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Chapter 9: Radio, TV, and Broadcasting

March. 19. 2010.

Public Relations: Writing and Media Techniques

by Dennis L. Wilcox


  • a cost effective way to reach large numbers of people in various age, ethnic, and income groups
  • can be heard almost anywhere
  • lacks glamor of TV and popularity of the Internet

Radio New Releases

  • timing is vital because broadcasters must fit their messages into a rigid time from that is measured down to the record
  • most announcers read at a speed of 150 to 160 words per minutes
  • the only way to time your story is to read it out loud, slowly
  • releases should be conversational

Audio News Release

  • Two Forms
  1. Actuality- have someone with a good radio voice to read the entire announcement (may or may not be identified by name)
  2. Use an announcer but also include a soundbite from a satisfied customer or company spokesperson (this way is better because the message comes from a “real person” rather than a nameless announcer)
  • Preferred length of an ANR is one minute
  • Every ANR starts with a carefully written and accurately times script then write the words

Tips from Trammel for succesful radio and television story placement

  • Topicality: make it something worth listening to
  • Timeliness: make it on time
  • Localization: have it broadcasted where people will most care
  • Humanization: appeal to emotions
  • Visual Appeal: make it fun to look at (for radio, make words visual and active)

Public Service Announcements

  • promotes the programs of government or voluntary agencies that serves the public interest
  • Only non-profit, civic, and voluntary organizations are eligible to use PSAs. Announcements by profit-making organizations are considered advertisements, and stations charge regular advertising rates for carrying them
  • Since the deregulation of he broadcasting industry, stations feel less pressure to provide a community service by running PSAs for nonprofit groups. Although a station’s renewal of its license is still based to a certain extent on serving the local community, there is no minimum standard for broadcasting PSAs.
  • Few PSAs are aired during periods of peak listening, when a station can run revenue-producing advertisements. However, WestGlen Communications did an analysis of PSAs used on radio stations and found that to of them (69 percent) aired PSAs during the daytime hours, thus somewhat deflating the perception that most PSAs are run in the wee hours of the morning, when only insomniacs are listening.


  • an excellent medium of communication because it combines the elements of sight, sound, motion, and color
  • must contain both sound and visual elements such as graphics, slides, or videotape. A TV release can consist of a written script plus the accompanying graphics, but it will be more acceptable if it is on videotape

Video News Releases

  • now standard in the industry and are widely used by TV stations and cable systems
  • require professional preparation and high technical quality. To be used, they must be newsworthy and timely. Satellite distribution is the most cost-effective method.

Satellite Media Tours

  • widely used in the broadcast industry
  • a popular format is setting up interviews from a location that reinforces the story


  • plays an increasingly  important role in the distribution of electronic materials to journalists and the public. Online news conferences, for example,  are already standard
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