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Last week, Steph and I attended the Phoenix PRSA New Pros Happy Hour at The Adobe Restaurant at the Biltmore. While snacking on some tasty homemade chips and dip we listened to Jim Cross, lead news reporter for KTAR, Paul Atkinson, host, reporter and producer for KJZZ and Chad Ashbaugh, promotions director at Clear Channel Communications share some tricks of the trade, trade being radio. Some valuable tips we took away from our panelists included:

  • “There will always be radio, but it’s being driven more to the internet” – Jim Cross
  • A 30-second radio story can be expanded online
  • Radio has become the gateway to the internet
  • Radio and television will always be around because people will want weather and traffic updates so the need for content will never go away.
  • Lots of crime blotter gets people burnt out. Always looking for “news you can use.”
  • The best stories for radio are the ones that really touch people. A story with some sort of emotional connection.
  • Paul listed the four C’s – Crime, Conflict, Controversy and Celebrity. The more C’s, the more coverage. A perfect example of this is Charlie Sheen.
  • Make sure your client can speak well on-air.
  • Make sure your client is knowledgeable about the topic at hand.
  • In a pitch, make everything concise.
  • Always have a creative subject line. Add somewhere in the subject line that it’s a local story
  • The beginning of the email should be short. Think of a voicemail.
  • Speaking of voicemail, be sure to keep them 45 seconds or less and remember to say your name and phone number twice.
  • Email is always best, but it is still okay to follow up with a phone call.
  • Radio is the most immediate of any form of media.
  • Know your brand

And most importantly, do your research and know who you’re pitching. Following these tips, plus having compelling content, may just land you your next big radio story!

Brittany Richardson
Brittany Richardson
A former HMA Public Relations employee.


  1. Stephanie Lough says:

    I love the four C’s – you need the five W’s are for good reporting, but you need the four C’s for good ratings!

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