Why Talk Radio is an Easy Publicity Tool

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Last week, one of our talk radio clients sent us a “beautiful link” (his words) to a blog post he’d found.

The blogger, who writes for a broadcast engineering magazine, had posted, in part:

“I was minding my own business the other morning, listening with one ear to local AM talk radio, when something hit my radar screen so hard it darned near broke it. What I heard was a guest phone interview with a man as credible as his words were chilling.”

Of course, that radio guest was our client. His audience grew exponentially by being exposed to the blogger’s audience. The blog post generated comments and discussion among the writer’s followers, and that’s exactly what our client wants: to get people talking about an issue of concern to him.

As a listener, I’ve been a huge fan of talk radio for nearly my entire adult life.  That love actually spawned my business, and I was even more thrilled when it eventually led to me hosting my own show.

From a marketing perspective, I always understood the power of talk radio for anyone trying to get their message to the masses.   It has enormous value in any marketing plan.

Here’s why you should be a fan, too.

First, know that there are a few types of radio stations. The conventional ones are referred to as terrestrial. That’s your AM and FM stations.  AM is home to most talk formatted shows and it’s where we book clients most often. FM is primarily music but also carries some talk shows; you’re probably most familiar with those heard on National Public Radio.

There’s also satellite radio, such as Sirius and XM that people subscribe to and internet radio, which is accessible online.

Here are some of the reasons we love talk radio as a source of publicity:

  • It’s an easy, effective way to get your message out.  There’s no travel or special equipment involved.  As long as you have a landline, you can be interviewed from the comfort of your home or office. (Producers don’t like cell phones because the signal is unreliable.)  If you give a compelling interview, you’ll impress listeners with your expertise and personality, which will help them remember you. It will also prompt hosts to plug your work and offer your website address.
  • Talk radio audiences are educated and engaged. Each year, the industry trade publication Talkers magazine profiles news/talk listeners. The numbers show these are people who read books, buy products, care about issues and participate in the political process — potential customers!

According to the 2013 Talk Radio Research Project:

  • 72 percent of listeners are ages 35 to 64.
  • 70 percent are college graduates or have attended college or graduate school.
  • Men comprise 58 percent; women 42 percent.
  • Almost three-fourths of listeners earn $30,000 to $79,000 a year.
  • 79 percent of those eligible to vote do.
  • Shows in smaller markets can be just as helpful as big ones. Many of the people we talk to tell us, “I don’t want to waste my time on small market shows.”  Here’s why they are valuable: Smaller markets have devoted fan bases because listeners have fewer shows from which to choose.  So, not only do you talk to a dedicated audience, it’s also likely your interview will be longer than it would in a larger market. That gives you greater potential for making a strong impression and driving home your points.
  • It can live online for you to share.  Your interview can be saved as a podcast so that you can share it on social media and on your website.  Having the ability to re-purpose it in this way is what I like to call marketing gold!

Besides the great publicity potential, I love talk radio because it’s easy. When a show host wants to interview me, I simply close my office door for 15 minutes and get on the phone.

And, when I get in my car to go home, it’s still the AM dial I tune into.

Signing off,


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