Even though newspapers are a good medium to write for, radio and television can offer opportunities to reach the masses. Statistics show that 94 percent of adults over 18 listen to the radio on a daily basis. In 2008, college students between the ages of 25 to 54 listen to radio 16 hours a week. Local television news attracts about 150 million daily. Seven hours a day is spent watching television by American families.
Please realize that when you are writing for radio, you are writing for the ear. It is an excellent choice when trying to reach people of different backgrounds, ages, and income. Plus, on a local level radio is more cost-effective. To be successful, it is a good idea for a public relations practitioner to find out the station’s format. Keep in mind that the message is being read by the announcer and the audience should understand it. Some pieces that can be heard on the radio are radio news releases and public service announcements.
Radio news releases:
- Write in all capital letters in double-spaced format.
- Length of the radio release should be given. For instance, “RADIO ANNOUNCEMENT: 60.”
- Average sentence length is 10 words.
- Usually 8 lines is 30 seconds and 16 lines is 60 seconds.
Public service announcements:
- an unpaid announcement that promotes programs of government and nonprofit agencies that serves public interest
- It can be 10, 15, 20, 30, or 60 seconds.
- Submit them on the same subject but multiple lengths.
- When adding sound, it can be used to go with the message not overpower it.
Television has the visual element that can persuade the audience to take some form of action. Keep in mind that you will be contacting news directors, assignment editor, and reporters. When giving information about your client or organization, you could always send a news release, a media advisory, or a pitch as you would for print. You could also send a:
Video news releases:
- It is usually formatted for immediate release and could be used by many stations.
- They can be posted on websites as well as a video podcast.
- They are usually 90 seconds.
- Meet the needs of TV news directors.
As you can see, there are various ways to reach you clients’ or organization’s audience.