RADIO INTERVIEW 101 Getting Radio Interviews in the U.S. for Indie Films, part 3 of 3
Now let's choose some stations to go after. First determine your buying audience: Age range, income range, and male/female. Then choose your primary format that has these listeners, from the Formats-link further below.
Now do your balancing act: You want the largest number of listeners (i.e., "bigger stations"), but you still want to have a realistic chance at getting interviewed (i.e., smaller stations). And when doing the interviews, you need stations that will keep you on the air longer (smaller stations) so that you can announce your purchase phone number and website enough times (at LEAST three times for every 15 minutes you are on). Also, depending on the topic of your movie, you may want to go after certain parts of the country that pertain more to the topic.
Other things to consider in your selection: Will you be traveling to particular cities/regions? Is your DVD currently on-the-shelf at a retailer in certain cities? Do you like a particular type of music? Do you like zany music morning shows, or more strict talk shows? Is a radio station involved in your movie plot? Do you have multiple people who can all do interviews, and thus handle different types of stations? Lastly, do you need to include some small stations so you can get lots of practice interviewing?
Gather up a final list of stations to pursue; 30 of them is a good start, although 50 is best, if you have just yourself doing it. You need to be able to contact every one of them every week. Give yourself one hour for every ten contact attempts. If you have a dedicated helper, start with 100 stations (50 for them, 50 for you). Start contacting of all of them, each week, until you finally get through and get the results you want; all station contact info is on the web, so the real work is getting the right person on the phone, and then convincing that person. If you are not getting anywhere after 4 weeks, drop these stations and replace them with new ones, unless you really want a particular station (large ones can take months or years to get booked).
The first thing to remember is that you do NOT want to do a mass mailing of DVD's, much less emails. Radio stations sometimes have entire rooms where they toss un-requested stuff. What you DO want to do is have DVDs/downloads available for free to stations who request them, and then have a quantity of additional DVDs/downloads available for free to stations who interview you so that they can give them away to listeners. Other good on-air give-away items are theater tickets to some big movie in the area; this gets everyone thinking about movies(!).
The second thing to remember when making your station calls is that the most important person in the world is the person who answers the phone at the station. It doesn't matter WHO it is. You have an advantage in having a movie as your reason for calling; all people like movies, so you immediately have something to talk about with that person. DON'T EVER just try to bypass that person by just asking for so-and-so. Use your advantage to the fullest, and at the very least, ask that person if they like movies. Once that person is talkative, you will have a 100 percent better chance of being put through to the person you want. If you are new at calling businesses, this will be the single biggest challenge of your marketing life (i.e., making friends with the person who answers the phone). If you do not make friends with this person, they will not deliver your message, and they will put you into fake voicemail boxes that do not get checked.
The third thing to remember is that radio people don't like to read; they like to talk. So sending them emails, press releases, and other printed items is just a waste of time. They need to TALK to you first on the phone. If they ASK you to email or mail them stuff, then do. But not until they ask. Interviews are often booked by just one phone call; station producers, and especially hosts, can tell from just your voice and your delivery if they want to offer you an interview or not, without even knowing what the topic is. And don't get excited by the people who actually do say to send them something; they may just be trying to get you off the phone because they don't want to talk to you. You'll see, when you try to re-contact them later... they won't talk to you (and they'll have reasons that you'll actually believe, even though the real reason is they just don't like you). So mass-sending stuff by email or mail is NOT the answer. A great phone call with the proper person IS.
After your interviews, when you are thanking the producers and hosts for their time, ask them if they might recommend to you a local DVD store that might want to carry your DVD. Then when you contact that store, tell them you were just interviewed on that station, and that the host/producer there recommended that you contact the store (this is called a radio referral).
Taking orders: When done properly, most of your orders will be from cell phones from people in their cars. It will NOT be from website sales. Website sales are just a small lagging part of total sales, IF the interview is done properly. So your phone order-line needs to do it all in one call, or, take a message with the pertinent customer info. Most important: Get the customer's phone number FIRST, both in-person and on the recordings, so that if they are disconnected you can call back. And always do the upsell: When talking live to a customer, always ask "Would you like to get a second copy for a friend?".
Good luck selling!
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