Good PR can achieve a broad range of goals through an equally broad range of media. But some are more elusive than others. In my opinion, none more so than broadcast! It’s undoubtedly one of the most exciting media wins to secure. A nice TV slot or a radio interview makes everyone involved feel like they’ve brushed shoulders with a career in showbiz. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the toughest media to break into for brands, without having the headline news of the day. Tough, yes. But not impossible.
Here are a few key pointers that might help you get that broadcast coverage over the line.
Don’t leave it too late!
About a week in advance of when you want your interview coverage to land is the best time to begin pitching your story. You need plenty of time to approach and follow up with broadcast media. The only exception to this is if you’re working on a big national news story – then you wouldn’t want to begin pitching until the day before you want your news to break. Broadcast journos start filling feature slots around a week ahead. So, if you leave your pitching too late, chances are the live slot you’re after has already been filled. Even if your story is great – there’s simply no space for it! You missed the boat.
Remember: Feature slots fill up first, news is always last.
Give your story more context
Very rarely will broadcast media cover basic brand announcements. What they will cover is a story that relates to a wider conversation or provides a solution to a prominent issue. Think about the bigger picture. Does your announcement address sustainability? Mental health? Post-COVID recovery? Or any other topical subject that’s already discussed in the news? Tapping into this and inserting your brand into this conversation gives your story more scope. Authenticity is key though, broadcast will sniff out any disingenuous PR fluff.
Assets, assets, assets
Add value to your story by making it the full package. Broadcast journalists are extremely time poor, so making their job easier by offering everything they need before they ask will be a big benefit to you. B-roll footage is always recommended if you’re hoping to secure TV interviews, along with high-res images, case studies available for interview and, most importantly, data. Commissioning new research and using the stats to illustrate why your story is important is invaluable. It doesn’t have to be a huge in-depth report, but three to five decent headline stats are always more appealing than none, and could make all the difference to your broadcast success.
Choose your spokespeople carefully
For most brands, the easiest person to put forward is often someone from your own team, maybe the CEO or similar. However, this isn’t always the most appealing guest for broadcast and it really depends on the story. Your spokesperson is one of the single most important parts of a broadcast interview, not just for your key messaging but also to be attractive to broadcast media. Branded spokespeople can be a red flag to broadcasters, no matter how well spoken or interesting your CEO is – it’s just not what journos want on air all the time. So consider an independent expert. Again, it doesn’t have to break the bank, but thinking outside the box and offering broadcasters a genuinely unique and interesting guest to discuss your announcement can really help. Alternatively, if your budget doesn’t allow for an independent guest, find some case studies or customers willing to go on air on your behalf. Real, human stories that people can relate to win every time over your CMO.
Don’t give up!
Broadcast PR is exhausting, time consuming and sometimes disheartening when you don’t get the interest you were hoping for – but don’t give up. Sometimes broadcasters just don’t have time to run your interview on the date you’ve earmarked for coverage, but that doesn’t mean they’re not interested. Be flexible and follow up. Maybe you can get the coverage across the line a week later than planned or add a case study to make it more appealing. Ask for feedback and get their thoughts – there’s no one better placed to advise you on what’s best than a broadcast journalist themselves.
So there you have it. My top tips for securing broadcast coverage. Pitching to broadcasters takes up a lot of resources, but it’s extremely rewarding and worthwhile. The world of TV and radio is an unpredictable beast, and you’ll always be working against a tide of breaking news. But, with a little insight and a lot of determination, anyone can secure amazing broadcast coverage if they tick all the right boxes.
If you’d like to learn how Hard Numbers can help you secure broadcast coverage for your business, visit our broadcast PR page or get in touch for more details on our services.