Radio reaches about 93 percent of men and women aged 18 and over every week. That is one big audience waiting to be tapped and a rich marketing medium for your business.
An effective (and free) way of reaching the radio listening public is via talk radio shows. However, the critical question is: how do you get to be interviewed in these talk radio shows?
Here are some tips on how to get the attention of talk radio producers and hosts and get exposure on radio
1. Research talk radio shows.
Finding the right talk radio show to contact is your first biggest challenge. There are books and websites that offer lists, while you can also do your own research and create your database. Keep your list updated and contact information fresh.
2. Understand what type of resource person the talk show needs.
The strategy on how you present yourself to the talk show host will spell the difference between success and failure in securing interview spots. This involves listening to the radio shows and studying the type of guests they have on the show.
You need to be flexible in terms of what the show needs vis-à-vis your expertise. Most interview topics in radio shows are propelled by the news so you need to learn how to tie your expertise with the latest news. Most radio shows prefer that you discuss the news or events based on your unique perspective and expertise (and not you coming in simply to talk about your business).
3. Contact the talk show host.
There is no right or wrong way to contact talk radio hosts, as they often have different preferred ways to be contacted. Some talk show hosts or producers prefer to be contacted via email, while others want a personal phone call. Still others prefer fax. If they have a website, you can use the contact form presented on the website.
4. Provide the radio talk show host with appropriate materials.
Send a host a description of your business, your expertise, product, book or whatever it is you’d like to promote. Include a list of possible questions they can ask you, a brief biographical sketch and how to reach you or purchase your products. Some hosts will use your questions, which can allow you to practice your spiel and deliver a more flawless performance. You don’t need to send a photograph with your press release and other materials.
5. Be ready to follow-up.
Some talk show hosts or producers will respond immediately, while others will take some time before you can get a positive response. If they don’t respond immediately, it does not necessarily mean that they are not interested. These radio people are typically busy and they are inundated with requests from people like you who want to be on their shows.
There are no hard-and-fast rules as to how many times you need to make your pitch, but keep a record of when and how many times you contacted them. If after several attempts and you feel that they are not really interested, it may be time to move on to the next show.
6. Be a great radio show guest.
Come to the interview prepared and psyched up and answer the questions of the host to the best of your abilities. Be informative and knowledgeable. However, it is important to be brief and to avoid long-winded responses.
7. Have fun.
Enjoy the interview and be yourself. Be sure to thank the host for having you as a guest. Ask if the host knows of any other shows that may need your expertise – if the host liked the interview, they may be amenable to giving you a recommendation.