Everyone likes it local. If you go into a supermarket, they'll have the location of the farm they sourced the beef from or the field that grew the potatoes printed somewhere on the packaging. And those strawberries sourced from the same town your grandmother grew up in always taste infinitely sweeter than the ones simply labelled “Spain”.
We like that thrill that comes from seeing something so familiar gain recognition, immediately understanding its relevance in our lives, and this is one of the greatest strengths of broadcast PR.
A typical advertising campaign for radio and television uses thirty second slots to try and persuade consumers that they need a particular product or service. These adverts will appear on multiple channels, repeating multiple times throughout the day, and tend to run for several months at a time. The reason for this is the cost of production: the company needs to stretch that advert out to ensure that they make their money back. Stretching one idea for the longest possible length of time while still maintaining effectiveness is the best way that an advertising campaign can minimise costs and maximise consumer engagement. And, given our ability to remember certain long-running adverts from our childhoods, this repetition clearly has some impact.
The unfortunate side-effect of this kind of campaign is that it is completely unable to adapt and thus often has to generalise in order to engage with the widest demographic. Adverts with a national outlook can't afford to throw in anything that would alienate consumers, meaning that the majority of advertising campaigns avoid targeting a specific locality, and they are unable to run multiple versions of an advert concurrently. It would cost too much money and they would find themselves limited to smaller, regional channels if they tried. Instead, an advertising campaign has to accept that it will not engage a large proportion of its audience purely because it is not relevant to their lives.
Broadcast PR works rather differently. Due to the reliance on the media to disperse the chosen message, a PR campaign can only last as long as the buzz does. Sometimes this does mean that the message only gets a short life but, in the hands of a skilled PR operator, it can turn into a longer term and constantly evolving promotion that works for multiple audiences. If linked to a long running news story, or one that is continually developing, a promotional campaign can easily outlast the usefulness of traditional advertising because it remains relevant and new to the consumer.
Adapting to remain relevant is a key strength of broadcast PR, and its usefulness is not limited to just its ability to evolve with an on-going story. By working with regional broadcast networks, the message of the PR campaign can adjust to suit the local area so that it appeals the very different audiences across the nation and relate to the differing needs of those communities. The promotion can hook onto suitable local stories, whether it's about an opening event in a small northern town or an awards ceremony in central London, ensuring that the message is one that feels relevant to that area.
Consumers see their community spotlighted and therefore believe that X brand is on their side, understanding their needs and issues. They get to feel that special thrill that comes with seeing something familiar to them acknowledged and suddenly the message becomes linked to that feeling. Broadcast PR keeps the campaign relevant through linking it to the familiar.
Local produce, from crafts to craft beer, has become a big thing in recent years. The same boom is happening with local radio and so it offers great opportunities for broadcast PR. Ran by people within the community, with an understanding their wants and needs in a way that the big commercial stations cannot, these radio stations provide a more intimate platform for in PR campaigns. After all, those working for the local radio station will use the same stores, experience the same community issues, and have the same pride for their region. Local radio is a part of them, meaning that they are infinitely more trustworthy than any other station.
In this social media-heavy world, locality has only increased in importance when it comes to broadcast PR. Word of mouth no longer simply means word of mouth, instead widening to encompass everything from a friend passing on a recommendation on the phone to reviews posted on Facebook or Twitter, and this means that a good story can catch a wider audience than ever before.
It can start small, beginning on one person's page, perhaps then being shared between one group of friends, who share it with more friends and relatives, until eventually everyone seems to have seen it. The story has achieved the ultimate aim: going viral. It all starts with that first share and that's where the local focus has its strength. On social media, just like in real life, people like to talk about what feels relevant to them and a campaign that relates to a particular community will increase engagement.
Example: Bouncy Bands
A teacher in Arkansas shares her experiences with “Bouncy Bands” in her class on a local teaching page, intending to give others in her profession the a way to settle their energy-filled charges. Flash forward a few weeks and suddenly her findings are discussed on the news and that post has reached the UK, with the product in question rising in popularity across the world. The story started as something local, applying to only a select community, but interest in the human experience in the story and digital word of mouth took it far beyond the realms of a typical advertising campaign.
Broadcast PR is an adaptable way to spread a promotional message. Its ability to link in to the local community through regional news and events ensures that it will be relevant to the very different audiences to hear it, evolving with the stories it finds and ensuring the maximum engagement.
Get into contact with us, to plan a PR campaign and get a free consultation.