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Advertising agencies and public relation firms have been spending an immense amount of time and energy over the last several years shifting budgets and marketing plans to boost spending on digital platforms and social media. While these strategic changes seem to make sense based on personal device trends, a heightened awareness of vulnerability is causing some to rethink their plans.
Social media users are increasingly concerned that their personal information is being exploited. Multiple reports have large numbers of people wondering who’s been given access to their personal information and how the data is being used. A 100-year old solution may be the answer. Radio. Could it be that audio broadcasting may be superior to social media (for example Facebook) in reaching consumers without the negatives?
Radio is unobtrusive and user controlled. National reach is achievable; audiences can also be targeted by region and demographics. Content can be news driven or branded. Audio messages are more intentional and do not get lost in a sea of recipes, memes, and cat videos.
Radio is also available in more ways than ever before–not only through AM and FM receivers, but via online streaming from home computers, by satellite, smartphone app, and even home digital assistants (for example Amazon’s Alexa). Listeners play radio in the car and while relaxing on the beach. They work out to it and tune in at work and at home. Rather than reducing radio’s impact, digital is expanding its reach and affect.
Savvy clients who are increasingly wary of their audience’s confidential information being leaked, sold or used without permission may be overlooking radio as a viable solution. Those resistant to social media, fearing lack of credibility or concerned about “watered-down” content getting lost in a sea of fad diets and cute babies, can look to radio as a key component to their strategic marketing.
Nielsen Research shows that, while social media reaches slightly more than 179 million users 18 and over every month, AM/FM radio reaches more than 243 million consumers weekly! Furthermore, audio creates a much more intimate experience. Social media “impressions” are often inflated by bots, left-open tabs, and wandering eyes, while with audio the listener is focused on one specific message at a time. Unfortunately, when businesses think of radio, they often only consider using a 30 or 60-second “commercial,” not recognizing there are far more options available. Here are some of them:
The Win-Win of Radio Media Tours
Radio Media Tours involve a spokesperson conducting a series of pre-scheduled interviews with radio stations. These interviews are generally 10 minutes in length and typically target the desired AM drive daypart. Radio stations win because they are getting desired content that appeals to their audience. Marketers and PR firms win because their content and their message are getting cost-effective attention from a desired audience, be it a specific demographic, geographical area or the entire country.
Audio News Releases Enhance Credibility
Typically :60 seconds in length, well-produced audio news releases (see also Spanish Language ANRs) build credibility for a product or service. Including newsworthy content like a survey or new statistics is desirable. They can be pitched to stations or paid for, with a guarantee of placement. They often include a soundbite with the voice of a spokesperson like a CEO, researcher, inventor, or community organizer. Audio News Releases can be targeted to specific markets or broadcast nationwide.
PSA’s to Advance a Cause
Public Service Announcements are short-form messages promoting a non-profit organization or charitable cause. Radio stations air these messages at no charge, providing benefit to the organization while helping achieve their mission to serve their communities.
Public Affairs Programming
Public Affairs Programming addresses a variety of issues ranging from health care to education, poverty, government and the environment. These shows may be hosted by a single moderator or produced in a documentary, news magazine stye. Public Affairs Programming typically has a longer format, lasting anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, providing guests with a forum in which to express their views.
How MediaTracks Helps
MediaTracks helps public relations and marketing firms place their messages on radio stations coast-to-coast. For almost 30 years, we’ve been building relationships with some of the most respected and listened-to radio stations in the country. Whether broad, national coverage is needed or distribution in just a single market, we have services to meet your objectives. Our experienced team includes award-winning writers and producers dedicated to creating and broadcasting the highest-quality audio programming.
If you would like to know more about how AM/FM radio can be utilized to distribute your message and advance your cause, contact MediaTracks and let’s discuss your goals.