By now, everyone has heard of green building and green energy, but what they may not know is that the green movement has come to radio. Today, there are stations around the country that are going green by introducing programming that supports green living, dedicating time to green issues, and even initiating green business practices by using renewable energy like solar and wind to provide the power behind the airwaves. Given radio’s extensive reach, the green movement on radio is being recognized as a potentially powerful tool in the overall effort to combat climate change.
While the growth of green radio may not be breaking news, knowing which stations have gone green is an easy way to refine story pitches to match the content stations are looking for. This can help ensure strong environmental stories and issues find their rightful place on the air. Certainly in today’s world, where environmental issues are dominating so much of the news, a good pitch for an environmental story, targeted to a station that features environmental programming, should earn its place on the air.
Stations that have gone green see a bottom-line dollar sign advantage to doing so, but they also recognize the potential to fill an important public need – the sharing of crucial information on the state of the environment and the future of the planet.
960 AM KTRB in San Francisco, a talk station with a decidedly mixed political leaning, has introduced green programming into its lineup. Called “Green Seed Radio,” the program runs for one hour every Saturday morning and is meant to “inform discussions on the latest in green innovation and current environmental topics surrounding green living.”
94.7 FM WXRV, The River is an independent radio station in Boston that dedicates a section of its website called Green Up New England to green issues, listing recycling centers, and recognizing green builders. WXRV is a rock station, playing everything from Joss Stone to Van Morrison, but it also incorporates green tips and features on-air. In addition it uses solar power to relay its signal.
Continuing the trend toward green is 94.7 FM WTGB, a rock station broadcasting throughout the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Known as “The Globe,” WTGB was launched in February of 2007 as CBS radio’s first green focused radio station. It is part of the station’s stated mission to promote the health of the planet, and as part of this effort it uses hybrid promotional vehicles and works to provide listeners with information on living a greener lifestyle.
Staying on top of trends like this can only help in knowing how and to whom to pitch stories. In our business, targeted pitching is always preferred, and knowing which stations are airing green programming and which stations have picked up independent green programming means that we can enhance our targeted pitching of stories.
In radio media relations in particular, it is important to stay informed of developments, because changes can happen quickly and with little notice. Personnel and formats can sometimes be switched overnight, and the modern rock station you listen to on Wednesday can be a Spanish talk station by Thursday morning. Similarly, when a station begins to focus on green issues, it is important to be aware and be adept enough to tailor pitches accordingly.
The growing importance of the green movement almost ensures that more stations will begin to incorporate green programming into their lineups. Keeping on top of these changes in radio formats and programming is a critical element in making sure we can best serve our clients, and that the important issues of the day – those that affect our families, health, and future – earn their place on the air.