We recently conducted a survey of radio reporters and producers to explore the content areas most pertinent to them.  We surveyed respondents from national networks and local stations from all across the country.

We asked stations to select the primary language of their station so we could gather trends about preferences and needs.  The findings suggest there are some key similarities and differences in the preferences of our respondents from English-language stations and those from Spanish-language stations.

The greatest similarity is that every station and network’s main focus is on offering the content their audiences want – providing news as relevant, topical, and timely as possible to their listeners.

What topics will newsrooms cover in 2014?

We found many similarities in the content areas most of interest to reporters in the New Year, regardless of the language of the station. Stories about the economy, finance, health, and education are top of mind to both English-language and Spanish-language station respondents.


According to our results, technology and science stories have a pretty similar level of interest among both Spanish-language and English-language respondents – same with public affairs/consumer issues and politics. This reminds us of the efficiency inherent with reaching out to your target audiences with your news story via both English-language and Spanish-language stations. It’s likely top of mind and of interest to both. If you’ve not yet targeted Hispanic listeners, but recognize the opportunity given the significant growth in this demographic audience, now really seems to be the time to start.  Read this post, for more on Hispanic media consumption.

There are a few topical areas in which we saw varying levels of planned emphasis on coverage in the New Year, which opens the door for a great opportunity to really tailor your pitches. The Spanish-language reporters and producers placed greater emphasis than their colleagues at English-language stations on coverage of entertainment and celebrity related stories.  Nearly 80 percent (78%) of Spanish-language respondents indicated that entertainment stories are important for them to cover – compared to about 20 percent of respondents from English-language stations. This data reminds us that pop culture is often times a key programming desire of Spanish-language stations, and a great area of interest to offer content.

Immigration Issue Opens Door to PR Opportunities

We gave respondents a variety of open-ended prompts to help facilitate additional context for topics of importance to them.  Our Spanish-language stations communicated they plan to focus heavily on immigration.  More than half of our respondents from Spanish-language stations took it upon themselves to indicate to us they plan to delve further into this subject with stories and interviews, as they feel this issue is of key interest to their listeners.  Our own Martin Diaz predicted these results in a two-part blog series.

This knowledge gives us a window into content that would be particularly welcomed by Spanish-language newsrooms.  As immigration has been such an important discussion over the last few years (i.e. the “show me your papers” law in Arizona and various states’ voting rights challenges) this emphasis comes as no big surprise – but it is extremely helpful to be reminded of its relevance.

Social Media Key to Building Media Relationships at English and Spanish-Language Stations

A trend that we will explore deeper in the next blog post in this series is the use of social media by stations in their reporting. All of the respondents from Spanish-language stations indicate that they utilize social media in their content aggregation, and just over 70% of English-language stations said the same – still an important and telling percentage.

These social media platforms offer a great ability to stay up-to-date and real-time on news events going on around the world, and are a critical tool for newsrooms. Having this concrete knowledge that our reporter contacts are actively engaging on social media opens up a door for those of us in PR. If a reporter is actively posting stories, PR professionals should track the topics they most often cover. Or even retweet their stories. This creates opportunities to build new relationships, or nurture the ones you already have in a fairly straight-forward and simple way.

Next in our series of blog posts on the results of the Fall, 2013 Industry Trends & Content needs survey is “How do Reporters Prefer to be Pitched?” What resources do they most often use for reporting and gathering information? What are the similarities and differences in preferences between local stations, statewide networks, and national networks?

Stay tuned…