When it comes to expanding your business or raising your professional profile, broadcast PR is an essential component of the marketing mix, and essential to any successful growth campaign.
So, what exactly is broadcast PR, and how can it really help your business? In this post, we drill down into the nuts and bolts of broadcast PR, including what you should know about this marketing discipline, the most common broadcast PR services offered by specialist agencies, and the benefits and challenges that come with this public relations strategy.
What is Broadcast PR?
Simply put, broadcast PR is a strand of media relations that is specifically dedicated to securing TV and radio coverage, whether that’s through the promotion of a campaign, brand, product or representative. The aim of this coverage is to increase visibility for your brand, raising awareness and potentially generating more sales.
Broadcast PR services
It’s easy to think of broadcast PR in the same terms as other marketing disciplines, where your strategy boils down to creating a target media list, pitching and then securing coverage. Unfortunately, the reality is more complex. Not only is the process of securing valuable broadcast coverage a highly skilled job, but there are also so many other facets to how broadcast PR needs to be approached.
Research and insights will ensure you’re up-to-date with all the latest trends in the broadcast world, so that your coverage is topical and engaging. A broadcast PR strategy might also include influencer sourcing to secure a high-profile representative for your campaign, or perhaps video production to create a visually impactful piece of content that will grab the attention of broadcast journalists. Other considerations might include media training, to ensure that your spokesperson is fully prepared to be interviewed on TV and radio, and maybe even podcast creation, to provide a popular way of both informing and entertaining listeners. In short, there are many things to consider when building a broadcast PR strategy.
This is where a broadcast specialist agency might come in useful. The professionals within these agencies have the necessary contacts and long-term relationships to start conversations with broadcast journalists, and the knowledge of broadcast trends to create meaningful and unique coverage. From remote radio days to television media tours, a specialist broadcast agency can provide brands with unique PR opportunities, and help them to reach key audiences.
The benefits of broadcast PR
One of the most obvious benefits of broadcast PR is the rich rewards it offers. By their very nature, broadcast audiences are broad! Both TV and radio provide a potential audience of thousands, if not millions, of people. Even while print readership has declined in recent years, people have continued to consume broadcast media – with the past year seeing more people than ever consuming broadcast media in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
As well as offering a huge audience, broadcast coverage can also be highly targeted and relevant. For example, if you’re trying to reach political decision makers, you might pitch to BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme. By contrast, if you’re looking for a more general ‘lifestyle’ audience, you might reach out to ITV’s This Morning.
Broadcast PR is also a fantastic way to bring your brand, product or campaign to life. Audiences tend to be much more responsive to audiovisual content than written information, particularly if it is presented by someone they trust. These mediums offer a more engaging and relatable experience, combining a human connection (via case studies or a spokesperson) with compelling sounds and imagery.
You may be surprised to learn that broadcast PR also tends to be a very cost-effective option. Compared to marketing strands such as traditional advertising, broadcast PR provides valuable and unique opportunities, and is the best way to reach both a huge number of people and a highly specific audience.
The challenges of broadcast PR
Pitching to broadcast journalists takes specific knowledge and expertise. Without knowing how to pitch correctly – knowing the full details by heart, and getting key facts (such as spokespeople) right – you might end up making bad impressions, and burning bridges for the future. Make sure you’ve found that news hook, engaged confidently with the journalist to fire their imagination, and ultimately ticked every box to secure that coverage.
Another common challenge is the planning and logistics involved in hosting a broadcast crew. For example, they may need to park a satellite van for TV coverage, or find a quiet and well-insulated space for recording radio coverage. It’s important to ensure that these logistical considerations are worked through ahead of the event, and attended to on the day to ensure all goes smoothly.
The most significant challenge, perhaps, is the fact that broadcast journalists only tend to plan the next 24 to 48 hours. This is a shortfall you need to make up for, ensuring that everything is lined up and ready to go within the golden window of opportunity. Broadcasters can be extremely demanding; if they require a spokesperson at short notice, for instance, you’ll need to be quick-thinking and fast-acting, and grab the opportunity while it’s being offered.
How can broadcast PR help your business?
There are so many different ways broadcast PR can help a business that it can be difficult to pinpoint tangible touchpoints, and measure the final results. Ultimately, broadcast PR should positively impact how your audience sees your business, and work towards creating your desired reputation through strategic communications and tactics.
Broadcast PR will drive awareness of your business by ensuring it’s being featured in the places your target audience frequents. The unique nature of third-party endorsement, whether that’s a broadcaster or journalist, will add credibility to your campaign.
With consistent key messaging, the weight of positive communications around your business will support your brand positioning. In turn, raising awareness and building a positive reputation will hugely grow your visibility, with the end result of increasing your customer base and boosting sales.
Broadcast PR is a huge opportunity for brands and businesses alike, offering the opportunity for valuable coverage in front of a large and highly targeted audience. As we’ve learned, there is much more to this marketing strand than just pitching to journalists and securing a quick piece on TV or radio. To harness the full potential of broadcast PR, it’s important to consider the different opportunities available to you, and put plans in place that will make your campaign a success.
We hope this article has helped you to consider incorporating broadcast PR into your next marketing campaign. If you need support in creating and executing your strategy, find a broadcast PR agency that can help.