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Last week, I had the chance to attend the KTAR Tips and Trends Luncheon put on by PRSA Phoenix. Attendees had the chance to hear from a panel of KTAR’s top players about what pitches they want to hear and stories they are anticipating in 2019. The panelists included Martha Maurer, news director; Ashley Flood, managing editor; Griselda Zetino, reporter; Jim Cross, senior reporter; and Tyler Bassett, digital content director.

To kick off the discussion, the panelists described how KTAR handles “fake news” culture – to which they agreed that correctness is more important than speed when turning around a story. KTAR also listens to their audience to see what people want to hear about, and covers important topics, such as health and immigration, regularly.

When asked about the ever-changing media and podcasts, the panel brought up an interesting point that smart speakers like Amazon Alexa are helping bring radio back into the home. KTAR is also making an effort to have their programs be accessible everywhere that listeners are tuning in, including on Spotify, Stitcher and Apple Music.

For trends they are anticipating in the next year, the panel agreed that education, health and immigration will continue to be topics they are always covering.  Outside of that, they are always looking for an opportunity to bring attention to stories that showcase people’s real lives. With continually shortening attention spans, they are also expecting short stories to continue being popular. Their stories currently average 30 to 40 seconds, and they expect that they might get shorter.

From PR pros, KTAR is always looking for a way to localize a national story. For example, they are always seeking a local expert to comment on a national topic. In addition, unique and fun stories always catch their eyes. The panel also agreed that sending high-quality photos, video and audio along with pitches is greatly appreciated if possible.

In terms of what to do when pitching, the panel said the more details, the better. Have guests available? Let KTAR know the exact days and time ranges they could call in or show up in-studio. They also appreciate attention grabbers in the first few sentences and bolded or highlighted links to photos or videos. Their favorite audio to receive includes “nat sounds,” like clapping at an event or cheering at a baseball game, and clean, clear interviews.

Overall, it was a great panel with very useful information!

Annelise Krafft
Annelise Krafft
Annelise is a Phoenix native who has spent her whole life around the media. When she’s not writing, you can find her tracking the latest celebrity gossip. Check out Annelise's complete bio here.

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