By Kate Fallis
Brands, businesses and organisations love radio days because it’s a guaranteed way to communicate key messages to often millions of listeners. Responsibility for the quantity and quality of coverage will be safely in our hands – but there are some things you can do too, to ensure your company gets the most out of the day. Here are some of our tips:
As is the case with many things, preparation really is the key to success when it comes to a radio day. You need to have a plan of attack set out from the very beginning and to make sure your day falls at a time when we can help you get the best coverage possible. You may want to think ahead and consider these three things:
- Is your campaign linked to a particular “peg” such as a launch of a ‘national’ or ‘international’ day?
- What time of year is your campaign most relevant to listeners? Sometimes what works commercially – such as promoting wood burning stoves in the summer, so they’re installed for the start of winter – can be a challenge.
- Will your date of choice clash with other major news stories or events that could affect coverage? Obviously we never know what’s going to happen in the news but we can help you avoid major set pieces such as the government’s annual budget or the BBC’s Children in Need fundraising day.
Once you’ve chosen a date, it’s time to get started on your press release. It’s beneficial if you can send us your press release as early as possible so you have time to consider any advise we might give you. From there, we’ll draft a broadcast release that can be sent out far and wide. In an ideal world we like to have an approved broadcast release back with us a week before your radio day at the latest so we can get it sent out and start selling-in.
Your spokesperson/spokespeople will be the voice of your campaign so you need to choose wisely. It’s great if you can get someone who is familiar with the topic and brand linked to your campaign so they come across as a reliable source. They need to be able to drop in the brand name once or twice, so having knowledge of it already makes it easier for them to weave it into conversation. Having a celebrity spokesperson is an easy way to get broadcasters interested in your story but they need to be relevant; a well-known expert in the related field also works well as a third party spokesperson. You need someone who is comfortable speaking live on-air and who can handle the possible pressure of a tough question – these days there’s almost an expectation from broadcasters that they’ll be media trained.
Another thing to consider is your spokesperson’s availability. To maximise coverage it can be handy for them to have some time outside the radio day just in case stations want to book in a pre-recorded interview before the embargo date; if this happens it’s likely to be the afternoon before.
When it comes to the sell-in, we’ll handle this for you of course, but it can be very helpful to know your expectations first. For some brands, for example, getting the story to the maximum number of listeners possible is the priority; but for others communication key messages takes precedence.
At the start of the campaign we will agree aims and targets with you, including any stations that you particularly want to be featured on. To help us reach the maximum amount of coverage possible for you, there are several things for you to consider:
– does your story need case studies? In which case are they ready to go and briefed? BBC stations in particular like a case study – they have the airtime available to cover a story in depth and a case study makes it more relevant to their audiences.
– is your story is based on research? If so does it have a sample base of at least 1000? That’s the minimum required by many broadcasters. A smaller sample size is only feasible if it’s a very specific group, such as all CEOs, or all mothers under 30.
– have you dovetailed the radio day with any other sell-ins? Broadcasters will dismiss a story as too old if they read it in the papers the day before.
The Radio Day
On the day, we recommend you arrive with your spokesperson 30 minutes before the first interview so we can get you settled in with a tea or coffee and brief you. We will provide you with a client radio schedule, press release and regional information so you’ll have everything you need on the day. Here at Shout! we have a dedicated studio area where you can watch and listen to all the interviews as they go out on-air. That way, you can be happy in the knowledge that your key messages are being broadcast to the public. It’s good for you to be there with your spokesperson so you can reflect on each interview. Generally our radio days run from 8:30am-12:30pm, however we are more than happy to come in early and stay late depending on the schedule. Many of the big national stations can prefer to chat quite early so it’s important for your spokesperson to be available from 5am in some cases, even if it’s just over the phone. We will always update you as the interviews come in so you should know about this in advance. During the radio day, we will also record a podcast with your spokesperson which can be sent to even more stations afterwards.
Once your radio day is finished, we’ll send you an interim report with the coverage to date. The following day you will be updated with a final report, which includes all the information of each station such as the programme, reach and audio recording for you to keep on file. Voila! Your radio day experience with Shout! is complete.