Media is another area that can make you an overnight success. But you need to know how to properly court media outlets. You need to know what they're looking for, how to get their attention, and how to provide the resources that they need to make their job as easy as possible if you want to successfully use media to build your business.
An effective strategy which attracts customers by the carloads is to become a local celebrity. One of the fastest ways to become well known in a marketplace is to be everywhere your target market hangs out or shops.
One of the ways to build your celebrity status is to become a regular guest on the local radio circuit. Very few business owners have ever considered being a radio guest as a way to connect with their prospects and customers while growing their business.
The reason why being a radio show guest is so effective is because radio show hosts have already taken the time to build relationships with their listeners and you can piggy back off of their success. The truth of the matter is, every radio station needs guests to fill their airtime for their audience.
The first step in this process is to figure out the radio programs that your prospects listen to on a regular basis. You can accomplish this by asking your customers and prospects on a survey form on your website or in your business. You can reward them for providing the information by giving them a coupon for a discount.
Once you have that information, you should begin to listen to those specific radio stations for at least a week or more. Listening to the station will provide you with the general flow and outline of the best programming on that station.
After you get a good feel for a station, you can then begin to come up with an interesting angle or story hook to get their attention. When you have your story angle or hook, you can then hire a writer to write a press release around your idea. You can hire a pretty good writer from websites like ODesk.com Cragislist.com or Getafreelancer.com.
The writer should also be able to send your press releases to your target radio shows at least once or twice each month for a monthly retainer fee. Your press release will also give the radio station your contact information and story idea. If the radio station chooses your story idea they will contact you for more information. Of course, your ultimate goal is to be invited to be a guest for one of their shows.
Being a radio show guest does require some skills which you will have to develop in order to be a good guest. For example, you must be entertaining, educational and quick on your feet. It's very much like working with a customer in your office or business, except that you will be speaking into a microphone.
There are several programs online which instruct you on how to be a radio show guest, so you may want to invest in one of those programs before implementing this strategy into your business.
How To Get Interviews
You can learn how to get booked for free publicity interviews as an
interview guest to promote your product, service or book on show interviews if you follow these steps:
1. Become a "Featured Guest Expert:
- Again you need to “POSITION” yourself properly as an EXPERT in your field who has very valuable information to share. (Again, having your own Best Selling book is an amazing calling card to do this)
2. Create and send a targeted pitch:
- You need to e-mail, fax, FedEx or call the producers to offer your expertise and information. Remember that the show producers are not interested in you, your book, or your products. Their goal is to find interesting new information that educates and/or entertains their audience. Your job is to craft a pitch that gets their attention. To get radio interviews, your radio interview pitch should offer helpful details of your expertise that fit into their current radio show programming needs.
3. Find Your Niche:
- You need to identify your niche, find what media that customers in that niche consume, and get to know who the radio, TV, and podcast reporters are who cover that niche.
4. Find the Radio / TV / Podcasts for your niche:
- Then start reading/watching/listening to the stations and shows that reach your target market to note reporter’s names and specialties, as well as the kinds of stories and formats they prefer.
5. Identify radio shows that book guest experts like you for interviews:
- The fastest way to do this is to search on Google using search terms like "radio talk show" + "your topic."
(NOTE: You want to search on “talk radio” rather than just “radio” to find shows that book guest experts for promotional interviews instead of only playing music!)
6. Find contact info for the radio show’s producers or bookers:
- Big, nationally-syndicated talk radio shows have a staff of producers. The best producers to reach are those that find and schedule guest experts and authors for on the air interviews. These producers are called "bookers". For smaller or local radio shows or Internet radio podcasts, the booker, the producers, and the host may all be the same person.
7. Use attention grabbing headlines:
- Many people use "pitch formulas" that encapsulate your expertise into an eye-catching title. Mimic the “teasers” you hear for your evening TV newscast and you’ll be on the right track. Try “The 7 Secrets about X that They Don’t Want You to Know,” “The Hidden Dangers of X,” “The Surprising Truth about X,” “Why [Latest News Headline] is Great (or Bad) News for Your Audience,” etc.
8. Make sure that your “News” is newsworthy:
- News is about current events – that’s why they call it “news.” Your local radio station isn’t interested in hearing about topics that their audiences will ignore. They are looking for “new” topics to cover, or more often, interesting angles on current events. For you this means that you need to keep your pitches fresh and timely. I know that it’s unlikely that your book, products or clients change daily, but the news must. So instead of trying repeatedly to get radio, TV, or podcast coverage of your product itself, try tying its benefits or features to a current event that is already hot in the news.
9. Offer Real Information, Not Just a Product Pitch:
- To get booked on the radio or interviewed on TV, you need to impress the booking producer with your expertise. They don’t want to interview you on the air just so you can give a commercial for your products. They are looking for timely, interesting, and helpful info that will reward their listeners and watchers for tuning in to their radio show, TV program, or podcast.
10. Think in terms of stories, not products:
- It’s no one’s job to promote your product but you. It is not the obligation of any media outlet to cover you or interview you as a guest expert. Their job is to create interesting stories that offer information to their audiences.
11. Tie your pitch to the interests of the reporter or publication you are pitching:
- Nothing frustrates radio, TV, and podcast journalists and more than having to deal with time wasting pitches that are not appropriate for their outlets.
12. Be concise:
- Because they are deluged with pitches and always working under tight deadlines, broadcasting people cannot afford the time to wade through overly long pitches. You need to make a strong case in a very short space. Liberal use of bullet points, bolds, and highlights is recommended to help the journalist quickly understand what you are offering them.
13. Polite follow-up:
- Given all the submissions that they receive, even an interested podcast producer or radio booker may not get around to contacting you due to competing distractions. It’s your job to spoon-feed the story to them and convince them that it’s worth covering on their radio, TV, or podcast program. Polite, pleasant, and persistent reminders, whether by e-mail, phone, or letter are a part of doing business in the world of public relations. Additionally, if a reporter says ‘no’ you must believe them and back off. Wait until you have a new angle on the story or a different story entirely to contact them again.
14. Include a one-page tip sheet:
- Provide a succinct list of talking points you would use during your TV or radio show visit. Send it with your initial guest pitch, or if you talk to the producer by phone, offer to email it as a follow-up. This information helps producers envision whether you’ll be an informative guest and makes it easy for them to prepare the show’s hosts for your interview. Bonus: Most hosts will ask you questions based on your tip sheet, which makes your preparation easy!
15. If you’re pitching TV, think visually:
- Is your topic well-suited to props? If you’re talking about PC repairs, could you bring a set of basic tools that viewers at home should have to work on their computers? If you’re a chef, could you prep a simple dish on camera? If so, mention this in your pitch.
16. Once you’re booked, market your appearance:
- Be sure to post news about your upcoming TV or radio spot on Facebook, Twitter, and your website. After your appearance, find out whether the station archives shows; if so, share your segment’s link so customers who missed your appearance can watch or listen to it.
17. Prepare for an uptick in business:
- Depending on the popularity of the TV or radio program, you will hopefully see a (temporary) surge in business shortly after your appearance. Stockpile some extra product for orders, and call in extra help to answer the phones or cover your counters. This is your chance to show new customers you’re a real pro — both on and off the air. Remember that this boost is likely to be fleeting, so keep promoting to build momentum.
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