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How to Get On Talk Radio and Reach Thousands for FREE!

By Kevin Nunley
Posted Monday, October 25, 2004

Want a FREE way to promote your business to thousands in your area? How about a free way to market to customers nationwide? Talk radio gives you both at zero cost.

Before I started, I worked across the hall from a talk radio station. The lobby was constantly filled with people who were appearing as guests on talk shows. What an interesting group! I met the Governor, rock stars, famous writers, everyday people promoting causes, and a whole assortment of accountants, gardeners, financial planners, realtors, crafts people, and educators.

For every famous person who stepped up to the mic, there were 20 "regular" experts on every issue you can think of. These were local business owners, professionals, and workers who had interesting information the radio audience would find helpful.

Guests usually aren't allowed to turn their on-air appearances into self-serving ads (that's what paid commercials are for), but no guests leaves without grabbing a considerable amount of promotional benefit for themselves. Guests almost always get a chance to share their phone number, email address, office location, or web site URL.

There is no shortage of talk show opportunities. Talk stations number in the thousands throughout the US and Canada. Many more radio stations have a Sunday morning talk show.

First find one or two stations in your area. Listen to the shows and become familiar with the hosts and the topics they like to cover. Next, CALL or EMAIL the radio station and talk with the host or producer. You can get station contact info from the yellow pages. You may be able to get an email address that goes directly to the host. Most stations have web sites you can search for and easily find.

Tell the host what subject you specialize in. You don't have to be a world-class expert, just have some helpful tips the audience will be interested in. A day care owner could talk about how to keep small kids busy while Mom or Dad works at home. An accountant or lawyer might give tips for saving on taxes or fighting an IRS audit. Somebody who does a lot of fishing could talk about favorite lakes and bait.

If your topic relates to something already in the news, hooray for you! Pass GO and collect $200. The media LOVE to find a local expert who can give a local angle on a national news headline. Make sure you point out your connection with the news when you call the station.

What should you worry about when you go on the air? Joe Shafran, who has helped thousands of people get on talk shows, says to go to the bathroom and get a drink of water. Other than that, don't worry. Talk show hosts are nice professionals who will help walk you through your visit. Relax and speak clearly... and don't forget to mention your phone number and web site at the end.

After your appearance is over, go home or back to your office and write a thank you note to the host. Not many people do this and radio folks really appreciate it. A handwritten thank you goes miles toward getting you asked back again and again.

Now that you've mastered the local scene, go nationwide! You can find radio stations by searching media for various cities. Also go to the Radio and Records web site at ( R&R is the main trade publication for the radio industry. You can find more links to radio station web sites there.

Call and email stations to set up your appearance. You can do interviews by telephone. Call the day before your appearance to remind the host or producer. It's also a good idea to call about 15 minutes before your appearance to make sure everything is set. Radio moves very quickly, so it's a good idea to follow up several times to make sure you haven't been forgotten or moved.

Without good, interesting guests, talk radio shuts down. They NEED you. Also consider music morning shows that do a lot of talking. DJs often welcome outrageous or funny guests.

About the Author
Kevin Nunley provides marketing advice and copy writing. See his 10,000 FREE marketing tips and popular press release packages at ( Reach Kevin at or 801-328-9006.


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