Radio is one of the most effective marketing tools for those who want to reach both mass-market and targeted audiences. Talk radio is even more effective but often less appreciated by those with a message to sell to American consumers.
Morning and afternoon radio talk shows are tuned in most by persons driving to and from work – persons not only with money but with money to spend. Talk radio is one of the tools I frequently rely upon to help my clients promote their books, advance their causes, or gain recognition. Initially my clients aren’t sold on talk radio marketing because they have their eyes on the Oprah Show or USA Today. But there are several good reasons to consider talk radio. Consider these sweet 16:
1. Talk radio prime targets are professionals from 35 to 60 years old and Baby Boomers just hitting retirement. Professionals listen to talk shows during work and commuting time, while boomers spend a great deal of their free time listening to news and talk shows midday.
2. To target professionals, choose morning drive time talk shows that air from 6-8am with 7:30am being peak, and then the afternoon drive time from 4-6pm. Drive time is the best time to reach professionals and people with jobs and money to spend.
3. Late morning and late evening talk shows are great times for reaching the retired and baby boomer market.
4. If you can tie in your niche or sphere of expertise to any of today’s hot issues or breaking news, talk radio will be clamoring to book you.
5. Listeners turn to talk radio to be fully informed on topics that are not covered completely in newspapers or on TV and to have an actual conversation with the host and you, the guest.
6. Given the decline of newspapers nationwide as more and more stop publishing entirely or turn to digital editions, talk radio has become a prime alternative for newspaper readers who are digitally disabled.
7. Instead of a 60-second commercial, talk radio offers you 4 to 60 minutes with an attentive and targeted audience.
8. You’ll find “hot button topics.” If listeners can call-in with questions that direct contact offers instant feedback so you’ll know what people are really interested in discussing. When the phone lines light up… you’ve hit the hot button.
9. Since most radio interviews are done over the phone that allows you to maximize your time. Try doing a TV interview in your pajamas! It can’t be done! It can however with a radio interview.
10. Specialty talk radio shows offer a great potential to reach the exact market you want to target. This especially is true of Internet Radio Talk Shows and Blog Talk Radio.
11. Small radio stations throughout America have local talk shows which provide an excellent source to practice your radio interview skills and to build your name recognition. Do not write off a radio show off just because they don’t have the hottest host or the highest wattage. The more interviews you do the more buzz you are building.
12. One of the most untapped target markets for talk radio shows are the blind. For obvious reasons the blind choose radio over television and print media and are more apt to be listeners to mid-day talk shows.
13. According to Arbitron Inc., a media and marketing research firm that ranks radio stations and shows, talk radio listeners are diverse, affluent, active and attentive.
14. Financially speaking, talk radio has a far better return on the dollars you invest in marketing than traditional advertising campaigns booked by ad agencies.
15. Talk radio show hosts will in most cases ask you to share your website, e-mail address or toll-free phone number or they’ll mention it themselves.
16. Talk radio has a loyal following with a high trust level in the talk show host. An appearance by you is viewed by many loyal listeners as an implicit endorsement by the host of your book or product.
I have worked with clients who have never given a public speech before and wouldn’t think of a radio or television appearance and I successfully booked them, more than once, on talk radio shows. The authors, doctors, lawyers and financial advisors I represent have particularly done well on talk radio but so have my clients with a cause who want to spread their message.
We help you do a good job with media training. We make sure our clients know their own material inside and out and are comfortable with everything in it. A talk show host, looking at your book or press release, will ask you, “What did you mean about this or that?” You need to have the answer. You don’t want any surprises.
As a publicist we also prepare questions for our clients ahead of time and include those in our press kits emailed to the stations. Oftentimes the talk radio host will read those questions right in order. Other times they refer to our questions and include some of them. We do this to help the host in case they’ve not had a chance to read the book or become totally familiar with the subject matter.
One more thing. Talk radio interviews are listened to by other members of the media. They get their ideas from various media sources. So being on talk radio is often a pre-cursor for other media coverage. Remember, you never know who’s listening.
The bottom line, talk radio works!
Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with individuals and entrepreneurs to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz has handled public relations and marketing for numerous authors, doctors, lawyers, inventors and entrepreneurs. As a book marketing expert Lorenz is called upon by top execs and bestselling authors to promote their books. Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at www.westwindcos.com/book or contact Lorenz at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 734-667-2090.