Why Talk Radio May Be Your Best Bet for Publicity

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What’s the most effective traditional medium for getting publicity to promote your business or service?

That depends on your audience and your message.

You may find more of your target demographics among magazine readers than TV audiences, or among talk radio listeners than newspaper readers. Most likely, though, you’ll find at least some segment using each of the traditional news media – the newspapers and other publications, TV talk shows and talk radio.

A trickier problem is identifying where your message will get the best reception. Print editors and news talk show hosts and producers are looking for content – articles and guest interviews – that will interest their audiences. Local and national daytime TV talk shows tend to like lighter subject matter and topics that women find helpful. Print publications, both the paper kind and those publishing online, gravitate toward articles linked to the news of the day.

AM/FM and satellite talk radio has a place for all of the above – and lots more, which is one reason I’ve been an avid listener forever. I’ve also been a syndicated show host, and I’ve been getting clients talk radio publicity for 24 years. I am, emphatically, a diehard talk radio fan.

Now that radio has fully embraced digital media, it has become even more valuable as a publicity tool. I asked fellow radio lover Alex Hinojosa, our vice president of media operations and a major-market radio personality for 17 years, to share some of talk radio’s distinct advantages. Because he’s spent so much time on the other side, I wanted you to hear his perspective:

  • Guests get unedited access, meaning their conversation is not edited down to a 30-second sound bite (like TV) or a quote or two in an article (print).
    Dedicated listeners are big fans of their favorite show hosts, which means they take the hosts’ implied endorsement of guests seriously. Simply said: If their favorite talk show host finds you credible, they will, too.
  • An mp3 file of your interview posted on your website will continue to bolster your credibility for months or years to come.
  • Your mp3 can be posted as a video to YouTube for more visibility. Give it the right name, and it will help boost your website’s ranking in Google searches.
  • Transcribe the interview and then break it up into a few blog posts and you’ve got fresh content for your website.
    • Give a great interview and the station may turn it into a podcast, which makes it easy to share on social media.

He also pulled out some recent research that shows AM/FM talk radio remains a popular staple for a large and loyal number of Americans:

  • We spend more than 2 hours a day listening (Edison Research)
  • News-talk remained king of the airwaves in 2013 (Nielsen)
    • More than one-third of 18- to 64-year-olds are “radio junkies” (researcher Mark Kassof) who “pay a lot of attention” when they listen. Another group, “info-maniacs,” listens for “practical information that makes your life better” and “To learn things that make you more informed.” They tend to act based on what they hear on the radio.

I built my business on talk radio because I believed in it. And I still do. Not only is it still thriving, it’s more accessible than the other traditional media for people seeking publicity. No matter what a person’s area of expertise, from health food supplements to paranormal phenomena, there are show hosts who want that person as a guest.

If you haven’t given talk radio a try in a while, tune in the next time you drive to work or run errands. Are there shows that might welcome your insights and expertise?

I’m betting the answer is yes.

Don’t touch that dial!

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