Good Broadcast‘s Phil Caplin shares some advice from Sam Taylor, executive editor of the BBC News Channel and BBC News at One, and Tom Bateman, BBC News correspondent, on how comms and PR professionals can make the most of the broadcast media.
Broadcast media can present a challenge to much of the PR and comms industry. Not only are there hundreds of broadcast decision makers across TV and radio national and regional networks to get to grips with, sometimes radio and TV is seen as an afterthought when – like anything else – a successful campaign depends on planning.
This point was reinforced when two key journalists from the BBC – Sam Taylor, executive editor of the BBC News Channel and BBC News at One and Tom Bateman, BBC News correspondent, joined us at Good Broadcast to talk about what makes a good story for them, the opportunities broadcast presents and how PRs can make the most of these.
It’s clear that while the BBC’s news operations are changing, its increasing focus on social platforms and data journalism present exciting new PR opportunities for the connected PR.
Here are just a few of the tips Tom and Sam shared which show how to make the most of broadcast and the BBC in particular.
1. It might sound like a paradox but organisations need to get on the ‘front foot’ when reacting to stories. In general, most businesses are simply not quick enough to offer interesting spokespeople when a big story breaks and so lose the opportunity to get their message across.
2. The BBC is continually looking for spokespeople with “genuine expertise” to offer. Not enough thought goes into finding key people within organisations with real insight and different perspectives to offer.
3. To power broadcast content and its social media channels, BBC News is increasingly looking for “real people with real stories” to feature. Case studies are vital and will help sell a story in Taylor’s view.
4. Businesses shouldn’t be scared of putting up their CEOs for interviews. The potential return usually outweighs the risk when appearing on high profile BBC networks.
5. And it’s not all about the CEO. The title of the guest is not as important as how compelling they are on air. If the story is a good one and they can offer insight then they don’t need to be the boss.
6. Press releases can be completely overwhelming for journalists. You have to question whether it’s the right approach, and keep it brief if you go down that route.
7. Weekends can be overlooked by PRs – there’s often an opportunity to get a spokesperson on the air on a Saturday and Sunday when there’s a substantial audience.
Phil Caplin is director at Good Broadcast. He works with brands to deliver a broadcast strategy and coverage on television, radio and online including HSBC, Nationwide, Amazon and Royal Caribbean.