Most of us can quickly identify important public issues affecting our communities– issues like education, health, law enforcement, economic growth, and consumer safety. When public relations professionals wish to promote a client who has some relation to issues such as these, one effective weapon in the PR arsenal is securing an interview on radio public affairs programming.
Radio stations are required by the Federal Communications Commission to operate in the “public interest, convenience and necessity.” They must air programming that addresses the interests of the local community. Though radio station staffs are shrinking, some stations may produce this programming on their own, and they’re always seeking high-quality guests to be interviewed. PR professionals may take advantage of this opportunity by pitching their spokespeople on such topics to program hosts and producers. These appearances bring extremely high credibility to the PR campaign. However, the topic must be newsworthy to be considered for a public affairs radio program and your guest may have limited reach if done one station at a time.
Nationally syndicated public affairs programming can overcome each of these two hurdles. First, these half-hour radio programs may be aired on hundreds of stations each week, reaching millions of Americans. So if a PR pro has an exceptionally newsworthy topic or story, the producers of these shows can be pitched for an interview that might be heard across the entire nation. These topics and guests, however, compete for limited availability on these national shows.
But even without a story that’s newsworthy enough for a nationally aired interview, syndicated public affairs can contribute to the PR arsenal. Some public affairs programs include several minutes of guaranteed-placement audio news releases interspersed within their environment. In a 60-second format, information on a client’s product or service is presented in a newsy, credible way, often with a sound bite of the client’s spokesperson. Airing within the program, the use of syndicated public affairs guarantees placement, extremely high credibility and significant reach.
As an example of syndicated radio programming, MediaTracks Communications produces and syndicates the nation’s most widely heard public affairs programming on radio. Nearly 6 million listeners tune in weekly to hear two shows, Radio Health Journal and Viewpoints, which combined, air on nearly 900 stations across the United States and in more than 200 markets.
MediaTracks Communications is a leading provider of audio and radio services for the public relations industry. Visit our website, call 847-299-9500, or email [email protected] to learn more about how syndicated public affairs programming can disseminate your controlled message nationwide.