Q: What do you mean you secure only earned media placements? What about companies that say they can “guarantee” hits?
A: We only secure earned media placements. We can never guarantee usage. Simply put, guaranteed placements are ad buys. Any company that says they “guarantee placements” is really saying that they purchase airtime from stations and networks. This is crucial to understand to ensure the best coverage for your message, and where we differ from many in the industry. Earned media placements are true media hits. Guaranteed placements are advertisements where money is exchanged for ad play. Earned media placements run in a station’s news and public affairs programming, while guaranteed placements run in an undetermined grey area between news programming and advertising segments, many times confusing the listener. Earned placements have credibility and value. They are true news and public affairs programming.
Q:How do I know if my story will work on-air?
A: Since we pitch stations every day, we know what works on the air and what doesn’t. We work with clients daily to help put together strong radio and television stories, so you can rest assured that we will always be honest if we think a pitch will or will not work and provide you with suggestions to make the story stronger, if necessary. We want our clients and stations to be happy with our results, and the best way to do that is to pitch only strong, relevant stories with articulate and knowledgeable spokespeople. We turn down more business than anyone else in the industry, because we never want to risk our reputation with reporters by providing them weak stories. Equally as important, we do not want our clients to waste budget on ineffectual tactics. Further, with our extensive radio and television backgrounds, our specialty is in crafting broadcast-friendly scripts, and producing and placing information that will resonate most with reporters.
Q: Do you provide me with usage information after my story has been distributed?
A: Absolutely. You need to know where your story was aired. We personally call and follow up with the networks and stations that either you did an interview with, or that accepted your audio news release or public service announcement. We report back to you how many times it aired, when, and in what context. We also provide you feedback from reporters who did not air your story as to why they took a pass, to provide better intelligence on how to improve content moving forward. We provide you with incredibly detailed usage information during our follow up process. We update you three business days after your project is pitched for an ANR, and then provide you with a final broadcast usage report five business days after initially pitching for most services. We also utilize multiple media monitoring platforms to assist us in providing you with detailed usage and airchecks. When you work with us, you don’t wait around for weeks and weeks waiting to hear something about when your story aired.
Q: Where do your audience measurement numbers come from, and what is the difference between AQH figures vs. CUME figures?
A: We purchase our audience measurement data from Nielsen Audio, the leading audience measurement company in the U.S. With our data, you never have to worry about it being out of date or irrelevant. We make this investment so we can confidently provide you with accurate listenership data. On your schedules, placement reports and usage reports you will see AQH figures. We believe this gives a much more accurate depiction of listeners than CUME figures. AQH, which stands for average quarter hour, determines the number of people listening to a certain radio station for at least five minutes during a particular 15-minute period. In other words, it counts true listeners to a station. CUME figures count listeners scanning their dials, and switching back and forth from station to station to station. AQH figures tend to be more conservative than CUME figures, but our intention is to provide you with what is the most accurate assessment of your listeners, not an inflated CUME figure.
Q: Are there any extra costs that will be added on from what is listed in our confirmation letter?
A: No. There are no nickel and dime costs when you work with us. The agreed upon budget will stay the budget. There are no hidden costs for us to write your pitch, no hidden costs for recording and editing, and no hidden costs for us to send you the audio from your project or to send airchecks. We believe in an all-inclusive model. No fine print. No gimmicks.
Q: What makes you different than other public relations service companies?
A: We pitch television and radio stations and networks every day, all day long. Since 1997, we have been learning their programming requirements and preferences, and listening to what content they are looking for. We also update our media database daily with the changes in format and personnel that are so prevalent in the dynamic worlds of television and radio. Beyond that, we regularly survey stations/networks to be sure we don’t miss any relevant insights. As a result, we have the most extensive knowledge in the industry. Our goal is to share that information with our clients, to guide them on best use of broadcast, and to tailor their stories to fit stations’ different styles, programming, and formats.
In addition, our client reports are designed to be user-friendly and chock-full of relevant information, and delivered to our clients in about half the time of the industry standard. We are tenacious and dedicated throughout the process, paying close attention to every detail from pitching to placement, follow-up and key learnings. Finally, it’s all about our people. Most of our team members are former reporters who truly understand how the industry works and take great pride in the service we provide our clients and stations. By listening and paying close attention to our clients’ goals and how they fit into radio and television programming needs, we are able to provide a comprehensive service unparalleled in the industry. Our goal is to provide sound counseling and top-notch service to our clients and compelling, indispensable programming to stations.
Q: What makes for a successful satellite media tour?
A: Think visuals! Does your story lend itself to visually-interesting b-roll for stations to run during the interview with your spokesperson? Ensure your spokesperson is comfortable in front of the camera, and uses body language effectively to project confidence. We have done extremely successful satellite media tours on a wide variety of topics, including everything from the environment to personal & cyber security to financial & tax advice.
Q: What trends are you currently seeing that can impact client projects?
A: We recognize several trends happening in the industry right now that can impact our work. There is a major trend toward stations naturally incorporating social and digital media as core strategies to further their audience reach and engagement. Reporters also now routinely run a portion of an interview on air, and then place the entire interview on their website, external links to get still further info, and perhaps even stream related video. Reporters often ask us to provide images, infographics and relevant social media handles and hashtags if we can. We are also seeing a shift in more and more satellite media tours being held on Mondays and Fridays as opposed to the traditional Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday line up.