... and Leader in Your Field by Heidi Richards Mooney

Getting on Radio can be a big boost for your business, your website and your credibility. But it takes some planning on your part. If you have written a book, or done something the media would be interested in such as made a new invention, discovery or other newsworthy fete then it is likely the media will come to you.

But what if the media doesn’t even know you exist? What if you have not yet done something the media should know about. First thing you need to do is DO SOMETHING! It could be to sponsor an event, support a non-profit, get named to a new board position within a community organization. All of these things can be considered newsworthy. The idea is to find out what the media would cover and then to be an interesting guest to them. To be interesting you need to know what type of guests they look for.

How can you get their attention? The first thing to do is to become familiar with the radio program. Listen to the several broadcasts of the program(s) you wish to appear on. It is important to get a feel for the attitude and personality of the host and audience.

After you have done that, you can decide your “slant” or what makes you a newsworthy or interesting guest. In most cases you will pitch your idea to the show’s producer (which is sometimes the host, but most of the time not). Tell her or him why you would make a good guest. Be convincing and authentic.

Once the producer shows an interest, you can follow up with the materials they will likely request such as a one-sheet bio or information sheet, and a list of suggested questions for them to ask you. Some will use these questions, others won’t, but it’s a good idea to have them available. They will request you either email or fax them the info and then you wait. You may also wish to mail these documents along with a product sample or other promotional item to peak their interest even further. I offer to give them a couple of my books to give away to listeners and maybe even flowers or a dinner for two. The media loves guests who entice their listeners with goodies because it helps increase their listener base of loyal followers.

Note: I have been interviewed hundreds of times and 90% of the time the host has used most if not ALL of the questions I submitted. Knowing the questions in advance makes it easier to get your key points across.

If they do not ask for questions offer to send some anyway. Make the host’s job easier by being ready. Write a list of questions Create an interview kit. This can be included on your Web site, emailed to the show’s host in advance or sent via mail service after the interview is booked. Include suggested questions, a bio of the interviewee, samples of the product, a list of interesting (and fun!) facts about the interviewee and/or the product, an easy-to-find telephone number or web address to be given to the audience for more information.

Once you get called for the interview, the most important thing to remember is to be interesting and entertaining. The guests who get called back are gregarious, excited to be there, funny, maybe even a little flirtatious and outrageous. The more exaggerated and larger than life you can express on radio the greater the chance that host will want more of you and at the very least you have a better shot at other interviews.

The important thing to remember is to make sure the radio shows (and TV) know you are available for interviews.

Here are a few resources for finding interview opportunities:

Help A Reporter Out – HARO : free service created by Peter Shankman where experts and the media connect

Reporter Connection : Free service that connects busy journalist with experts available for interviews

Radio-TV Interview Report – RTIR: The magazine Produces read for guest and show ideas

PitchRate is a FREE service that connects journalists with the highest rated experts for free media coverage

Experts Delivered – For speakers to connect with the media

Be sure to ask the Host for a Copy of the interview or a link to it online. Most of them will accomodate you and you can then send a Press Release announcing your appearance, list the show on your website or blog, in your newsletter and on your social media sites.

Other helpful resources:

BlogTalkRadio.com – search for shows in your industry and reach out to them for possible interview opportunities:

Read the article at eHow: How to Request an Interview with a Reporter

Read my article Today is “Getting Ink” Day on the Quirky Marketing Calendar blog.