5 Insider Secrets to Maximize Free Publicity doing Radio Interviews

by Stephany

Radio is still one of the most overlooked free publicity vehicles for most entrepreneurs and small businesses.  The reality is, most radio hosts are starving for great ideas, interesting discussions and guest to fill time.   Interestingly, radio is also the most often overlooked for advertising, eventhough AM Radio is one of the cheapest, easiest and most effective advertising vehicles to build a local profile.  But we’ll save that for another day.  This article is about being a stellar and memorable radio interview guest.  Here’s some quick things to remember so you get the best publicity from your radio interview.

  1. Do the work for the producer and host.~ This is the #1 insider secret. A talk radio host has too many guests, doesn’t know your topic and is usually has no idea where the conversation is going to go because he/she is used to flying by the seat of their pants.  So the more you prepare the host the better your interview will be.  When you’re talking to the producer of the show ask what angle of discussion their looking for, what other guests they have on and if you can help provide any information they are researching.  Feel free to mention an idea that you think might suit their audience.  Then email the producer a list of 5 -10 short questions that the host could ask or interesting factoids related to your topic.  This makes it a relaxed, no brainer conversation or easy interview for the host and producer and there is less research to do before the show.  They’ll love you and want you back.
  2. Know your 3 key messages before you get on the air, but don’t script yourself. ~ Make sure you have the three key things you absolutely want people to know written in bullet form in front of you.  It’s easy to get swept away by a great conversation and forget the message you want to deliver. You’ll also want to include your biggest benefit, the great promotion you’ve got going, and your web addy or phone number. 
  3. It’s not an info-mercial or a sales pitch.~ Hosts and listeners want great content, not commercials.  Don’t talk about yourself unless asked, no one likes a braggard.  Remember, you’re the expert and they want you there to provide content, give advice, and offer golden nuggets of value that keep listeners tuned in.  Your goal is to give information or how-to’s in a way they’ll remember so it inspires their confidence in you and you’ll be top-of-mind next time they think about the topic.  When you talk to the producer ask him/her if there is an opportunity to direct people to more information through a telephone number or weblink. The station may even post a link on the web to your site, so if you use a web addy… use a short and memorable URL.
  4. It’s over before you know it, so be prepared, be brief.~ The one thing I hear most often after an interview is;  ” Whew, that went by so fast and there’s so much I forgot to say.”  Radio interviews are a conversation that get easily sidetracked, but this usually happens when the guest is unprepared and begins to ramble.  The whole interview is usually only 5-10 minutes, when you factor in time for the host and commercial breaks.  Practice your responses to key questions with a friend before hand.  Your aswers should be short, fun and attention grabbing, sentences less than 15 words is best.  If you’ve got an anectdote or story to tell, practice it several times until you can tell it in 30 seconds. 
  5. You’re not on camera, but smile anyway!~ Great radio interviews are friendly and relaxed.  Put a mirror in front of you when you do the interview, breathe deep and smile while you have the conversation.  People can’t see your smile, but they can sure feel it in your voice.  If you look friendly, you’ll sound friendly.  I personally like to do interviews standing or walking with a headset to keep my energy moving to convey energy in my voice not sound too relaxed. You may want to try this for yourself.

Got an interesting or funny radio interview story… We invite you to leave us a comment and share it below.

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