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Don’t underestimate the power of radio

Broadcast PR is, traditionally at least, all about securing editorial publicity for a client on television and radio. In recent years, podcasts have also become a coveted medium. TV and radio show producers have been demanding content and exciting stories for decades, and the volume of choice and opportunity for a Broadcast PR agency to target continues to increase.

A successful Broadcast PR campaign will be based on several key factors, including matching a client with a target audience and a good understanding of how each medium works is key.

Many clients embarking on a broadcast PR campaign will be keen to secure television coverage, but the power of radio as a medium to deliver a key message to a target audience should not be underestimated.

To give some idea of the consistent power and reach of radio, in 2022, radio listening figures of the Radio Joint Audience Research (RAJAR) find that nearly 90% of the adult UK population listens to live radio for a weekly average of 20.4 hours. This accounts for more than a billion radio hours consumed per week. This is leaving aside the podcast market, estimated at 17M podcast users in 2022 in the UK. Spoken media continues to be a consistent and wide-reaching platform and shows no sign of waning.

A significant advantage of radio over television is access. For a start, there are fewer logistical aspects to overcome, which lends itself to being able to target a larger volume of radio slots. A physical presence isn’t required to attend a television studio to tell the story of your brand or product. This is particularly advantageous when trying to take advantage of relevant topics.

Also, targeted placement is more straightforward with radio. A broadcast PR expert will be able to tailor a client’s story to appeal to radio producers and cast it in a light that will help it appear in the most favourable segment for your marketing strategy.

This is much more difficult to do on television. The structures are more rigid and segments for broadcast PR are confined to specific slots. For example, the advent of podcasts also allows broadcast PR campaigns to take advantage of an already engaged and willing audience of a particular public figure. A key role of a broadcast PR consultant is to turn that public figure into an advocate.

Television can be a more powerful stimulus for engaging audiences than radio, simply because it engages more of the senses, and typically, people watching television are not involved in another activity at the same time. With audio-only media, it is common for someone to be ‘half-listening’ whilst driving, running, gardening, cooking or engaged in another activity.

With television, there is typically more focused attention and thus greater access to the audience’s consciousness. Television will typically have a bigger audience at a given moment. It is easier to tell the exact story you want to tell on television and the scope for influence is greater. The added visual impression may leave a longer lasting impression, especially if the Broadcast PR campaign includes an example of a product or service being used on screen.

TV, radio and podcasts have their own nuances in terms of content, audiences and engagement. An experienced broadcast PR consultant will know which kind of stories producers and editors are looking for on television and radio and will support a product or service in building its broadcast PR marketing campaign with that in mind, to maximise broadcast exposure.


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