Writing for Radio and Television

29 Oct

Chapter 9 Reading Notes COMM 4333

Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques


  • Cost effective to reach large number of people of various age, ethnic and income groups.
  • 13,500 stations are aired in the United States.

Radio News Releases

  1. Format – time is of the essence. “30” = 30 seconds “60” = 60 seconds
  2. Announcers read at the speed of 150-160 words per minute
  3. Audio News Releases – (ANR) people send recording of the news announcement.
  4. Actuality – someone with a good radio voice o read entire announcement. person may or may not be identified.
  5. Soundbite – use an announcer but also include a satisfied customer.
  6. Preferred length for an ANR is 60 seconds including a 20 second or less soundbite.

Tips for Successful Radio and Television Story Placement

  • Topicality – pick things that matter to the majority.
  • Timeliness – timed within the annual seasons.
  • Localization – newsrooms emphasize local news.
  • Humanization – show how real people are involved or affected. People relate to people and animals.
  • Visual Appeal – successful stories provide compelling soundbites or video footage.

Public Service Announcements – an unpaid announcement that promotes the programs of the gov. or nonprofit agencies that serves the public interest.

  1. There is no legal obligation that stations must air PSAs.
  2. Only non-profit, civic and voluntary organizations are eligible to use them.
  3. 50% of PSAs are aired after midnight.
  4. 60 seconds or less (most are 15-30 seconds long)
  5. Add sounds effects if you can.
  6. Health is the most common. Then, family, community organizations and events and then volunteerism.

Radio Media Tour (RMT) – spokesperson conducting a series of round-the-country, one-on-one interviews from one central location.


pg 223 All the titles involved at both radio and television stations

Approaches to getting your story out there:

  1. Send TV station same news release you send to local print media.
  2. Prepare media alerts or advisory that would lend itself to video coverage.
  3. Call them or e-mail the assignment editor.
  4. Write producer (VNR) video news release – like an audio news release but is formatted for immediate use. 5,000 are produced a year. Includes 90 second news report and much more. ($20,000- $50,000 in price)

Satellite Media Tour – series of pre-booked, one-on-one interviews from a fixed location via satellite with a series of television journalists and even talk show hosts.

Talk shows are good to reach the masses.


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