases aren’t always appealing – they can oftentimes seem impersonal. Instead, provide a personalized pitch and ask if they’d like you to provide more information. Check the magazine’s editorial guidelines or media kits, as they can give good insight to what the magazine covers. You can also check their back issues – you might be able to spot patterns there. For the trades, Culture & Home magazines are a great place to start.
For digital magazines, the pitch requirements are far more likely to vary depending on the publication. Digital magazine ad placements can also require more content and effort than print magazines, so oftentimes someone on the magazine’s team will create the necessary assets.
Switching gears yet again, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to consider when planning your television ad. Your story will obviously need to be visual, bonus points if you can include clips of yourself in action. People don’t want to look at someone just talking unless they’re already interested in the subject or person presenting, so try to steer clear of long speaking sections.
The language and structure of your ad will vary depending on the timing and theme of where your ad will be placed. Typically, local TV audiences want news stories that are either useful or entertaining, so you’ll need to formulate your ad around those points if you’re advertising on a local tv station.
When it comes to pitching for television, being timely is the name of the game. If possible, you should pitch something that the producer can easily connect to another story, or will help to add to a story that the producer is currently working on. TV journalists often work on a day-to-day basis, meaning deadlines are always quickly approaching, so try to catch one prior to them going into the editorial room to pitch.
These journalists tend to get a lot of the same pitches – like donating around the holidays. Find a way to make your pitch unique with an especially catchy hook. They’re looking for things that grip viewers either positively or negatively – social/economic impact, impacts specific community, city, industry, so if there’s a way for you to work that aspect into your pitch, you’ll be more likely to get placed.
Keep in mind that it’s completely normal to have to pitch to a TV station multiple times, so don’t get discouraged if your first try doesn’t work out. Always ask for feedback on why you weren’t selected, and what you can do better to improve your chances. Most local tv stations have an assignment desk, or people who find compelling stories and assign reporters/producers. The best way to find these assignment desks is to google “assignment desk site:SITEURL.” – e.g. “assignment desk site:fox32chicago.com.”
Not sure when to pitch? Take a look at everyone’s schedules. Breakfast producers tend to work from about 5am-noon, and producers of morning shows or evening current affairs shows tend to work from 9-5pm. Unlike journalists, news anchors love when people can pitch to them over the phone.
You’ll also need to consider whether the segment you’ll be appearing on is live or taped – and if it’s live, always be ready to go at a moment’s notice. Be prepared with all the info you’ll need: arrival time, segment time, whether you’re doing hair/makeup, and the information they need you to provide, etc. Take the opportunity to subtly advertise your business by wearing company branded gear, like a polo or hat.
A pitch is a persuasive email or call you deliver to relevant media outlets and contacts to convince them why they should feature your story.
When it comes to following up with journalists and media professionals, you should always make sure that you’re being respectful of their time. 44% of journalists get a minimum of 20 pitches per day – they’re very busy people. Keep the message short but personalized. If writing, it should be under 200 words. We’d recommend that you send them an email at times where there’s more likely to be a lull – the best days to send, in order, are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday between 9am-2pm.
How you should pitch the story depends on the outlet you’re pitching to but in general…
As for how you should format a pitch:
As a general rule of thumb, you should wait between 2-4 days before following up.
You can change the subject line slightly, but make sure that it’s still clear and concise, between 61-70 characters. You can add additional value but just saying you wanted to put this back on their radar in case it was buried in their inbox is enough.
Using these PR tools can help you build and organize your media lists, find journalists looking for stories, manage your follow-ups, and write clear pitches that increase your chances of getting featured. We’ve also included a few free PR websites and resources on how to find reporters to help you get started.
These websites, meanwhile, can be used to find daily trending topics that you can piggyback news onto:
And just like that, you’re ready to get started on your PR efforts! Taking on PR can be a daunting task, but hopefully you’re feeling more prepared after reading this article. But it doesn’t stop there! We’ve also included a few templates in the main PR section of our Playbook, because who wants to start from scratch? Keep in mind that the information we’ve provided above is a very basic and high-level overview of the basics you’ll need to know in order to get started on your PR efforts. If you’re still not feeling comfortable enough to take this task on by yourself, there’s nothing wrong with hiring a PR or Marketing expert on contract to handle it for you.