I’ve gotten back into hosting a talk radio show and giving interviews, and the experience takes me back – way back! – to how I started EMSI Public Relations in the first place.
I was, and still am, a huge talk radio listener. It’s educational, entertaining, and the most open of the mainstream media to any and all topics. Pair a great show host with an informative guest (tips on that coming up) and I’m rapt. That’s why, when I started EMSI 23 years ago, I focused on booking clients on talk radio shows.
Over the years, of course, we added TV, print and social media. The four media each have a different audience and attributes that sometimes make one better for a particular message than another. But, between you and me, talk radio is still my favorite.
Since I returned to doing interviews myself as a marketing tool for EMSI, I’m reminded just how much I enjoy this medium. Doing an interview over the phone from my living room or my office is easy, the conversations are fun, and I not only help people by sharing what I know, I get the word out about my business!
If you haven’t considered talk radio for marketing, you might want to. Here’s what those interviews can do for you:
- Position you as an expert in your field.
- Gain you (and your product/company/book) the implied endorsement of mainstream media.
- Put your name and the name of whatever you’re selling in front of a large audience.
The best way to ensure you have a successful interview is to forget you’ve got something to sell and work your marketing efforts around the goal of being the perfect radio guest. How?
- Engage the host. The host is your most important audience. People are usually fans of particular shows because they’re interested in what he or she has to say, so if you can engage the host, you will engage the audience. Talk candidly and openly about your topic in relationship to the current events surrounding it. Make sure your advice is honest as well as conversational, and try to be as natural as possible. Listeners will be able to sense whether your interview is genuine. But don’t worry about entertaining them; entertain the host.
- Don’t sell. Stay on topic during the interview, and when appropriate, mention the free material on your website that could benefit listeners. If you engage the host, give a great interview and offer helpful information, you don’t have to worry about selling anything. The host will do it for you. He’ll make sure his audience knows you’re an expert, he’ll share your website’s address, he’ll mention the name of your book or he’ll talk about the value of your product. He’ll do the promotion for you.
- Have a website that does more than sell your product. If you’re an author, feature a blog on your site and write fresh posts regularly with tips and insights related to your topic so that your visitors keep coming back. If you’re selling a product, create free reports or articles for your site that lay out the problem your product solves, again, in an educational tone.
Your great interview will get radio listeners interested in you. The host will appreciate your efforts and reward you by urging his loyal audience to visit your site. If you’re really good, he may even ask you back again.
Don’t forget to share your interview on social media, and to post it on your website, where it can continue to work for you by boosting your credibility to visitors.
That’s what I call the magic of radio. It’s an incredibly cost-effective and versatile marketing tool, whether you’re an author, a professional or a manufacturer of consumer products. There’s simply no better way to have a live conversation with a dedicated audience tuned in to hear what you have to say.
Don’t touch that dial!