"You’ve heard all the noise about the FCC crackdown on SMTs – and it’s true,” acknowledges JoAnn Mangione, vice president of zcomm, Bethesda-based broadcast PR firm. “However, a little tweaking of our approach to SMT planning can still reap the big audience numbers.”
First, put your money where your mouth is – invest in a well-known spokesperson and stick with health, entertainment, topical issues and non-profits. Topics related to special observances such as American Diabetes Month, are helpful as are charity tie-ins. Full disclosure is very important; so build trust with producers by telling them up front who is sponsoring the SMT.
Use your studio time wisely, don’t forget to incorporate radio bookings between TV interviews to pump up audience numbers and think about extending the length of the tour to increase station participation. Finally, repurpose the interviews by creating a series of videopodcasts and/or audio podcasts. Consider streaming part or all of the interviews on your website, and on related or partner websites and make use of viral marketing.
“An SMT is still a smart media tactic,” say Mangione. “Let stations know your awareness of the FCC’s regulations and give them what they need to be comfortable airing your client’s message.”