RADIO INTERVIEW 101 Specifics About Getting Speaking Engagements From Radio Interviews
New for 2015: Speakers are great at getting information, verbally, from point A to point B. One difficulty occurs, however, in situations where an intermediary (like radio) is involved. Radio is "invisible" to most people, including speakers; it is largely unknown to speakers why or how things are chosen to be "on the air". If you only remember one thing, make it this: It is not how good a person speaks that determines if he/she will be PLACED on the air.
However, once a speaker IS chosen to be on the air, his/her speaking ability will have great effect on the listeners. This is why speakers do well with listeners once they get on the radio. It's just the getting "on" in the first place that is the hard part. (And, doing well with on-air-sales is a different matter entirely, requiring you to know how to make contact announcements). So here are some specifics, tailored to speakers, to help you get radio interviews; these are the exact same techniques we use with clients, and they do work. They are, starting with the easier ones:
1. When promoting yourself to the radio producer or host, ask for a referral to a local business person, meeting planner, group organizer, or event promoter who may have interest in hiring you to speak for them. Since the radio person now knows your topic, and since radio people keep in good contact with most businesses and groups in their city, this is fairly straightforward for them to do. And note that this can be accomplished whether OR NOT they decide to interview you on-air.
2. If your topic is business or sales related, call the station's sales manager and offer to do a one-hour telephone consultation with their sales department for free, in exchange for an on-air interview. If this works once, then offer to make it a weekly event, in exchange for a weekly on-air "bit". If your topic is any kind of voice/acting/drama skill, then do the same thing but ask the program director instead. And if your topic is any kind of personal improvement/empowerment, then do the same thing but ask the general manager instead.
3. Offer the station program director a weekly custom-recorded topical "bit", usually 30 seconds long, that they can air. The topic would depend on your personal topic, and the topic that the station wants to air. In return for this, they would interview you on-air. The number of "bits" required for one interview would be up for negotiation.
4. If your topic is sales, then offer the radio station sales manager this deal: When they give up on a tough prospect, you will call that prospect and attempt to close him (for a specified minimum dollar amount.) If you succeed, you will get an on-air interview. It's important, however, that you only attempt this with the station's "failed" prospects, because the salespeople there will not want to you interfering with their "hot" or "current" prospects.
(The following require field trips. The bonus of this is that since you would be in their city, you can do the on-air interviews live-in-studio. Traveling expenses are "usually" covered.)
5. Offer the general manager to speak for free at a "station sponsored" event. Many times these are charity/fundraiser events that the station donates air time for, and since these events are usually with groups or outdoor activities, it makes for a good crowd for you to speak to. In trade for your appearance there, the station would give you one or more on-air interviews (depending on what is negotiated).
6. Offer the sales or promotions manager to speak for free, live and in-person, at a station client's event if the station gives you an on-air interview. If your topic matches up with one of their hot prospects, then your speaking (for free) at the client's event may just help close the deal for them. They do the closing, and you do the traveling and speaking.
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