PR Tactic In Focus: The Radio Exclusive

15.10.19 Podcast

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What is it? 

It’s when you have a good story and you decide to give it to a radio programme as an exclusive.


Why should you use it?

Making tactical choices about where to place your story in the media can be like a game of poker. As a PR person you should be continually asking yourself:

“How strong is my hand?”

If you overplay a weak story you’ll come unstuck, and if you underplay a good story you’ll get a fraction of the results you deserve.

Sometimes it’ll be obvious. You’ll be managing a news story, where you know, in advance, that there is going to be significant interest. But other times it will be less clear cut, and that’s when a tactic like a radio exclusive comes in really useful.


When you should use it?

With every PR opportunity you should always start by asking yourself:

 “How can I guarantee coverage for my story?” 

Any tactic that delivers guaranteed coverage is absolute gold dust.

You should only use a radio exclusive if appearing on a particular show, is a successful result. Remember it’s an exclusive – so you’ll only get one result. You can’t give it to someone else. To be confident of this you should know the most up to date listenership figures of the show you’re pitching to. The approach and style of the show is an important consideration too.

Rule 1–use an exclusive radio pitch it when you’re not sure how strong your story is. 

If you’re unsure how good your story is testing it on a journalist is the best thing to do. You’ll know very quickly how strong it is. If they are ‘all in’ on the first call then you’re strong. If there is a hint of doubt, or maybe pfaffing around, your hand is not that strong.

Rule 2–use an exclusive radio pitch when your story is suited to Radio.

You might also have a story that particularly suited to the radio format. Maybe you have a spokesperson who’s a great talker or the topic that is suited to a longer form radio interview.


How to use it?

The first step is to find the right programme and the person in charge. That’s where we come in.

At MediaHQ we have the contact details of thousands of producers and researchers of radio programmes. You can find the one you are looking for in a few seconds with our simple search. If you’d like a demo just fill in your details here.

Have you ever seen Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? Each contestant plots their way through the questions with the benefit of four lifelines. In PR terms, that’s a good way to think about a radio exclusive. In essence, it’s a free go. Before you start, you’ve established you would be happy with the radio station takes the story–now it’s time to perfect your pitch.

For a radio item, you need to think like a researcher. Why will your story make a good item? You need to make it a no-brainer for the researcher. All they want is happy listeners and great radio.

Make sure you always know the show you’re pitching to. What type of show is it? Serious or fun? Magazine or straight news? Relate it a topic that the show or the presenter likes. Profile the experience of the guest you’re offering. What’s their experience? Are they a good talker, have they media experience?

Now that you know the radio exclusive is a powerful PR tactic to generate extra coverage, stay on the radar by finding the right media contacts on our database. Get a demo of our services, by clicking here or call Gaye today on 01 254 1845.