Have you watched a spokesperson interview, business news bulletin, or new product launch and immediately looked up the brand or business? This is the power of television coverage – and a small sample of the brand awareness you can achieve through television PR.
While securing television coverage for your brand can be an extremely powerful tool within the overall marketing mix, public relations can be a tricky discipline to master. You might even wonder what television PR is and how to achieve airtime for your business.
This article will tell you all you need to know what television PR is, why it’s so valuable, and how to secure your business’s first piece of broadcast coverage.
What is television PR?
Simply put, television or TV PR is a component of media relations that is specifically and carefully planned to secure coverage on the box – whether for a brand, a product, a campaign or a spokesperson. This coverage aims to increase your brand’s visibility, raising awareness and potentially generating more sales.
Visual media is a fantastic way to bring your brand, product or campaign to life. Audiences tend to be much more responsive to audiovisual content than written information, especially if it is presented by someone they trust. These mediums offer a more engaging and relatable experience, combining a human connection (via case studies or a spokesperson) with compelling sounds and imagery.
Although it sounds straightforward, securing this coverage isn’t as simple as its definition. Confirming even just a handful of pieces can take tremendous time, resources, and effort.
So, is it worth taking the time and energy to secure this coverage on top of everything else? Well, we certainly think so – read on to find out why.
Why is TV PR so important?
According to statistics from the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB), British viewers watch more than four hours of television per day on average.
The report states that whilst adults in Britain think they watch an average of fewer than 20 hours of TV a week, or around three hours a day, official BARB statistics show the true average was more than 30 hours a week, or over four hours a day.
In fact, UK adults sought solace in screens and streaming more often during the pandemic, spending a third of their waking hours watching TV and online video content, according to Ofcom’s annual study of the nation’s media habits. With people across the UK under some lockdown restrictions for most of last year, more than 2,000 hours were spent watching TV and online video content.
The findings are among many which demonstrate the increasing importance of the nation’s love affair with television. Indeed, the nation’s love is growing and evolving – not just in terms of how much and what we watch, but how, when and where we watch it.
As well as offering a huge potential audience, broadcast coverage can be highly targeted and relevant. For example, if you’re trying to reach business decision-makers, you might pitch to a local news programme. By contrast, if you’re looking for a more general ‘lifestyle’ audience, you might reach out to ITV’s This Morning.
With great audience numbers and shows being so targeted, it makes perfect sense to maximise your brand’s visibility via television PR. So, you’ve decided that it’s probably worth your while to work on some TV public relations. Now, how do you go about securing that golden coverage?
Top tips for securing television coverage
Securing any broadcast coverage is notoriously tricky, but television might be the most elusive of all. To get your campaign aired on the appropriate channels, you’ll need to work through three key phases – thoughtful planning, intelligent pitching, and negotiating with producers.
Due to its fast-paced nature, short lead times, and competitive slots, it can be extremely tricky to confirm those golden windows of opportunities – you need to have a killer pitch that will be noticed by a journalist and selected by the editor.
Without further ado, here are our top tips for securing PR coverage for your brand:
A good spokesperson
Spokespeople are crucial to securing TV and radio coverage. This can mean having a well-trained company expert who can be the face and name of the brand but also working with third-party spokespeople who can speak on the brand’s behalf.
People respond best to people, not to faceless business entities. To connect with the public, you must give your company a face and a personality. Customers want to know who they’re dealing with.
Plus, when fake news, false information and ambulance-chasing are as damaging as they ever could be, there is a need for genuine experts, authentic voices and sharp insight. Startups, organisations and individuals who can help the media to navigate these novel issues and unpack the messages we’re receiving from our government are in high demand.
Of course, not all spokespeople are created equal. If you decide to appoint a spokesperson, it’s crucial to ensure that the person selected to be the face and voice of your company isn’t spreading the wrong messages or giving a bad impression.
To that end, media training is vital. This will help the spokesperson prepare for key questions; anticipate interview traps; and give a smooth and polished presentation, focusing on a clear message.
Location, location, location
To secure TV coverage, a good image and visuals are vital. While it has become more commonplace to conduct interviews via video call since the pandemic, broadcasters typically prefer spokespeople to be in the studio or in an appropriate location that supports the story visually.
It helps to have a setting that both literally and figuratively provides a background to your story. Not only does it provide an element of additional storytelling, but it also offers visual interest that will help to keep the viewer engaged – making you a more attractive prospect for the journalist in the early pitch stages.
Product reviews and product placement
Television coverage isn’t just interview based. Often, broadcasters want products they can test and review on air or set dressing in the backgrounds of soap operas, dramas and reality TV shows.
This is where the most significant opportunity lies for brands. While the BBC may be famously brand-averse, commercial stations can allow businesses to present their products to a massive audience in a favourable light – and products can earn that “as seen on TV” stamp of approval.
So, is it worth it..?
In short, TV is a visual platform which gives you the flexibility to make a television PR campaign that stands out. And once it’s on the screen, there are so many different and imaginative things you can do to boost it. You can target specific audiences, play to different emotions, and introduce relatable, authentic spokespeople and interviewees.
Through your television PR campaign, you could use graphics to make a slightly heavier story more vibrant or B-roll footage to bring it all together and fill in any gaps. In short, though it can be more challenging to secure than print or radio coverage, it affords you much more creative freedom.
TV PR provides a huge opportunity for brands and businesses alike, offering the opportunity for valuable coverage in front of a large and highly targeted audience. Ultimately, this kind of PR should positively impact how your audience sees your business and help to hone your desired reputation.
Television PR will drive awareness of your business by featuring it in the places your target audience frequents. The unique nature of third-party endorsement, whether a broadcaster or journalist, will add further credibility to your campaign.
With consistent key messaging, the weight of positive communications around your business will support your brand positioning – further raising awareness and building a more positive reputation. This has the potential to hugely grow your visibility, increasing your customer base and boosting your sales.
If you need help with your television or broader broadcast campaigns or want more information, don’t hesitate to contact us at Broadcast Revolution.