Earlier this year, Deborah Meadan said on Dragons’ Den said if you’re spending less than £3,000 a month on PR then you might as well not bother, as so small a budget is unlikely to yield anything in the way of results.
Our broadcast PR campaigns can start from around £2,000, so we disagree with Deborah on that point; but we do think it’s interesting that she, and other top business leaders like her, recognise the importance of PR investment and what it can achieve.
Obviously the more you invest in a broadcast PR campaign the more effective it will be.
PR spend was disappointingly down in the 4th quarter of 2013, but a recent IPA Bellwether survey revealed 1 in 4 respondents expect PR spend to increase from this point on, in line with the economy’s expected recovery.
One of the advantages of investing this extra spend in broadcast PR is mass exposure for a small amount of money. For example, for a radio day costing in the region of £3,000, we generally guarantee a minimum of 10–12 opportunities, at least 1–2 of which are likely to be nationals. A slot on Radio 2 alone for example can reach 5 million people or more.
Opportunities can also be aimed at a specific target audience. A client of ours, English Apples & Pears for example, keen to communicate with its fruit growing members, was delighted with a slot on Radio 4’s Farming Today programme.
Many though see video as one of the most effective ways of communicating. Again, this is when investment in broadcast PR can be beneficial, as video can be produced and distributed to targeted sites and channels allowing greater exposure for your message or brand. A good example of this is a film we produced on behalf of the Department of Health when they wanted to communicate the benefits of a paperless NHS. Watch the video we produced for their campaign below:
Other advantages of broadcast PR could be a bit more freedom to get your brand across without the restrictions of a limited word count as in print. Live interviews allow you much more editorial control, and we recommend these over pre-recorded clips for this reason, if you’re ever given the choice.
Commercial and BBC stations have guidelines to follow regarding branding and the trick is to find the balance – a little bit of branding (and most journalists will permit this, they understand that a lot of their content is produced for PR) without coming across as an advert. With television you can use subtle visual branding too – a logo in the background of an interview for instance.
Then there’s the credibility you get with on-air interviews – national coverage on radio and television in particular is the sort of exposure that money just can’t buy.
The bottom line is if your PR spend is increasing in 2014, you will want to ensure it is invested in the most effective, creative and valuable way.
With this in mind, broadcast PR should be seen as an essential accompaniment and on occasions a viable alternative to print or traditional public relations activity.
To find out more about how broadcast PR can prove cost effective, book a place at one of our free media training and PR workshops.
Or find out how an investment in PR video can benefit your brand. Download our free guide on optimising online video production for your organisation.