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Listen Up: Radio Can Be a Good Outlet for Your Utility’s PR Efforts

Andy Gotlieb's picture
Managing Editor of a specialty publication, former public relations practitioner Freelancer

I hold 32 years of experience in communications, mostly in journalism, with a decade in public relations, too. The first 17 years were spent in print journalism, where I covered, at various...

  • Member since 2016
  • 941 items added with 430,716 views
  • May 21, 2018 1:26 am GMT

This item is part of the Special Issue - 2018-05 - Customer Care, click here for more

When people think of media outlets, TV is always the king.

Visuals are important, and TV generally delivers the greatest visibility your public relations efforts. There’s also the prestige factor.

Print journalism may be dying, but coverage in the local daily or, even better, in a national publication still holds plenty of value, too.

The internet is a mixed bag in terms of value, but that’s a topic for a different day.

That leaves radio, which is often overlooked yet can be a fruitful place in terms of public relations placements. And considering there are more than 15,000 radio stations in the United States, there will be multiple possibilities in nearly every market.

A good chunk of those radio stations are on the AM dial and often have a news or talk format. These are your targets, including the smaller outlets.

Those stations often are starved for content and can be a great spot for friendly coverage. Making one of your executives available for an interview often will be enthusiastically received by the station, and it’s likely plenty of “softball” questions will be thrown your way.

When pitching story ideas or executive interviews, have plenty of potential topics in mind. Consumer-friendly topics are always popular, and so is anything that helps put a “face” on your utility. Stories about employees going above and beyond the call of duty will surely resonate.

Of course, all this begs the question: What’s the point if few people are listening?

That’s a valid point, but remember that you can always repurpose the interview. Feature it on your website and link to it in your social media efforts. Those extra hits add up.

Also remember that this is just one part of your PR efforts. Good public relations results in an accumulation of positive media coverage, so mixing in radio interviews with magazine features and TV spots will result in a well-rounded media presence. And that’s the name of the game.

Andy Gotlieb's picture
Thank Andy for the Post!
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