Listen in as Jane Lassar, publicist for Gray & Company, tells how to book radio interviews, how to handle the live Q&A, and how to follow-up radio interviews for maximum effect.
How to Land and Conduct a Dynamite Radio Interview
Q: In this world of web-based radio and satellite stations, are there any good old fashioned radio stations left?
Definitely, yes. Listeners appreciate radio that is live, interactive, and local.
There are still many opportunities for authors to get booked on radio.
Q: How do authors find radio stations interested in having them on as a guest?
Use Google or Bing to search for terms like “radio stations in Cleveland” or “directory of radio stations in the United States.”
Check out RadioLocator.com and RadioStationWorld.com
Also, Arbitron’s website features the most popular radio stations in the area (by registering).
Q: What should an author do before pitching the station?
Learn as much about the stations as you can by visiting their websites.
Read the About Us and Contact Us tabs where you can learn more about the station and get contact information.
Also listen in some of the previous radio shows. And see if they have a list of authors who have appeared on the station before.
Q: How does an author pitch themselves as a guest?
Personalize a pitch for the show producer not the show host. Let them know you’ve listened to their show.
If there is no show producer, pitch the program director for the station.
Pitch real live points featuring what you can talk about.
Be sure to include your contact information, including the phone number (so they can call you and see how you sound).
Use timely hooks focused on local or national news, seasonal topics, etc. You have to move quickly to be the first to pitch.
Q: How can an author be most effective as a radio guest?
The author can know too much. Give short snappy answers not long dissertations.
The shows want punchy, short answers with no pauses (no dead air). Speak in short soundbites.
Prepare and practice your soundbite answers to standard questions.
Q: Are there any other things radio stations like and want?
A guest who is knowledgeable, entertaining, and prepared.
They like guests who are reliable.
Accept the time slots they offer you – no matter what time of day.
Send the producers a copy of your book a week or two in advance.
Send background info: author bio, Q&A sheet, background news release.
Offer giveaway copies of your book to the producer. Better yet: autographed copies.
Giveaways are great ways to get the phone to ring off the hook.
The author needs to say something interesting or controversial.
Q: How can I get the most mileage from my radio interview?
Post on Facebook and Twitter before and after the interview.
Post links to the replay if one is available.
Send listeners to your local events, book signings, etc.
Q: What is good radio interviewing etiquette? Are there any do’s and don’ts?
Know the station and its audience before you pitch to them.
Tell stories and anecdotes to illustrate your points.
Don’t try being funnier than the radio host.
Never contradict the host.
Send an email thank-you to the producer after the show, especially any feedback you’ve received from their audience.
About the Author: Jane Lassar
Called the Diva of Book Publicity by one media source, Jane Lassar is a publicist for Gray & Company, a regional publisher for Cleveland and northeast Ohio (http://www.grayco.com).
She has been promoting books and authors in that role for over 15 years. Many of the books she has publicized have become regional bestsellers, due in large part to radio and TV promotion. Prior to becoming a book publicist, Jane worked in the public relations field for 20 years promoting restaurants, shopping malls, health agencies, and the arts.
Gray & Company was started in 1991. It now has over 150 books in print and publishes approximately 6-8 new books a year for the Cleveland market.
Check out Jane’s new blog, Dear Author: A Publicist’s View of the Ever-Changing World of Book PR, at: http://www.janelassar.wordpress.com
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/ClevelandBookPR
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/clevelandbookpr