Top tips for broadcast media success

Far be it from us to blow our own trumpets, but sometimes you have to. Take our recent triumph on behalf of Britain’s leading sleep expert.

Silentnight, the brand in question, managed to bag no less than 18 brand mentions, and12 minutes of of airtime through BBC Breakfast. An outside broadcast was set up at the company’s Lancashire factory thanks to the success of its range of eco mattresses made from recycled plastic bottles— an issue at the top of the public agenda right now.

Incredible results, made even more impressive when you consider the Beeb is a public broadcaster and therefore heavily restricted on name dropping. Better yet, this coverage led to follow up stories with Daily Mail, The Times, The Sun, The Express and Huffington Post.

Don’t just take our word for the power of TV and radio, though. Broadcast media remains one of the best ways of spreading a message and getting word out about products and services. These platforms also offer incredible value for money when used correctly.

According to Radiocentre, radio comes with 20% cheaper campaign costs than advertising. TV, meanwhile saw £5.4billion spent on advertising in the UK in 2017 alone— clarifying how essential it is within the overall media mix (only digital ad spend is bigger), and getting some good publicity spots, rather than buying commercial space, is the holy grail. BBC Breakfast, for example, was watched by almost 20million viewers per day in the first quarter of this year.

Knowing broadcast media is powerful isn’t enough, though. You also need to understand what it takes to score a big hit in front of the cameras, from initial contact with producers to acting as a runner behind the scenes, ensuring everything goes smoothly. We asked one of our Account Directors, Rose Allerston, who took a lead on the Silentnight push, to share some top tips for brands looking for five minutes of fame…

Expert tips for broadcast media success

  • Although the news desk may be your first point of contact, know which programme or slot you are specifically pitching for. We knew Silentnight’s story and the factory setting was prime for a business segment, and offered an interview with Managing Director Steve Freeman. Knowing your programme does give you the opportunity to pitch directly to the correct producer or even the presenter themselves. Business presenter Steph McGovern was the first to give the green light to our eco story
  • Time your pitch to fit planning schedules. A 6am pitch to BBC Breakfast led to an immediate conversation for the Silentnight team. If it’s a drive time slot you’re seeking, an early afternoon pitch will be more likely to land at the right time for the planning teams
  • Whether you’re pitching on the phone or in an email, keep it short and snappy. Broadcast planners don’t have time to wade through long press releases, so know the headlines of your story and deliver them in a punchy, digestible way
  • Always think about the news agenda. If you can join a current conversation and give your story a topical hook, it’s all the more likely to pique interest. Nods to what other brands were doing in the eco space and research into the nation’s littering habits were all part of Smoking Gun’s pitch
  • Don’t be afraid to pitch your story as part of a round up with other brands or experts, who can reinforce your message and deepen your content. For BBC Breakfast, we were joined at the Silentnight factory by Allison Ogden-Newton, CEO of Keep Britain Tidy, and waste expert William Maxwell from Lancashire County Council


Think about what’s visual for TV or what might make good audio for radio. We were quick to let the BBC know about the 150 plastic bottles (the number going into each mattress) which we could display, the layers of the mattress we could visualise, and the huge production line with its impressive machinery. We even brought a bed onto the factory floor for Sean Farrington to give it the comfort test!

Read our guide to earned media