Posted Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Imagine that you are a radio producer. You have to fill three hours a day, five days a week, every single week. You need topics that inform, enrage, entertain, educate, motivate, and otherwise engage your audience. How do you find those topics, and the guests to make them come alive?
Radio shows use lots of guests, and if you can show them why you would be a good one, you can be on the air. The great thing about radio is that you can be on a show anywhere in the world--without leaving home! I've done radio shows in Denver, Washington DC, Phoenix, San Diego, Atlanta, and lots of other places, all from my home near Houston--and often while I'm still in my jammies. (If video phones ever catch on, I'm in trouble!)
Getting on radio can be as simple as targeting the stations or programs that seem to be a good fit for your topic (or finding a way to slant your topic to fit). Then, contact them by phone, e-mail,letter or fax. Send your pitch to the producer, and explain why you would make a great guest for their show.
Once they express an interest, be prepared to follow up with an information sheet or bio, and a list of suggested questions for them to ask you. Some will use these questions, others won't, but it's a good idea to have them available. Fax the info, or if there's time, you may want to mail these items along with a product sample or other promotional item. I offer to give them a couple of my books to give away to listeners.
Be prepared to give listeners a way to contact you, and a reason to do so. For example, I give out my toll-free number and offer a free bonus (such as an extra booklet or tape) when listeners order and say they heard me on that station. Make the contact info easy to remember. My toll-free number is 888-BOOK-888. It's easy to remember, even if you're in your car and far away from a pencil to write it down. You may also want to give out your website URL.
Practice some answers to the questions you expect. Make them short and punchy. If you're taking more than 30 seconds or so to answer, you may be talking too long (although that is largely determined by the type of show).
Once you're on the air, remember that you are there to give them a good show, not to sell. Most will be good about giving your contact info, but be ready to work it in if they don't. Whether your interview is 10 minutes or an hour, it will go quickly. At the end of your first interviews, you'll remember all the things you wanted to say, but didn't get to. You'll get better with practice.
Relax and have fun, and remember to give them a good show. When you do, you'll have lots of opportunities to tell your story on the air.
Copyright Cathy Stucker. As the Idea Lady, Cathy Stucker can help you attract customers and make yourself famous with inexpensive and free marketing ideas. Get free tips, articles and more at (http://www.IdeaLady.com/).
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