the Last week I ran my Learn PR in a Day course, during which the news editor from our local commercial radio station came along to chat to us. I asked her to give us some tips on how small businesses can get on a commercial radio station without paying.
These were some of her insights:
Keep it local
If it's a local radio station, your news must be relevant for the local community. Look at the radio station's reach and be sure that your story falls within their geographic boundaries.
Keep it interesting
Stories that sound like an advert for your business are typically not interesting AND will immediately draw the attention of the ad sales team. Think about how your story would be of interest to listeners. Take your ego out of it and focus on the story.
Be willing to provide comment
When a local - or even national - story breaks, do you have an opinion on it? They regularly need local comment or reaction to a story. So if you see a story that you can comment on, get in touch with them.
Be helpful and think multi-media
Like most media outlets these days, radio stations are seriously short staffed. The easier you can make their lives the more likely they are to use your story. So don't just send them a press release, send them a video clip and pictures too as they no longer just broadcast on radio, they have a website they need to keep fresh and social media channels they need content for.
Radio is an immediate news format. There is no point reacting days later. In fact news bulletins change hour by hour. So be ready with comment or expertise, particularly if you have sent out a press release. Don't book yourself into meetings the day you issue it!
Most news editors are on Twitter, so tweet them to let them know that you have comment or a story.
So why not have a go contacting your local radio station? If you need help creating press materials, try my PR Firestarter Kit. Want to learn how to do your own PR? Check out Publicity for Solopreneurs.
P.S. I got this email from one of the ladies who attended the course last week. 'Just a quick note to say I sent off the press release and it got published today !! Client is ecstatic, I am over the moon so a massive THANK YOU to you.'
So you see, it works!