For nearly two decades, we’ve been telling you about the value of talk radio as a means for promoting your book to the masses. As one of the country’s top providers of radio shows around the country, we schedule anywhere from 50 to 100 interviews week in and week out. As a result of our close working relationship with the media, we know what works and what doesn’t. Because we need you to succeed with talk radio, here are ten new “inside” tips to help you become the kind of guest every host wants to have on his or her show:
1. Be real. Present yourself the way that you really are. Don’t put up a false or manufactured front. If an audience perceives you to be fake, your message will fail. Be REAL. Be who you really are.
2. Be sensitive about political views. If you are discussing a controversial political issue, always try to acknowledge that the other side has some good points. Remember that radio audiences are diverse. By “giving and taking,” you will win credibility points with your entire audience.
3. Familiarize yourself with the current news climate. Stay up to date on current events and present yourself as the “expert” on your topic. Don’t be caught unaware about a current or breaking news story that pertains to your book. Projecting yourself as knowledgeable will help to build your credibility with listeners.
4. Tie-in a local angle if at all possible. Whether you are talking to a radio show out of St. Louis, Detroit, or Sacramento, be sure to tie the local area in to what you are saying. For example, if your book is about the economy or real estate, talk about the unemployment rate or real estate values in that particular city. By localizing the message as much as possible, you draw your listening audience in even further, and more importantly, you keep them tuned in and interested in your message.
5. Do NOT use a cell phone. Always make sure to use a secure landline for all of your interviews. Cell phones are unreliable for on-the-air interviews and you stand the chance of getting cut off in the middle of your interview. Obviously, this is a major pet peeve of talk radio hosts as they now have to fill the time originally set aside for your interview. No host likes to have the timing and pace of his show screwed up. If your interview is cut short due to cell phone problems, don’t expect them to put you back on the air or reschedule you.
6. Don’t forget to hit on your key points. Sometimes you can get so wrapped up in the conversation you are having with the host or from call-ins by listeners that you lose sight of your main message. Try to always remember your main focus and don’t get too off-topic.
7. Match your interview pace with that of the radio host. If the host is a “fast-talker,” pick up the pace. If the host’s style is slow and easy, do your best to adapt. By adapting to the host’s rhythm, you’ll develop a better camaraderie with him. The positive rapport between you and the host will keep regular listeners interested in your message.
8. Limit numbers and statistics during your interview. If you have a particular statistic that you think applies very strongly to your message, use it and hammer it home. But be careful…if you throw too many numbers at the audience, you will lose their interest and they will tune out.
9. If you are in the dark about an issue, don’t fake it! If you aren’t familiar with an issue the host brings up or don’t know the answer to a question, don’t be afraid to admit it. You will lose immediate credibility by pretending to know something when you really don’t. On the other hand, your credibility goes through the roof when you are perceived by listeners as being honest.
10. Try to give your interviews an intimate feel. Remember that radio is a one-on-one medium. Talk to the host in a personal and conversational manner, and if there are callers, do the same with them. This will help keep the audience interested and they’ll be more likely to relate to you.
Remember—your intention for every interview is to enlighten the listening audience about your book and interest them in purchasing it.
If you would like to hear more about talk radio and how it can help you successfully promote your book, call me or my husband Steve at 727-443-7115, ext. 208. Nothing beats a real-life conversation!
Call today – we’re looking forward to hearing from you!
Marsha Friedman, President