Being in the media relations business, the most memorable projects for me are ones that get repeated back to us by someone else who has heard or seen the story on their favorite station. Even better is when a spokesperson’s parent, sibling or friend hears an interview and calls them to let them know about it. They are always so impressed! One time, I was at a party and someone was talking about the cost of healthcare and how they heard on the radio earlier that day that healthcare costs were going up at a rate five times faster than wages. That was a story we placed, and I cannot tell you how gratifying it was to directly see the impact on a listener.
My favorite memory from a radio media tour is from 2000. We completed a radio media tour with the American Federations of Teachers’ then president, Sandra Feldman. She did a series of interviews in the morning, and then hopped in a cab to head to another meeting. The cab driver struck up a conversation with her and asked her what she did for a living. She explained that she had been a teacher and was head of the AFT. He then let her know that he heard an interview just that morning about teachers in New York on WOR-AM radio and where they ranked in terms of pay. He regurgitated each of the many facts Sandra had outlined in the interview, and described his concern for the teachers. Sandra was elated that not only did he hear the interview, but that he paid close enough attention to describe why the content of the interview was important, and why all New Yorkers should know about the importance education policies and the impact on teachers and students.
Sandra’s experience with the cab driver illuminates the reason we do what we do – to improve the lives of media consumers through powerful and impactful stories.