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How to get the most out of broadcast for your campaign

Iain Ross, Account Director

The author

Iain Ross

Account Director

Getting your brand onto a prime time broadcast slot is among one of the best achievements from a PR campaign - it’s up there with having your “awareness day” established as a real thing and used by other PRs (looking at you, Blue Monday).

But seriously, the awareness and buzz you can generate around a brand through broadcast media is hugely impactful. 

According to Ofcom, TV is still the most-used platform for news - almost 10% more so than online sources and 26% more than newspapers. What’s more, TV and radio are the second and third most-trusted sources of news, both ranking higher than newspapers and social media. When you’ve got a story to tell, you should seriously consider broadcast. 

That said, awareness-raising could be one objective among many that your PR campaign may need to deliver against. At Jaywing PR, we always work to ensure any campaign is capable of delivering against multiple objectives, so here are our top tips for making sure you’re getting the most from broadcast, to make your good campaigns, great

1. Know your objectives (and how you’re going to measure them) 

It can be easy to get carried away with the prospect of going head-to-head with Piers Morgan on the GMB sofa, but before you get ahead of yourself you need to set your objectives in stone and be clear on how you’re going to measure them. 

If awareness is what you’re after, you will obviously want to look at viewing and listener figures, but also consider how you might amplify this on social and track that. Use social listening to look for any uplift in mentions or hashtag usage around the time of broadcast, as this can be a good indication of reach and engagement. 

If your objectives are centred around links or site traffic, then you need to think about the content on-site, as you would with any link-building campaign. Think about what it is you can provide that will give journalists a reason to direct people to your site and your audience a reason to want to visit. You may also want to set up some benchmarking in Google Analytics and look for any spikes in web traffic that correlate with your broadcast features. 

There is absolutely no reason why broadcast can’t be used as a tactic for multiple objectives, just ensure you have a clear CTA to land on air that aligns with your goals. 

2. Agree and brief your spokespeople 

All too often, spokespeople are considered relatively late on in the process, even though your spokesperson can make or break the campaign. 

Once your concept is developed, spend time researching who you want to help tell your story. This doesn’t have to be a household name by default. Whilst celebrity spokespeople can sometimes take your campaign further, never underestimate the power of genuine expertise or human interest. Many broadcast journalists want to produce something that their audience can relate to, which isn’t necessarily what you’ll get from a celeb. 

Also, keep in mind you will often need more than one voice as part of your story. Early on in the planning process, develop your list of spokespeople and work with them to agree what each of them is going to add to your story. 

3. Build a campaign with longevity 

The term “evergreen” has become a bit of a buzzword when it comes to content, but there’s no denying that it is something you want to aim for. 

With broadcast, your campaign and resulting coverage are typically more instant, as the news cycle operates much more quickly (think about how the morning news bulletin changes by the time it gets to the 10 o’clock news at night). With that said, there’s no reason why your campaign should be a flash in the pan. 

Aim to create a talking point with longevity, to enable various touchpoints throughout your campaign period - one of them being broadcast. This approach will allow you to make use of your campaign content time and time again, increasing your opportunities for coverage, links, social shares etc.

4. Brief, brief and brief again 

Going on live TV or radio is daunting and anyone who says otherwise is fibbing. Keep this in mind when it comes to your spokespeople, as you’re relying on them to land your campaign messaging! 

Create a clear and comprehensive briefing document for all parties as far in advance as you can and run through this with them as many times as you need to set it in stone. Your brief should include any key research findings, the overall angle of your story, key messaging, a call to action, and any information on the journalist or programme your interview is with.   

5. Get your pitch right  

I know, I know - it’s PR 101. But seriously, getting your pitch sorted for broadcast media should be among one of the first things you do with your campaign. You could have the best release ever, but if you’re not pitching it properly you’re just not giving it the credit it deserves and it’s not going to cut it once it hits the newsroom or plannings desks. 

Some simple things to bear in mind when it comes to broadcast coverage: TV and radio both need people who can talk, TV needs cool places to film and radio needs things that sound great. Factor all of this into your pitch, detailing the main point of your story, your spokespeople and their availability, and locations you can provide for filming. 

Long story short, for the sake of this pitch you want to be a part of the journalist’s production team - any less than that won’t cut it. 

Get in touch if you want to discuss using broadcast for your next campaign, or to see a recent example of how we did this for The University of Law, click here.