Distance Learning

Engaging Ethnic Media

Know What Reporters Need to Tell Your Story

Ethnic Radio

  • The kind of news coverage a station produces is frequently a function of the station’s size. Where large stations will attend press conferences, smaller ones without reporters to dispatch might prefer to do on-air or recorded interviews via telephone. Small- and medium-sized stations might be willing to take pre-taped comments from your group (called “actualities”) over the telephone, while larger stations probably will want to conduct their own interviews. Overall, most ethnic radio stations tend to be smaller, with limited news rooms. Consider what prepared content you can give the station to enhance its coverage of the issue.

  • Many ethnic radio stations will provide stories in a variety of languages for a culturally diverse audience to serve a larger cross-section of audiences living within a community. Become familiar with the station so that you’re clear which programming is appropriate for the audience you are trying to reach.  

  • Call-in shows — live programs where the show’s host and guest take questions for listeners at home — are popular among ethnic radio stations and offer a valuable opportunity to get in-depth on the issue of safe sleep promotion. Because these shows are live and questions are often unpredictable, be sure that your expert or family member is well-prepared and can answer complex questions in short sound bites, whether in English or the preferred language of the station.

  • Sound is critical to a good radio story. In addition to having good news, you can increase your chances of radio play by having something that sounds terrific. Good sound effects or a colorful, “quotable quote” (a 10- to 15-second phrase or sentence that sums up your message in a memorable way) will significantly improve your chances for radio coverage.

  • The majority of radio stations have sister websites that are hungry for news. These sites typically will post information about community events, partner organizations and tips for healthy living, making them a good fit for information about safe sleep promotion.

Consider: Do you have a quotable quote? Does your spokesperson have a good radio voice? Are there background sounds you can provide to the station to make your message sound more compelling?