Getting one radio show to book you may be just luck. But getting dozens or even hundreds of radio shows to book you means that you must have a compelling pitch letter and subject that are irresistible.
Hence prospective radio & TV show guests need to know the 20 Tips on Getting Booked on Radio and TV with a Pitch That Wows Them!
Before someone tackles self-booking on radio, they should have some basic knowledge of what a show host or producer is looking for and how to write a letter than excites the booker. We’ve perfected this art for our clients and are willing to share the inside scoop on making yourself appealing to the radio show.
So here are some guidelines that will certainly help if you are proposing yourself for radio shows:
1. Make it a Memorable Pitch. It is imperative to the get the attention of the host or producer immediately. The power of the lead paragraph cannot be underestimated. Especially in an email world, you have less than 30 seconds to grab their attention. So the concise first graph must shock, excite, intrigue or create a great reason to read on.
Some of the ways that you can make it interesting are posing a question; making a bold statement; creating an unexpected juxtaposition; stating a problem that you are the person to solve; making a revelatory declaration; be topical and keying the interview to something newsworthy or an upcoming holiday; stating something only you can say; or tweaking and teasing the host.
2. Essentials To Make It Compelling. There are some key elements that you can provide to make yourself irresistible to a host. First you must establish that there is a problem that engages the audience and for which you have the solution. Second, you must advise the host how your interview will benefit the listeners. Third, you have to establish what you can say that they’ve never heard before. Even if they’ve heard similar topics, your voice must be distinct. Succinctly tell your own powerful story of growth and transformation, so that you position yourself as an expert who can lead the listener in a similar transformation.
Tell the host how can it illuminate, motivate, inspire and make the listener feel something. Lastly, dare to be different—but not TOO different so it is off putting, especially to mainstream media.
3. Take Advantage of Holiday Themed Pitches. Look for holiday tie-ins, but still maintain your focus on the benefits to the listener. Work far in advance since many shows book their holiday segments as much as a month early.
4. Mold the Message to Specific Audience. Depending on genre, topic and type of demographics different shows are looking for guests that fit a specific profile. Seldom can one letter work for all. You will need to tweak the message for each media segment, while not diluting the appeal. Know the host and the show you are soliciting and tailor the pitch letter to the host, subject and the audience.
5. Making Sure It Has All the Right Elements. In structuring a compelling pitch letter that makes them say “Yes,” you must have certain key information. These elements should be included in the order noted :
- An attention-grabbing lead
- Subject introduction/reason for interview
- Your credentials (keep these brief and pertinent)
- Benefits to the audience. Specifically state or spell out what will be learned by the listener
- Brief review quote from an endorser or reviewer, an objective party. In some cases you may want to state where you have been booked before. (Not on a competitive show, however.)
- Offer a copy of the book or product, and ask the host to advise if he/she would like one sent
- Provide contact to call for interview
- Restate in one line why you’d be a great guest and the benefits.
- Close and provide signature
- Keep it to one page
6. Create a Great Interview Packet. A radio interview packet is different from a general media kit. It has certain elements directed specifically to make it easy on the host to prepare for the interview. Your Interview Packet should include a release on your product or book, your biography, talking points or bullet-point summary of the content you want to cover, a brief two-paragraph introduction of you and your product that you want the host to read to the audience when introducing you, a list of things you want to promote (book, website, coaching program, upcoming teleseminar for example), a list of suggested questions that you are offering the host in the event he/she chooses to use them and a JPG photo of yourself in case the interview is promoted on the show’s website.
7. Test Your Pitch. Before sending it everywhere, test it on a few shows. See whether it’s effective. Tweak it a bit, or try a different approach altogether until you find one that resonates with the hosts and producers.
8. Perfect the Follow Up Call. Now that you’ve send the email, fax or letter, it’s time to make the follow up call. Try not to blow it here! After all, if you are dull and verbose on the query call, why should they book you for a full interview? So get to the point, don’t rattle on, and keep it to a 30-second sound bite. Don’t over introduce yourself. They don’t need all of your credentials, just why you are the proper person to present this subject. For example, keep it to a description like, “I am the bestselling author of….” Sound exciting; but not excited. Be professional; but not monotone. Practice your pitch in advance on others to make sure you have it just right and can get it out without tripping over yourself. Leave your number twice—once at the start and once at the end of the call.
9. Don’t Overlook Internet Radio. You can take advantage of Internet Radio in a way you can’t with mainstream. Internet radio show hosts may not have as big an audience, but they have a more targeted audience and will let you aggressively and enthusiastically sell your product or service. You get more plugs over a longer extended amount of time. Internet radio hosts tend to be better educated and more focused on the subject matter. They often will post the interview as a podcast where it will get more listeners afterward, and can be provided to you for your website. Many times you can arrange other business ventures with them to market your products. Some will post your book or product on their site so that listeners can immediately click through to your website or to Amazon.com. Most importantly, Internet radio hosts are accustomed to letting you drive listeners to your website for newsletter signups, free ebooks and other incentives to get people on your opt–in list.
10. Hire a Pro. So once you realize the amount of work it takes to create this kind of appeal and then research the thousands of radio shows that are potential portals for your message, you may find it easier to retain an agency that has a special Radio Media Tour, an exclusive turn-key agency package that strategically positions the spokesman for the marketplace and then connects with radio shows across the nation to arrange interview bookings.
Jackie Lapin’s Conscious Media Relations creates Radio Media Tours especially for authors, speakers and coaches by offering them to an exclusive list of more than 2,000radio hosts who seek interviews with leaders in the personal development industry. For more information go to www.personaldevelopmentradiomediatour.com. Lapin also helps authors plan, strategize and optimize their book marketing. Go to www.YourBookMarketingCoach.com.