In today’s world there are plenty of ways to get your message out and build your brand, from print to TV to the ever-growing influence of social media.
But perhaps no medium connects you as intimately to an audience as does talk radio, where eager listeners tune in to hear a favorite host chat with guests on topics ranging from politics to health care to finance and beyond.
I was recently reminded in an unusual way of just how strong the connection between listeners and talk-show guests can be.
One long-time EMSI client has been making use of talk radio for years, and we’ve booked hundreds of interviews for him, allowing him to voice his message that combines economics with a return to traditional values and a religious viewpoint.
He pays little regard to market size or station ratings because he understands the value of that intimate connection he is able to make with talk show listeners. If there was ever any doubt that he makes a connection, that doubt has been erased.
Out of the blue, we heard from a radio listener in the Grand Rapids, Mich., area who had listened to an interview with our client some time ago. She wanted us to pass along an urgent message to him, asking for his prayers because she thought she was going to lose her house.
At a time when her world was collapsing, she remembered that radio interview and wanted to make a personal connection with our client whose message had so deeply touched her.
Yes, a random radio listener reaching out to us to communicate with one of our clients is unusual, but it does illustrate just how impactful those 10, 20 or 30-minute radio interviews can be.
Why does talk radio have such an effect? I think there may be a few reasons:
- You have the audience’s rapt attention. When you’re a guest on someone’s favorite radio show, you have their ear – and their undivided attention. Even in less-populated markets where there might be just a few hundred listeners, that’s still a lot of people hearing your message.
- The audience is loyal to the host. Especially in small towns, the audience is usually a very dedicated group that tunes in routinely because they don’t have the wide range of show choices to listen to as people would have in a large city. The host has a rapport with the audience, which tunes in almost daily to hear their latest interview or comments. So, when that host has you on as a guest, he or she essentially is recommending you to the listeners and that’s a great endorsement.
- It’s easy to get your message out. The radio station’s location doesn’t matter because there’s no need for you to fly across the country. You can go on the air from your office or your home. Radio interviews typically are handled by telephone, so just close a door for a little privacy and talk away. Just note that, whenever possible, radio hosts prefer you use a land line rather than risk losing the connection with a cell phone.
Remember this, though. You may think you’re on the show to promote your book, your product or your service, but that’s not the way the host sees it.
If you’ve been invited to be a guest on the show, it’s because the host feels you are an expert on your topic and someone who can provide something of value to his or her listeners.
But if you do it right – and approach the interview like a conversation between you and the host – then in the course of that short chat your brand and your message will get their chance to shine.
P.S. If you want to be a guest on national and local talk radio shows across the country, give us a call at 727-443-7115 ext. 215.
Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity.