Direct Marketing Article
6 Tips for Getting Booked as a Talk Radio
By Marsha Friedman
You may have heard me say this over and over - but it's a fact: Talk radio
is a great avenue for getting your message in front of a wide audience. With
such an abundance of shows airing on terrestrial stations, online stations
and satellite radio, and covering such a wide range of topics, you're sure
to find many that will be a good match for your message.
So how do you get on the air? Here are six tips designed to get you talking:
1. Tie Your Message to Current Hot News. You've heard me say this
before as well - but it's the foundation for any good publicity campaign:
First and foremost, you need to follow the news. What are people talking
about? What is the media saying? What's the buzz? Keeping up with the news
is important because talk radio is all about current events. When you know
what's current, you can package your message to fit the news...making you an
attractive guest for a talk show. Your job is to scan the network and cable
news channels, the newspapers, look at news websites, and, most importantly,
monitor the talk radio landscape. As you follow the hottest stories in the
news, think of ways you can relate your product or service to them. Look for
controversy or big names, big money or even relationship issues...these are
always tantalizing topics for talk show hosts (and their listeners).
2. Never Pitch Yourself or Your Product. The pitch letter to radio
hosts and producers should focus on the issue about which you are an expert,
or the problem which your product addresses. Radio hosts are interested in
what you can do to inform and entertain their listeners, not what the host
can do for you. Your credibility and expertise in your field is important,
but it's secondary to the topic you'll be discussing. Pitch the segment, not
yourself, and you'll be on the same page as the host.
3. Write a Kick-Ass Pitch. The quality of your pitch will have
everything to do with your success in getting booked as a talk radio guest.
You want to make sure your headline is enticing - it's got to grab the
media's attention. The text of your release should elaborate on the subject
matter and what the "on-air" conversation will be about. It's always good to
include 5 to 10 questions you'd like the host to ask you and a short, but
4. Find Contact Info for Shows. These days most stations have
websites listing all their shows. Look for a "Contact Us" page - in many
cases the email address and phone number for the show producers will be
right on that page. If that doesn't produce results, find the station's
phone number on their website and call them, explaining that you would like
to contact the show's producer to suggest a segment. Ask them for his email
address and the best phone number for following up - they will give this to
you since this is how producers find guests and content for shows.
5. Personalize and Send Your Pitch. Do not send your pitch as an
attachment to your email message - copy the pitch right into the body of the
email instead. At the top, add a very brief note to the producer or host
(sometimes they are one and the same) to introduce your pitch. Your
introduction should tell the producer why you think your topic would be a
great fit for his show or why you think his audience would be interested in
what you have to say. The producer is far more likely to respond favorably
to your proposal when he can readily see that you've done your homework.
6. Follow Up After You Send Your Pitch. After you email your pitch,
call the producer to ask if he received it, or has any questions. If you get
him on the phone, this is your opportunity to expand on your pitch and
really sell him on what a great show it would be and how much it would
interest his audience.
I know I've given you a lot to chew on, but if you truly do each of these
steps it will get you and your message on the air!
About the Author:
Marsha Friedman is a 20-year veteran of the public relations industry. She
is the CEO of EMSI Public Relations
www.emsincorporated.com, a national firm that provides PR strategy and
publicity services to corporations, entertainers, authors and professional
firms. She also hosts a national weekly radio talk show, The Family Round
Table, and is author of the book, Celebritize Yourself.