Executing an earned radio campaign for your promotion is a great way to boost coverage for your clients. 

But while you might be familiar with the more popular press releases, op eds or matte stories, radio spots are a quick and affordable method to increase impressions.

 Here are a few key tips you should keep in mind when planning for your next radio campaign. 

Write for a listener, not a reader. 

Remember that what you or an agency partner will write will be spoken out loud, that’s why it’s important to avoid long and complicated sentences. 

Ditch using ess sounds and repeating words starting with the letter p, they make the script more difficult to say and to record. 

This can be easy to forget when you’re used to writing for print.

Focus on the story. 

Radio stations are looking for content that’s useful or interesting to their listeners. 

Listeners care about stories not brands, therefore, make sure not to make the story only about your brand so that stations can be intrigued. 

You should have fewer than two brand mentions including the website/call-to-action.

Think big picture

Earned radio segments go out to local or regional stations across the country, so the message needs to be broad enough to appeal to anyone who can hear it.

Events or places that aren’t accessible to everyone or specific industries such as construction or restaurants, are best to avoid.

Don’t date. 

It can be tempting to tie in your message to a special week or specific date, like Valentine’s Day but this doesn’t work so well for earned radio releases. 

To achieve a guaranteed number of impressions, the content needs to be relevant for over 30 days (this is when the majority of pickup happens). 

If you mention a week, it will drastically limit the potential earned pickup. Keep it broad with words like “this time of year” or “this season.”

Remember the magic numbers. 

Radio stations are only looking for 60 seconds of filler content. That means the script’s word count is about 155 to 170 depending on the content. 

Keep this in mind from the get-go so that you aren’t stuck padding out a skimpy story or leaving hard work on the cutting room floor. 

Here at Fifth Story, one easy way we test a script is to time how long it takes to read it out loud at a calm, steady pace.


If you need help with your earned media strategy and execution, feel free to reach out and discuss it with us at info@fifthstory.com.