How to get PR coverage on TV and radio – what we learned from Channel 5 News

How to get PR coverage on TV and radio – what we learned from Channel 5 News

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Recently, we were invited over to Manchester’s King Street Townhouse by TV & radio consultancy, Good Broadcast.

Despite the impressive surroundings, we weren’t there just for the drinks! We also went to hear from Channel 5 News’ planning editor, George Bleakley, on how brands can maximise their chances of gaining coverage on TV. After hearing what George had to say, we thought we’d share our top tips for maximising TV exposure.

1. Get to know what each broadcaster’s all about

Who watches or listens to the show you’re getting in touch with? Which shows are broadcast at which times, and do they favour certain topics?

For example, George at Channel 5 told us that his team aren’t particularly attracted by the offer of exclusive stories, as their audience often relies on Channel 5 as their primary or only source of news.

However, many other broadcasters do look for that elusive scoop to get their nose ahead of the competitors.

Finally, make sure you’re familiar with the schedules of their shows, and the sort of content covered by each. Don’t be the person calling Channel 5 News while they’re on air, or offering up interviewees available on the weekend for a show which only broadcasts Monday to Friday…

2. Tailor your choice of spokesperson to the story

If you’ve spotted an opportunity which you think your company could be perfect you, don’t immediately reach for the most senior person in the business or your usual, go-to face of the brand.

In particular, bear in mind that TV and radio interviews show an audience much more of your spokesperson than just the name and job title seen in print, and could require more off-the-cuff responses from your speaker.

As such, you need to be sure you’re picking somebody who speaks well, really knows their stuff and responds calmly to pressure. Crucially, the right voice for the story isn’t necessarily the most senior, but somebody who can relate to the story and the broadcaster’s audience.

On top of all that, it’s particularly important for broadcast coverage to make sure you pick a spokesperson who’s available at the time the broadcaster needs them. A TV or radio interview may need your spokesperson available just at the moment a story is breaking, so flexibility is essential.

3. Establish yourself as a reliable source for high quality stories

With stringent regulations on the content produced by broadcasters, it’s hugely important for your chances of securing PR coverage that you can be trusted as a reliable source – not just to provide an engaging story, but one that is accurate and trustworthy.

If your business has some interesting facts or figures to share, make sure they’re backed by solid data. Larger sample sizes (1,000 at a minimum) from varied demographics are key, as are claims which accurately reflect your findings. It’s not just about how big your data source is, but how you use it!

Your reputation and relationships are particularly essential when dealing with major broadcasters, who have hundreds of PRs jostling for their attention – and access to their audiences of millions – every day. If you’re found to be fudging your claims, or basing them on shoddy data, you’ll struggle to re-establish yourself as a reliable source worth covering.

If you’re unsure of whether your content is right for any of the journalists you’re considering getting in touch with, it may be best to get advice from media professionals on how to pitch your business in the best way.


Want to see your brand reap the rewards of broadcast coverage?

Here at Peppermint Soda, our integrated approach to PR, marketing, digital and creative work means we understand just what it takes to get noticed, especially on the visual medium of television – most recently seen in the widespread coverage we achieved for our client, Home Bargains.

If you’d like to learn more, don’t hesitate to get in touch to find out how we can help you with all elements of the marketing mix, from public relations, social media, design, web development, to PPC, paid social and email marketing.

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