You’ve Got Mail

As more and more newsrooms choose not to renew AAP contracts, the pressure is on to find the content to fill bulletins. And that’s a lot of content. And content is king.

Obviously, the local newspaper, social media and TV networks are the ‘go to’ for many of us, but the email inbox is one of the great untapped resources.

Sure, there are plenty of emails from publicists and politicians trying desperately to get airtime. Who hasn’t been rung by an PR intern wondering ‘if you got that email’.

Police messages and tip offs from listeners also fill the inbox. And more often than not, they go through to the keeper and ignored.

Then there are organisations, which can make things a little easier for time poor journos or downsized newsrooms.

Universities have been quick to provide ‘dial-a-quote’ experts for topical stories, while some PR firms are becoming more agile at spotting the good story and offering up a client, who can provide some ‘noise’.

Then there are outlets like Radio Release. Established in 2004, it’s made a business of providing ‘audio’ media releases to newsrooms across the country and the numbers are impressive.

It’s generated nearly 7,000 media releases and 30,000 audio grabs, often with a regional focus included. That in turn has seen the creation of 100,000 radio news reports.

Managing Director Dan Wilson has a background in media and has a staff that includes ‘radio heads’. That rationale behind the organisation is fairly straightforward.

“Instead of organisations sending a press release and waiting for an interview request, we record grabs and supply them direct to radio newsrooms”.

“It means newsrooms don’t have to chase a spokesperson or media contact for a couple of straightforward grabs.

Likewise, the spokesperson can accommodate every newsroom without delay. It’s a very practical option especially when there’s a CEO or high-profile spokesperson involved”.

Given that many newsrooms a running ‘lean and mean’, a service like Radio Release can be handy especially to kick start the day.

The stories can be anything from hard politics to lifestyle content, so they’re quite handy if newsrooms are looking to fill a quick spot or balance a bulletin.

It doesn’t mean we give up the chase for our own stories or ‘noise’.  It doesn’t mean we have to click and download.  Or copy and paste the intro or run the audio in it’s entirety.

But rather than waiting for a ‘decent’ time to call for an interview or wait forever for a call-back, why not cut yourself some slack and check the email inbox?

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