In this day and age of Ipod, radio still remains an important medium for a vast number of people. Radio is a source of information, entertainment, and companionship amidst the hassle and bustle of daily life. People listen to the radio in their cars, workplace or even when relaxing at home.
As such, radio should be a medium that you need to consider in your marketing mix. In fact, radio reaches 94% of consumers every week according to the Radio Advertising Bureau’s study “Radio Marketing Guide and Fact Book.” The study also found that consumers listened to the radio for about 20 hours per week — with every minute representing an opportunity for your message to be heard.
One way to tap the radio as a marketing tool is to be invited to talk in various radio shows. Talk radio helps build your credibility as an expert in your field, raise awareness about your business, and gives you the chance to communicate your message or discuss your products.
I interviewed Francine Silverman, an author and a publicity expert, on how to market your small business through talk radios. Francine has created her own Internet radio show Book Marketing with Fran on Achieve Radio and specializes in helping authors tap the radio to publicize their books. She has a new book coming out entitled “Talk Radio for Authors,” which contains valuable information on talk radio shows across the U.S. and Canada that invite authors as guests. Here are her tips:
How can talk radio drive awareness of a product or service?
I think that anyone – whether an author promoting a book or a small businessperson – has to be on several shows and/or be invited back by the same host for his or her message to make an impact. If the show has a really large listening audience, one show might do it.
How can a small business entrepreneur get booked to talk on the radio? What does the entrepreneur need to do to get the attention of the talk show host or radio producer?
No, the entrepreneur doesn’t have to spend big bucks to attract a radio host. I have an inexpensive on-line publicity service in which I send Expert Sheets to on-line media. Each sheet has a heading – such as Spirituality, Health, Business, Women – with bios of authors who write in like genres. If one business person wants to get on a show, all that’s required is sending a bio – of course to a show that matches his or her field. It’s important to have a box below the bio of the areas the business person is comfortable talking about. This gives the host an idea of what subjects to pursue.
When an entrepreneur contacts a radio station, what is the typical protocol? What materials should they send along with the pitch?
The host usually asks for a copy of the book if it’s an author, or, in the case of a business person it might be materials about the business.
What types of radio shows should an entrepreneur focus on? Is there a database or list of the radio shows, especially the top Nationally Syndicated Radio Talk shows?
Unfortunately, there is no database of shows just for entrepreneurs or of the top shows. Moreover, many radio shows do not provide the themes of their show on their website or if whether even invite guests on the show. This is the reason I wrote Talk Radio for Authors – Getting Interviews Across the U.S. and Canada, which will be out in the next few weeks from Infinity Publishing – it only includes responsive hosts who welcome guests. One suggestion I have for finding top rated radio shows is to go to Talkers Magazine, http://www.talkersmagazine.com, which rates the top radio hosts in the nation.
How should an entrepreneur prepare for the interview?
As in any interview, the guest might ask what the host will be discussing. Then the entrepreneur can prepare answers to questions along those lines.
How can an entrepreneur hone his/her speaking skills to prepare for the radio interview?
I joined my local Toastmasters club to learn how to feel comfortable in front of an audience. It also helps us to think on our feet. I’ll give you a summary of from the hosts in my book: Be passionate about your subject; well versed in the subject matter; and well-spoken and friendly.
About Francine Silverman:
Francine Silverman is a lifelong New Yorker who honed her writing skills as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer. She authored two travel guidebooks, Catskills Alive (2000 and 2003) and Long Island Alive (2003), both published by Hunter Publishing. In 2003, Fran started Book Promotion Newsletter for authors of all genres http://www.bookpromotionnewsletter.com . The ezine spawned Book Marketing from A-Z (Infinity Publishing 2005), containing the best marketing strategies of 325 subscribers. In 2006, Fran started a publicity service and has gotten subscribers placed in the Boston Herald, Oklahoman and Chicago Tribune as well as on Internet and terrestrial radio programs. Most recently, Fran began her own Internet radio show, Book Marketing with Fran, on Achieve Radio, http://www.achieveradio.com