On Monday, I visited BBC Radio Merseyside along with 40 other charities, community and faith groups across Merseyside and the wider area including Here and Now, OPAL Services and Healthbox/ Wellbeing High St. The day was a fantastic opportunity for chosen groups to meet the presenters and producers and learn about storytelling.
Stories make for compelling case studies and give us all a chance to promote not only what we deliver but the reason why we exist.
Here are some top tips from the BBC Radio Merseyside team on getting your story heard:
- Know your audience – Radio Merseyside target listeners are aged 50-70, enjoy learning, cooking and gardening, and probably grandparents.
- Local radio is about “life lived locally” so national stories may not always be as key to listeners.
- Press releases with an embargo on them are no longer as significant as they used to be because of the immediacy of news availability through social media etc.
- Rather than attach a press release, put it in the main body of the email as this will make it easier/faster for the reporter or producer to read
- Eyewitness accounts are more important and compelling than factual reports
8 reasons why press releases might not make the airwaves:
- wrong target audience
- reads like a novel – be brief and to the point
- over-use of jargon
- doesn’t get to the point
- contacts for further information are never available
- invitation to a photoshoot – remember it’s radio not TV!!
- can’t read the attachment (make sure you send it in the body of the email)
BBC Radio Merseyside has an active social media platform and welcomes stories that can be shared online
Follow BBC Merseyside on Twitter @bbcmerseyside
and Like their Facebook page BBC Merseyside @bbcmerseyside – submit short video clips (less than 45 seconds/ the first 5 seconds are the most important to capture people’s interest)