Talk radio is thriving. In the United States, talk radio is by and large; made up of conservative political commentators; according to A.C. Nielsen Inc. Things are changing as liberal networks become the fastest rising genre in recent years.
There are now well over 1000 radio stations in the United States programming talk shows full time. If you count individual talk shows, the number zooms up to 3000. With the advancement in satellite radio and Internet radio, you have an enormous media outlet to explore.
Pew researchers found in 2004 that 17% of the public regularly listens to talk radio. This audience is mostly male, middle-aged and conservative. Among those who regularly listen to talk radio, 41% are Republican and 28% are Democrats.
This is a tremendous opportunity for small business people. The promotional boost that talk radio gives you can be immense; and, best of all, it is free.
You can take this project in baby steps. Do not expect to be on “Good Morning America” just yet.
All of those 3000 shows need guests. Radio talk show hosts everywhere know that you NEED A GUEST to make the show interesting. The life’s blood of many talk shows is the guest. Those guests are authors, consultants, experts and politicians.
You can gain extraordinary publicity from a radio appearance. A talk show guest gets to put on display–in front of thousands of ears–their expertise and business. You do not have to be fabulous speaker because the host will be asking you the questions. You do not have to make a prepared speech.
The best way to get entrance to the talk shows is with a book. I have talked about the power of publishing a book for promotional purposes. There can be no better ticket to the media; short of a major newsworthy incident to get you a spot on a radio show.
This is very important; develop your local credentials before launching a general promotional campaign. You will want to get a lot of local experience to build up your credibility. If you are promoting a book, be patient. If your ultimate goal is to get your business recognized locally, that should be sufficient.
Once you are able to get to talk about your subject in relation to solving a news related issue, you can be one of the experts the show will call when they need information on the associated topic.
If your product or service is not sexy or newsworthy, do not worry. If you have answers to the public’s problems, you will be well received. Do not advertise your product or service; just let the host handle that for you.
The vast majority of talk show hosts are very courteous to their guests. They will help you get through the process of the interview. Just be yourself and engage the audience with a lively voice and short concise answers. Project a sense of confidence and expertise in your topic and practice, practice, practice.
The best strategy I have found is to get a series of articles and press releases out on the Internet.
You need to be “Google-able.” If a program director cannot find your profile on Google in three page clicks, you are not very newsworthy.
Have a professional press kit and a website established. Set up a regular submission schedule for online promotions. After you are able to get your Internet credits established, begin contacting program managers. Once you find the right person, express your interest in being a guest, Let them know that you are available either in the studio or over the phone.
Continue to send press releases and update your website with newsworthy information. Provide your press kit and let the program managers know that you can provide lively, useful and informative information to their listeners. Do not sell them anything but your expertise and ability to inform and entertain their audience. Do not play up the fact that you want to promote your book or business.
Send your sample interview questions with your press kit. This will allow any host who has not read your book or are not familiar with your subject a chance to feel knowledgeable enough to hold a lively conversation.
The day before your scheduled appearance on the talk show, call the show host or producer and confirm your date. If it is a telephone interview, send them the printed material again. For a live interview, bring several copies of your material to pass around to those on the show.
Give the radio stations a chance to review the materials and log your submissions. You want to monitor the dates of submission in order to respond and resend materials when you need to.
If you do not speak at functions or seminars often, get a good book on public speaking and practice with a recorder. You will find your voice and get a rhythm that feels comfortable.
Once you get an interview offer. Clear some time to practice and do yourself a favor and get some rest before your interview. Once the interview is completed, be sure to drop a thank you letter to the station manager and host. Not many people do this, and radio folks really value it. Do not be surprised to get a call to return for future interviews from the program manager.
Now that you have gotten on talk radio in your own community, go regional or national! Every time you appear on a talk show, send out a new press release to keep your brand in the news cycle.
You can set up and do talk show guest shots on radio stations across the US and Canada without ever leaving your house. Go online and research the information on regional and national stations. You might end up on “Good Morning America”.
Dennis Morales Francis is a small business coach and the author of “Double My Revenues In 12 Moths or Less” and “Push Button Profits! A 30 Day Program For Making $120,000 A Year On Auto Pilot” Head over to www.DoubleMyRevenues.com/money.html to get your FREE copy now before it’s too late!