Monday, March 10, 2014

Planning A Stunt? Start By Learning PR

I love perusing radio trades and seeing that an A&O&B client is doing something clever.

Communicating via the trades is very a nice thing to do, sharing your idea withe rest of us in your business (and perhaps it also serves to demoralize your competition when they see your name accomplishing something you know they wish they had thought of first).

Of course, the real folks you want to impact with your stunt - potential new cume and also your current core audience - don't read the radio trades, so it's even more important that your great idea creates word of mouth advertising among your local target.

What TV news, if any, do they watch?  What else do they read?  Which social networks are best at touching them?

Each of those things has a gatekeeper.  Do you know who that is?  More importantly, do they know who you are?

Before you start your stunt planning on the air, create a series of press releases for each stage of it.  Then, reach out to the local people who are most likely to cover things local radio stations do.  Even with these individuals, they are more likely to give you the coverage you want if they feel like they are scooping their competition, so you'll want to decide in advance which people to "leak" your story to and which ones will use it if they simply get the same press release everyone else does.

That's publicity 101, and if your stunt is something that you want maximum exposure for, you may want to hire a pro, a local press agent with a track record of getting things lots of ink and buzz.  If you don't know who that is, you're not ready to distribute your first release yet.

Talk to a ad agency your trust.  Do some homework.  Find out how other radio-oriented stories getting the kind of coverage you covet were delivered and by whom.

Once you know that and have decided whether you need to hire someone or just want to try doing it yourself, you're ready to hit the send button on that initial PR email to your list.

After the release goes out, it's time to really study who picks it up, which angle they use and how well your story did.  That way, when it's time to send out your next press release you will have the tools to kick it up a notch.

Take the people who used your story to lunch.  Sure, this will give you a chance to do some more personal PR and give them an inside view at your show and station, but  it is also time to listen to them and find out what they would do differently next time so that your story gets more prominent coverage in their medium.

Make a list of people who didn't use your story but who do sometimes cover other radio station events and stories.  Take them to lunch next.  Listen more than talk.  How do they perceive you?  What can you do to get them to cover your story next time?

This is an ongoing process, a part of daily show prep.  It's what the radio stations and people whose names you see in print have learned and do better than you do.  Get your competitive juices flowing and just as you do with every break on radio, strive to make the content you create as well as the PR you do to support it the very best.

No comments: