Competing for air-time in increasingly crowded radio space is an ongoing challenge for PR agencies seeking editorial coverage, and a shift in the broadcast landscape means that all spokespeople, whether they are celebrities, experts or CEOs, need to be available at all hours for interview opportunities, and not just during a traditional morning radio session.
While centralisation (hubbing) among commercial and BBC stations has led to a reduction in the number of individual programmes we can sell into, the flip side is that a single interview can be syndicated across large parts of the country. However this means spokespeople need to be available at different times to maximise the potential opportunities.
When choosing a spokesperson we would always advise that they should be ready and able to do anything from Wake Up To Money at 5am through to late night programmes. Furthermore, discovering that a key spokesperson is unavailable – or unwilling – to consider an interview request for a pre-record the afternoon before (such as Sky News Radio, for example) can have a huge effect on the success of a campaign.
It’s important that spokespeople are briefed so that they understand what they can expect from a broadcast interview, but don’t ask them to try to fit in too many key messages. Broadcasters love an informal chat with interviewees, and hate it if they feel that they’re being used to plug an item. So it’s a good idea to ask your spokesperson to keep product or brand mentions to two per interview – and always make sure they have a url ready, in case the presenter asks where people can go to find out more. If a spokesperson tries to fit a brand mention in to every answer, the broadcaster will quickly pull the plug on the interview which means losing valuable time on air, and can be embarrassing for the spokesperson – and potentially even the brand.
Finally, encourage your spokesperson to relax – at the studio in Shout! towers we make sure our spokespeople are as comfortable as possible with plenty of tea, coffee and snacks on offer and a lovely view out on to Covent Garden market. That gives them chance to enjoy their day, which really comes across when they’re on air. For more information about our studio, or tips for spokespeople, call one of the team at Shout! on 020 7240 7373.