One of the most important factors in a successful public relations campaign is reaching the maximum number of people with your message. Too often though, pitches are limited to targeting one particular type of listener. The variety of radio station formats presents the opportunity for the same story to be broadcast to a wide range of audiences.
For example, travel tips are just as important to business executives on the go as they are to soccer moms on holiday, but these audiences should not be approached in the same way. While the business traveler might be more concerned with saving time, families are usually more concerned with saving money. This does not mean that certain radio station formats should be eliminated, but instead it is best to tailor the message to reach both audiences to maximize impact.
Pitching stories to a variety of radio formats means that along with the possibility of appearing on the morning show of a news station in Houston, a spokesperson may also find themselves being interviewed by an adult contemporary talk-show host in Boston. Targeting different types of formats can provide a great opportunity for organizations to deliver their message to a cross-section of audiences.
If spokespeople are able to field questions pertinent to various demographics by providing statistics geared to each specific audience, it will only make the interview richer and more compelling for the listener. This does not mean that preparation has to involve volumes of information, as many of the same issues are important across the board. The key is to know that some listeners will have needs that differ from others and tailor the message accordingly to reach the broadest possible radio audience.
Conversely, certain initiatives will require a more refined approach to targeting specific stations and particular formats. Celebrity spokespeople, for example, are often more appealing to one type of listener than another. In the past, we have found that shows such as TLC’s Trading Spaces and Animal Planet’s Emergency Vets garner more interest from female-heavy or family audiences like those tuning into adult contemporary stations. The target audience of these TV programs is often similar to this particular radio station format, and as a result, the best response will come from pitching formats with similar demographics. Likewise, TV shows with a high male audience, such as Discovery’s MythBusters and Dirty Jobs will find a more suitable home on the airwaves of male-oriented stations such as those found in the classic rock and album rock formats.