Chapter 9: Television and Radio
Broadcasting an advertising message has the power to influence a wide range of people. There are five methods that many public relations writers use to reach their broadcast audiences: news releases, video news releases, radio and television tapes and actualities, interviews and talk shows, and corporate advertising and public service announcements. Video news releases are used at many local news stations that are looking for time-filling informational pieces. Radio and television actualities are used heavily in the news. An actuality is a firsthand account of a news event on tape. By using actualities, it makes stories more credible. Interviews and talk shows are used by local radio and television stations. Corporate advertising is used specifically to promote an idea or image, not to sell a product. As opposed to corporate advertising, PSAs are free to advertise. PSAs are reserved for nonprofit organizations and are aimed at providing an important message to its target audience.
Broadcast messages are called spots. In television spots, there are various camera shots, camera effects, and transitions that are used to make the advertisement catchy. It also makes the message flow easier.When writing television advertisements, you have to write for the eye as well as the ear. Therefore, it is essential to visualize what your target audience wants to see and put that vision onto paper. After the basic idea is created, the next step is to write a script treatment. This is basically a narrative of the spot. Shooting scripts and accompanying scripts must be written, too. The two most common television spots are talking heads and slice-of-life spots. Both of these have been criticized for certain things, but altogether they have been successful in completing their specific tasks. Another task that should be completed before the package is sent off the a news station is to time and cut the script. Timing is essential in getting the point across in the fastest way possible without rushing it. The script should be cut if there are long transitions, long visuals, or minor characters that are not essential to the main storyline.
Radio is a very flexible media to advertise in. There are two types of radio announcements: spot announcements and as-recorded spots. The difference between the two spots is that as-recorded spots are ready to be played by the stations receiving them and the spot announcements are read by station personnel. PSAs are able to be played on radio stations as well.