What every PR should know when it comes to pitching to radio, from one of Australia's most respected Executive Producers, Nic McClure
If you've never had much success in getting your client on radio or have felt daunted about how to go about it, you'll love this episode. One of Australia's most awarded and respected radio Executive Producers, Nic McClure, has been the EP of The Kyle & Jackie O Show on KIIS and Kate, Tim & Marty on Nova among others and she's now the EP of podcast, The Briefing. Nic shares what time of day is the best to get hold of producers, what they really want to see in a pitch, how you can get your client on radio if you don't have a celeb ambassador plus the things you should not do.
“The number one struggle for producers is generating fresh content, so if you can offer a great guest, concept, phone topic or idea that's relevant to the show and their listeners, you're going to have their attention”
ESTABLISHING A RELATIONSHIP WITH A PRODUCER
Like any media contact, it's so important to develop a working relationship with radio producers. You'll understand how they work, what content is of relevance to their show, who their listeners are and when they like to be pitched to. Plus, you'll get to run some ideas past them and get an immediate understanding of what they're interested in
Reach out to them, suggest catching up for a coffee at or near their studio but give them a few weeks notice.
Once you've met them, they'll be much more likely to open an email from you.
Listen to the full episode for more about pitching to a radio producer
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO CONTACT A PRODUCER?
Firstly, email is so much better than a phone call if you're pitching. It's unlikely a producer will be able to make a decision on the spot as they'll have to run it past the hosts and/or discuss in a planning meeting. So, pitching via the phone is not going to get you very far
Think about what time a show goes to air each week. If you have something urgent to ask a producer, avoid the period two hours before a show airs and two hours after, as they'll be planning, debriefing, pre-recording segments etc.
Pitch an idea 2 - 3 weeks in advance. That way, they have time to consider it and discuss it with the team/hosts. If they're not interested, then you still have a time to approach another show
Give producers 48 hours before you follow up on a pitch. Producers may not have had the opportunity to discuss it in a daily meeting on the day you pitched so give them time to think about it
WHAT SHOULD YOU INCLUDE IN YOUR PITCH?
Address it to the right person. Depending on the size of the show, there may be multiple producers. One may be the guest booking producer, another is the EP etc. If you do send it to the wrong person, it's likely they'll forward it on but save yourself time by sending it to the correct person, first up
Be succinct. Get to the point of what you have to offer or what your idea is, quickly. You can attach a media release as a supporting document but just like any media pitch, the pitch should relate to that show and be relevant to their audience
Have a crack at some creative ideas of what they could do with the interview/segment. They may not be perfect ideas, but they could inspire a better concept with the producers and it shows you're making an effort
TIPS FOR PITCHING LIKE A PRO
Put yourself in the shoes of the producer and consider what they would be interested in, not just what you want to achieve
Give them enough time to consider and respond
Pitching a guest interview but the person's name is under embargo? You're unlikely to get that interview over the line without having a solid relationship with that producer. They'll need to trust that you know their show and audience well enough to know that guest is the perfect fit for them, if they're going to leave a slot for an interview
If you have an exclusive opportunity, don't pitch it out to multiple shows and see who bites first. Choose the show that aligns with your target market the best and will give you the reach you're after. Pitch it 3 -4 weeks in advance, and then move onto the next show if they're not interested. Also, you may find that you can get it on multiple shows as one show may just want to have the first interview of the day, and others are happy to follow. Or, they may want exclusivity in their time frame - breakfast - but are happy for you to pitch to a drive show as well. Just be honest with them and know what your parameters are so you don't ruin the relationship
Listen to radio shows each day of the week so you understand what segments go to air daily. You'll find most of them have podcasts you can listen to as catch-up. You'll start to understand which shows are more focused on celebrity or lifestyle content and which ones dig deep on more serious issues, plus what the opportunities are on each
Don't have a well-known ambassador for your product? Look at benchmark, regular segments a show has and you may be able to integrate a product or brand into a phone call-in segment, or fun quiz. The better you know a show and its content, the better you'll get at pitching these in
THINGS THAT DRIVE PRODUCERS MAD....
Calling to tell them to expect a media release/pitch shortly or to check if they received your pitch/media release just after you've sent it. Once they get it, they'll consider it. If it's something urgent, give them at least two hours to read it and make sure you're not calling two hours before or after a show airs as they'll be at their busiest
Receiving deliveries for the hosts just as a show is going to air and then calling to make sure they received it. If you have something you want to send, contact them the week prior, explain what it is and ask the best time of day to send it. It's likely to be a few hours in advance of the show. This also means the producer can plan for the arrival and you have a better chance of having that product mentioned on the show
Asking producers if they can help you out with getting a product mentioned or with communicating a message/topic.... you should be thinking about what you can do for them and how your product could be integrated in and not getting them to do you a favour
Nic has been an Executive Producer for almost two decades and 95% of the pitches she receives are not appropriate for the show she's working on. Make sure it is relevant!
If this is all making sense but you'd like a recap on writing a media release, you'll find a heap of tips in this episode. Click here to listen and read the notes.