April 16, 2004
How To

Scripting Tips for Audio News Releases (Plus a Sample for You)

SUMMARY: Want to get your news on the radio? You'll increase your chances with an audio news release. It's just like a press release, only instead of sending news, you send a timed-script and a link to an MP3 audio file. That way on-air personalities can either read your news to listeners or segue into your audio clip interview.
Audio news releases (ANRs) – press releases with MP3 audio files embedded – can be an uncommon way of getting a radio show or Internet broadcast producer's attention in order to land an interview.

And when done right, the content of the ANR itself can be used right on the air, giving your company or client immediate exposure, whether or not you ever land an interview.

We talked with Rodger Roeser, VP Justice & Young Public Relations, about the elements of an ANR, and how to put one together.

The script

An audio news release script should be either 30 or 60 seconds long, and it should be in three segments:

-- Voiceover 1: The introduction of the release, read by you (the "talent" in this situation), talking about why the topic is interesting and newsworthy.

-- The Actuality: This is the body of the release, read by your client. “This is the part that the client is speaking to,” Roeser says. “It’s as if you were the news station and you were doing the interview.”

-- Voiceover 2: The close, again read by you, summing up your main points.

Script tips:

o Tip #1. The sections of the script are generally divided into 10- to 20-second segments. In the script, include the amount of time allotted to each segment. “That's standard radio protocol,” Roeser says. “Everything is timed; that way they know how long it should reasonably take to do.”

o Tip #2. Have “audio news release” in your subject heading.

o Tip #3. Short and informal. “The spoken word is much more conversational,” says Roeser. Keep your audio release much shorter than a regular release, and give it “panache and flair.”

o Tip #4. Have a specific news peg (not a sales pitch) at the beginning. “Say your client has software that tracks energy bills. You can say that gas prices are expected to rise 8% this year, which means …” Roeser explains. “It can't be an ad; it should fit it in with a national trend.”

o Tip #5. Include a link to two different audio versions: the entire package (both voiceovers plus the actuality) and the actuality alone.

--Sample ANR script:
Subject: Keys To Winning Consumers (audio for a change)

For Immediate Release

Audio News Release

Contact: Rodger Roeser, APR
Justice & Young Public Relations

Market Researcher Turns Winning Ideas Into Winning Consumers AcuPOLL To Show How Kid Marketers Can Unlock Door To Product Success

Access MP3 Here:


Total Package :60

VO1 (Talent) :27

What do kids want?

Not just buzzwords or trendy characters. For marketers, that is the big question when coming up with the idea for that next big thing or the ad that creates the right buzz.

Market researcher AcuPOLL is a worldwide authority on market testing to women and children, and say they know the five key principals in turning these winning ideas into winning over consumers. AcuPOLL's Bill Snyder is unlocking the door for marketers who seek a competitive advantage in the kid marketplace.

ACTUALITY (Bill Snyder) :22

Businesses don't have the luxury of throwing away money on concepts or advertising that fail to take into account the eFactor - that connection between emotional bond and brand equity - which ultimately determines product success. Making ideas and ads better to motivate this moving target is the future of marketing.

VO2 (Talent) :21

Snyder will present these principals at the KidPower Conference at Disney in May.

And what does this mean to consumers. More and better choices of products and ideas, and for brand executives - success - a more rewarding experience on the bottom line.

Creating your ANR

Once the script has been approved by the client, you’ll want to use a professional studio to record the audio portion of the release (should run you around $500). “You have to go to a professional, you can’t do it with your Mom’s tape recorder,” Roeser says.

You do not need professional talent for the voiceover portions, he says. Your own voice will do fine. As for the client portion, you definitely want your client to read it, since it should sound like an interview.

Record the release several times until you’re happy with it. Once it’s finished, you’ll get it on disk and on two MP3s, which you can then distribute online yourself to your radio contacts or have a service like PR Newswire launch it for you (may run up to several thousand dollars).

-> Tracking and follow up

The radio station can actually run the entire package, the radio personality can read the voiceover portions of the script and run the client doing the actuality, or the radio personality can read the entire thing.

The point is not to get your voice, or even the client’s voice, on the air. If the radio station runs the spot, that’s a bonus. The point is to generate enough interest that you can parlay it into a live interview for your client.

“Without a good tracking system for your ANRs,” Roeser says, “it’s the tree falling in the woods analogy.”

You need to know who’s opening the email and who’s clicking on the links. Then you can follow up.

Sample follow-up call: “I sent you this audio news release on XYZ. I don't know if you’ve had an opportunity to listen to this yet, but the client raised some interesting points that your listeners would find valuable. Could we set up time to do a studio or satellite interview?”

Roeser expects a good audio news release to be used on the air by 10 to 15% of the hand-picked list he sends it to (far less if sent out via a general wire service.) In following up with opens and clickers, he generally gets the client on the air a remarkable 50% of the time, he says.

Related story: Adding Audio to Email Campaigns: Inspiration from 4 Marketers, 5 Tips, and 5 Vendors

Improve Your Marketing

Join our thousands of weekly case study readers.

Enter your email below to receive MarketingSherpa news, updates, and promotions:

Note: Already a subscriber? Want to add a subscription?
Click Here to Manage Subscriptions