One of the primary goals of public relations is to get a specific message out to as many people in the targeted demographic as possible and in the most cost-efficient manner. Public relations professionals utilize the Internet, social media, broadcast and print as primary tools for message dissemination. Among the broadcast choices are Audio News Releases (ANRs) and Radio Media Tours (RMTs). Non-profit organizations also rely on the communication capabilities of radio Public Service Announcements (PSAs).
Whether you choose ANRs, RMTs or PSAs, it’s critical to the success of a public relations campaign to target the best media outlets. There are two routes for radio placement: earned and paid. Which you use depends on content. If you’re talking about new data, exciting research, breakthrough technology or a major announcement, you could pitch and rely on earned placement, as stations will want to broadcast your story. If your content is more sales-focused or branded, you may want to take the paid placement route to ensure it will be picked up.
What tools can the PR professionals use to identify target market opportunities? Nielsen is the venerable ranker and rater of all things media and the Nielsen DMA Rankings 2019 is a highly accurate list of the nation’s markets ranked by population.
According to the Nielsen DMA Rankings 2019, the top five DMAs are:
- New York
- Los Angeles
- Dallas-Ft. Worth
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Originally known for the “Nielsen boxes” attached to TVs in a representative segment of homes nationwide, their data has been used to determine ratings and advertising costs for decades. The company is evolving to keep up with the demands of modern technology, but one thing advertisers, marketers and PR pros look forward to each year is the release of the latest Nielsen DMA Rankings.
DMA stands for Designated Market Area. The term is generally used to identify a geographic area where most of the population has the ability to receive the same media content. While media may overlap in some areas, such as people in one city receiving television/radio stations or newspapers from a nearby city, the DMA incorporates the viewing and listening habits of most residents in a specific defined region. Sometimes several cities may fall within a DMA, such as the Tampa/St. Petersburg area in Florida. Nielsen has delineated 210 DMA regions which cover the entire United States, using TV-equipped homes as a marker for comparative size.
Understanding the importance of DMAs can help public relations professionals better target their national communication campaigns across multiple media markets. DMAs also play an important role in regional and local campaigns. Large market stations are often the most targeted for pitches, so it can be harder to generate coverage than in some of the medium and smaller market areas. A new curveball comes into play with the ability to access almost any media outlet through a digital device. Nielsen is continuing to refine its reporting methodology to include these listeners and viewers, even when they’re not located in the market that originates the content.
Reaching the largest target audience for your PR client involves understanding geographic and demographic constraints and media opportunities within them. It can be confusing without a professional media services company to help guide you through the media jungle and get your message out to the right audience in the right markets. MediaTracks Communications is a leading provider of audio and radio services for the public relations industry. Call 847-299-9500 or email [email protected] to learn more about using Nielsen DMA Rankings to plan a broadcast public relations campaign.