Radio versus TV
Radio PR gives you the opportunity to reach a massive audience. 48 million of us in the UK listen to the medium each and every week. A successful radio should include a wide variety of stations, BBC and commercial, regional and national.
Radio is an intimate medium. It feels like a conversation, presenter to listener. That means it’s open to all sorts of sensitive subjects that you might not get coverage for on television.
The volume of stations also allows you to target channels that best suit your client. BBC regional radio, for example, tends to have an older age profile around 45-65 whilst commercial radio stations appeal to a younger audience.
Live interview opportunities
Live radio particularly offers fantastic opportunities for a spokesperson or case study to secure key client messages and worthy branding. You might be surprised at the length of the chats which vary from a couple of minutes on a BBC regional breakfast show, to several minutes on BBC mid-morning and smaller commercial stations. Larger commercial stations meanwhile are more likely to run a shorter, pre-recorded clips – but they generally agree to a brand mention and their bigger audience reach adds to their value.
Radio is guaranteed
You know what you’re getting with radio. We guarantee our coverage, typically a minimum of 10-12 opportunities, 1-2 of which we expect to be nationals. So when you’re weighing up, radio or TV, this is really worth remembering. Radio is more reliable than TV anyway. Even with a breaking story, the sheer amount of UK radio stations means your story is less likely to get dropped from a radio schedule than a TV one.
Radio is cost effective
PR research works well on radio and is a cost effective way of generating some good content. It doesn’t work so well on TV which needs pictures to illustrate a story. A good top line, some regional breakdown which will interest local stations and a good spokesperson and you’re ready to go.
The need for a good spokesperson
A word of warning though – good spokespeople are key for radio as they need to work in messages clearly and succinctly in an entertaining and engaging way. They should be able to paint a picture with words, as well as casually but relevantly drop a brand mention or key message into an answer.
TV versus radio
For many clients though TV is the icing on the cake. Younger people may be getting more of their news online, meaning TV audiences are slowly evolving, but television still reaches millions, it is influential and prestigious.
Often a picture does tell a story. That means more effort from the PR side, offering journalists either the opportunity to film for themselves, or B-roll which illustrates a PR story. But good visuals can be the difference between a story getting on-air ….or not.
Seeing a case story, rather than just hearing them, can be more emotionally engaging than just hearing them on radio. That makes the viewer more involved and more receptive to PR messaging.
Television PR challenges
TV slots are hard to come by. There’s less air-time than there is on radio, open to PR stories, therefore competition to secure an opportunity is intense. And even when you do get on air, air time is often very short. This means that in a live interview you need to get branding and messages out quickly and concisely; with pre-recorded clips the branding is more likely to come in the form of an aston – words on the screen, most likely a reference to a client’s position and company.
Spokespeople need to be excellent, up for the challenge of being seen as well as heard. It’s nerve wrecking for the best of spokespeople and media training before a TV opportunity is highly recommended.
Don’t forget regional TV
Regional TV should not be overlooked either. Cutbacks over recent years means regional newsrooms have merged together and have become super patches, covering large areas of the country. As much work, however is required for regional TV as is needed for nationals. They demand ingredients that are tailor made for their region – including spokespeople, case studies and local facts and figures.
Overall, both radio and television are excellent ways of communicating messages, each bringing their own advantages and disadvantages to the table. A mixed campaign of radio and TV can be hugely effective, but make sure spokespeople and case studies are available on the day of the story and the day before. Balancing all coverage between TV and radio can be tough. It is useful to have multiple spokespeople and decide who you want for what and where they will be so you are able to fulfil all coverage demands and maximise your campaign’s potential.
Remote radio and TV interviews
Adding to the logistical complications is the fact many broadcasters still prefer conducting interviews remotely. That’s fine for radio – clients and spokespeople generally prefer this. But if you have a TV opportunity, requiring a spokesperson to go into a television studio you could consider our pop up radio studio service. That’s comprised of all the kit, including microphones and a sound desk, needed to do a professional broadcast interview, which we bring as close as possible to any TV studio interviews. We can set up in an office, a hotel, wherever is convenient.
Can’t decide which to go for or how to manage both? Have a look through some of our case studies here https://www.shoutcommunications.co.uk/our-work/ or give us a call to talk through your next campaign.
020 7 240 7373 for Catherine or Arthur.