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Talk Radio May Be Your Best Bet for Publicity - 10/29/2014 -


Talk Radio May Be Your Best Bet for Publicity

If your looking to build your associationís brand within a particular constituency or even the general public, hereís why talk radio should be one of your strategies.

By Marsha Friedman

What's the most effective traditional medium for getting publicity to promote your association? That depends on your audience and your message.

You may find more of your target demographics among magazine readers than TV audiences, or among talk radio listeners than newspaper readers. Most likely, though, you'll find at least some segment using each of the traditional news media ó the newspapers and other publications, TV talk shows, and talk radio.

A trickier problem is identifying where your message will get the best reception. Print editors and news talk show hosts and producers are looking for articles and guest interviews that will interest their audiences. Local and national daytime TV talk shows tend to like lighter subject matter and topics that women find helpful. Print publications, both the paper kind and those publishing online, gravitate toward articles linked to the news of the day.

AM/FM and satellite talk radio has a place for all of the above ó and lots more, which is one reason I've been an avid listener forever. I am, emphatically, a diehard talk radio fan.

Now that radio has fully embraced digital media, it has become even more valuable as a publicity tool. I asked fellow radio lover Alex Hinojosa, vice president of media operations for EMS Incorporated and a major-market radio personality for 17 years, to share some of talk radio's distinct advantages. Hereís his perspective:

  • Guests get unedited access, meaning their conversation is not edited down to a 30-second sound bite (like TV) or a quote or two in an article (print).
  • Dedicated listeners are big fans of their favorite show hosts, which means they take the hosts' implied endorsement of guests seriously. Simply said: If their favorite talk show host finds you credible, they will, too.
  • An mp3 file of your interview posted on your website will continue to bolster your credibility for months or years to come.
  • Your mp3 can be posted as a video to YouTube for more visibility. Give it the right name, and it will help boost your association's website's ranking in Google searches.
  • Transcribe the interview and then break it up into a few blog posts, and you've got fresh content for your website.
  • Give a great interview and the station may turn it into a podcast, which makes it easy to share on social media.

Hinojosa also pulled out some recent research that shows AM/FM talk radio remains a popular staple for a large and loyal number of Americans:

  • We spend more than two hours a day listening (Edison Research).
  • News-talk remained king of the airwaves in 2013 (Nielsen).
  • More than one-third of 18- to 64-year-olds are "radio junkies" (researcher Mark Kassof) who "pay a lot of attention" when they listen. Another group, "info-maniacs," listens for "practical information that makes your life better" and "To learn things that make you more informed." They tend to act based on what they hear on the radio.

You can build your associationís brand on talk radio. Not only is it still thriving, it's more accessible than the other traditional media for people and organizations seeking publicity. No matter what your associationís area of expertise, there are talk radio hosts who want your executive director or other association expert as a guest.

If you haven't given talk radio a try in a while, tune in the next time you drive to work or run errands. Are there shows that might welcome your organizationís insights and expertise?

I'm betting the answer is yes.

Marsha Friedman is the founder of "pay for performance" public relations firm EMS Incorporated.


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