Radio, TV Still Opportune For Business News

Last week, I had the privilege of speaking to small business owners and marketers as part of Walsh College’s “Hot Topics” series. I was asked to speak about the opportunities still left for business stories on radio and on TV, even with the changes in the media.

I started my presentation by asking questions of the audiences and the results confirmed what we believe inside our firm – even with all of the options for information, traditional broadcast media are often as close as we get to what used to be called “mass media,” even for businesspeople.

Nearly every audience member had listened to news on the radio on the way to the morning event. Most had watched some local TV news that morning. Interestingly, just a few had already accessed the website branded with a daily newspaper (but several more said they planned to at work) and only a couple had watched 10pm or 11pm TV news the night before. Virtually all said they were not often in front of a TV for the still-marquee 5pm or 6pm TV newscasts.

Understand that I did not recommend that they ignore other forms of communication to focus on traditional broadcast media. I appreciate that the others who spoke discussed advertising, trade shows/face-to-face marketing and web communication. But, I did explain that to get your story on the air now, it takes something different than it used to.

Since then, I reviewed some “tapes” (now dubbed to DVD) from when I first started working in TV newsrooms more than 20 years ago. On them, I found what we used to call “evergreen” stories. These were interesting local features that could be done today, tomorrow, next week or next month and would be the same whenever they got done. But, they got done because there were generally resources to report them. Not anymore.

In order to successful tell a business story via TV or radio or position a business’ expertise, you have to “have a today angle.” In other words, the story has to fit into today’s headlines or connected stories they are covering anyway. Additionally, you now may have to take your story to the studio, as there are scant few crews “on the street” who can come to you.

In conjunction with other platforms, TV and radio can still get your message to a relatively large audience. We call it, “the old and the new.” As always, we appreciate the opportunity to speak about it in credible forums to attentive audiences.