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Writing for Radio and Television Chapter 9. Radio and TVs Importance PR values radio and televisions mass and specialized audiences Radio reaches 94 percent.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing for Radio and Television Chapter 9. Radio and TVs Importance PR values radio and televisions mass and specialized audiences Radio reaches 94 percent."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing for Radio and Television Chapter 9

2 Radio and TVs Importance PR values radio and televisions mass and specialized audiences Radio reaches 94 percent of adults 18+ daily; total audience about 225 million Radio particularly strong among Hispanics, the U.S.s largest and fastest growing minority Teenagers are also big listeners of radio, primarily through online sites A 2008 study found that college grads aged listen to the radio almost 16 hours a week; non-college grads listen 21 hours a week 33 million Americans 12+ listen to a radio station over the Internet during the average week Local television attracts about 150 million Americans on a daily basis and the average U.S. family still spends about 7 hours daily watching TV, according to NAB

3 PR Access to Radio and TV Writing and preparing materials for broadcast outlets require a special perspective Must understand how to write for the ear How to integrate audio and visual elements into a script How to harness the power of satellite and digital communications to conduct media tours that can reach a global audience How to get spokespeople on broadcast programs

4 Radios Strengths While radio may lack the glamour of TV and the popularity of the Internet it is, especially on the local level, a cost-effective way to reach large numbers of people in various age, ethnic, and income groups Radio remains the only mass medium that can reach millions of Americans as they commute to and from work and elsewhere in their cars Its portability, due to transistors, expands radios reach to workers on the job, people doing exercise, people working in yards, at the beach

5 Study the Stations A PR pro should study each stations format and submit material suitable to it Determine the demographics of a station by listening to it, by consulting radio directories or by contacting the stations advertising/marketing departments Resources include Radio Marketing Guide and Fact Book for Advertisers, Bacons Media Directories and Broadcasting Yearbook Charlestons Television Market U.S. Television Markets Charlestons Radio Market Charleston Radio Ratings (Arbitron)

6 Radio News Releases Radio station staffs often have to rewrite print releases to conform to bcast style But the most effective approach is to send news releases that are formatted for the medium Radio is based on sound so every release must be written so that it can be easily read by an announcer and clearly understood by a listener

7 Radio News Release Characteristics Standard practice is to write a radio release using all uppercase letters in a double-spaced format Also give the length– Example: RADIO ANNOUNCEMENT: 30 seconds (or :30) The timing is vital because broadcasters fit their messages into a rigid time frame that is measured down to the second Writing is more conversational, can be OK to have incomplete or partial sentences as you would in normal conversation Radio releases can be ed, faxed, mailed See Radio News Release example on p. 211 See tips, How to Write a Radio News Release on page 212

8 Audio News Releases A more effective approach is to send a station a recording of the news announcement An ANR can consist of someone reading the 15, 30 or 60 seconds of copy or it can have someone reading plus one or more soundbites from, say, a satisfied customer, a celebrity, or a company official or spokesperson The second way gives station staff the option of just using the entire recording or just the soundbite(s)

9 ANR Steps Production- process starts with a carefully written and accurately timed script; then record the words; make sure sound quality is the best it can be; add music, effects Delivery- in a survey of 305 news-talk stations, 75 percent preferred to receive notifications about ANRs, 20 percent wanted to be notified via news network feeds and 10 percent preferred fax notifications. Radio stations prefer to receive actualities by phone. They can also be delivered via satellite networks, CDs, and MP3 formats

10 ANR Use ANRs are considered a bargain compared to producing material for television (p.214 examples) Important to monitor usagemany organizations send a return postcard on which the station can report use (low response rate); can also call to ask if and how many times ANR used, then use Arbitron ratings to determine the estimated audience Monitoring services can scan radio and TV stations in major markets and give a report within 24 hours of something being aired See ANR writing example, p. 213 More on ANRs News Generation, Inc. website

11 Success in Radio/TV Story Placement Topicality– news is about issues that matter to the majority of listeners and viewers Timeliness- strive for now, today, tomorrow not yesterday in stories Localization– If its not local, its probably not news Humanization- Show and tell how real people are affected Visual Appeal- Provide vibrant, compelling soundbites or video footage that subtly promotes, but also illustrates and explains

12 Public Service Announcements PSAs are another category of material that PR writers prepare for radio and TV stations and networks Defined by the FCC as an unpaid announcement that promotes the programs of government or nonprofit agencies or that serve the public interest As part of their responsibility to serve the public interest, radio and TV stations provide airtime to charitable and civic organizations, although there is no longer a legal requirement to do so A 2008 survey found that less than 1 percent of air time is dedicated to PSAs. As a result, some nonprofits negotiate with stations to actually buy time to ensure their PSAs are aired Sample Television PSA (anti-smoking)(anti-smoking)

13 PSA Topics Local community issues and events Childrens issues Health Safety Service organizations Breast cancer Other cancers and diseases 2008 study confirms topics: Health- 26 percent Fundraising- 23 percent Family and social concerns- 12 percent Community organizations and events- 8 percent Volunteerism- 6 percent

14 TVs Irresistible Appeal Televisions visual element sets it apart from other media– the combination of color, movement, sound, and sight on a screen in your own living room is hard to resist TV remains the primary source of news, information, and entertainment for most people Local TV news attracts 150 million viewers daily; network news reaches 30 million; prime-time national cable, 3 million; and regional cable, 31 million Network News Ratings Up PR people should understand and keep up with ratings TV/Cable Ratings Zap2it.com

15 TV Station Organization-Whos Who (page 223) General manager Program director Producers and director News Director Assignment Editor Reporters Videographers Public affairs or public service director Promotion director

16 Getting Attention from Television Four Approaches Send same news releases you send newspapers Prepare a media alert or advisory, stressing the strong visual appeal of the story or event Phone or the assignment editor or program producer to make a pitch to cover a story or have your guest on a program Write and produce a VNR– video news release

17 Video News Releases (VNRs) VNR is, essentially, a television release converted to a finished tape (digital file) that can be broadcast The standard length is 90 seconds, the length preferred by the overwhelming majority of TV news directors VNRS are much more expensive to produce than ANRs– on average $20,000 to $50,000 for production and distribution So youve got to decide if the cost is worth the results you may (or may not) achieve

18 VNR Disaster Prevention Use outside experts to give credibility– A VNR with only corporate spokespeople is not a good idea. Dont clutter with excessive number of corporate logos Avoid commercialism and hype- a VNR is a news story, not a corporate ad Avoid overproduction- slick dissolves and flashy effects are great for music videos, but news producers equate it with advertising

19 TV/Video Jargon/Lingo A-roll B-roll CU Dub On cam Pan SOT Super V/O VO/SOT PKG Zoom

20 Fake News Controversy TV watchdog groups have complained to the FCC that stations using VNR content without telling viewers the original source are presenting fake news At issue is whether PR firms and VNR producers are adequately labeling VNR packages with the sponsor and the client

21 Satellite Media Tours (SMTs) SMTs are widely used in the broadcast industry SMTs are essentially a series of prebooked, one-on-one interviews from a fixed location via satellite with a series of TV journalists and/or talk show hosts SMTs can be used by CEOs, celebrities, sports figures, authors and others Is a time-efficient (but expensive for satellite time) way of giving interviews See Best Buy SMT example (p. 236) See Guidelines for a Successful SMT (p. 237)

22 Scripting Audio News Releases Company Letterhead (company address, phone, website, etc) Audio News Release Contact Info Topic: Flu Shots (like news release) Length: :30 Script: (write in all caps and double-space) PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES THIS FLU SEASON. MORE INFLUENZA VACCINE IS AVAILABLE THAN EVER BEFORE. TALK WITH YOUR DOCTOR NOW ABOUT IMMUNIZATION. Soundbite :10 Dr. Andrew Remedy/ CDC Influenza Director Incue: Flue shots are.. (for your ANR, write out entire soundbite) Outcue: …free of charge THIS IS A MESSAGE FROM THE NATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASES. ###


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