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CategoryTobin Communications, Inc.

Radio – A Constant in a Changing World

By Maury Tobin

Unless you’re visiting an ashram, you probably know that the Caps won the Stanley Cup last week after Vegas sports theater was met by a blitzkrieg of fans watching the win on big-screens in D.C. streets.

The next day I was interviewed by Brian Reusch, station manager of the radio outlet WCCI. Brian knows I am a longtime Caps follower and would be happy to give my take on the victory. (You can listen to the interview here.)

WCCI is based in the Quad Cities, Ill., market but its signal covers other parts of Illinois and regions of Iowa and Wisconsin. As a proprietor of securing radio publicity for clients through Radio Media Tours (RMTs), I have been placing guests on WCCI for nearly 20 years.

After working on political campaigns, I started Tobin Communications, Inc. (TCI) in 1996 and radio was my bailiwick.

Since then, our company has expanded its services because we recognize that our clients have both traditional and newer public relations (PR) needs. During this time, I have read, listened to, and studied those opining on the decline of radio, and I’ve concluded that this medium is still an American darling.

According to recently released Nielsen statistics “radio reaches 93% of adult Americans (18+) each week, some 228.5 million consumers, more than those watching television (216.5 million), using an app or accessing the web on a smartphone (203.8 million) or watching video on a smartphone (127.6 million).”

Social media and cable news are not panaceas. Radio is a solid contender in shaping issues and narratives. We continually see that radio remains a constant voice as people commute to work, sit in airports, cook dinner, exercise, take their kids to soccer practice, and tap into news and conversations about a soup of topics.

America is a country on the move. Devices like smartphones help the public and thought-leaders access and mold information and entertainment whenever they want.

TCI has found that in the summer RMTs sometimes run up against less interference and competition. PR campaigns, especially those partly rooted in media outreach, can present a fresh perspective.

Additionally, they reinforce that forging relationships with newsmakers is vital and everything can’t be condensed to a post that will make Twitter aflutter.

Learn more about Radio Media Tours.

Success of a Radio Media Tour Depends on You

By Maury Tobin

During a recent car trip around town, I was channel surfing and happened to hear Frank Sinatra’s classic “My Way.” For most people, hearing the song conjures up feelings of nostalgia. For some reason, it reminded me of the hundreds of spokespeople I’ve worked with over the past two decades.

Looking back, the great majority of these spokespeople excelled during their campaigns, making a strong case for their issues and providing radio stations with interesting content.

But there were a few who didn’t do as well for a variety of reasons. Maybe they missed important cues during their interviews. Maybe they weren’t very interesting and came across as overly scripted. In some cases (and against our advice), spokespeople conducted interviews on a cell phone instead of a hard phone line and the sound quality was poor.

Here’s Our List of Nine Ways to Shine During a Radio Media Tour (RMT):

  1. Get media trained by a professional who has specific experience in radio. Tobin Communications provides complimentary media training as part of its RMT service. Whether you work with us to get trained or someone else, the point is to get it done.
  2. Do radio interviews on a hard phone line. While sound quality has certainly improved over the years for cell phones, hard phone lines provide the best sound quality. In addition, spokespeople need to speak directly into the phone to achieve an optimal voice level.
  3. Don’t speak in acronyms during radio interviews. No one really likes them or understands them.
  4. Who is your audience? Does the radio station reach a conservative, liberal or moderate audience? Is the station focused on straight news or is it a news/talk format? All of these factors make a difference.
  5. Typically, radio interviews come in three forms: interviews that are aired live on talk shows (usually under 10-minutes in length); short taped interviews that air as news stories; and, longer form interviews that air at a later date (up to 30-minutes in length in some cases). The key is to understand how your particular interview is being used and plan accordingly.
  6. Localize your message to the specific audience of the station by using statistics and other information that apply to the station’s geographic area.
  7. Don’t be boring. Be conversational.
  8. Since time is limited during most radio interviews, hone your key message points down to 40-seconds or less.
  9. At least once or twice during an interview, make sure you provide a website where radio listeners can get more information or take action.

Good luck with your campaigns!