How to Be A Perfect Guest on Radio Shows

Radio Interviews Require Preparation.

Radio Interviews Require Preparation.

Radio Interviews are a channel of media that has particular protocol rules different from TV and print media. Although, many of the traditional media preparation rules still apply, radio show interviews require upbeat energy, with the imaginary audience listeners.

As a publicist, I look for unique angles to pitch the radio hosts in conjunction with a bigger media plan. It’s important to understand how a publicist works on your behalf, and how to prepare for an energetic show.

I’ve seen guests who seem clueless about what to do, even if they are working with a PR professional and even more disastrous on TV.

Here I offer some advice to help entrepreneurs have a better experience, and to know what to expect.

  • Make Sure You Fit

It is very important to find out what a show is like before you or your publicists pitch the producer or host. Listen to the show, look at the show’s website and Facebook page, and honestly ask yourself if you belong there. Is your target audience the listeners?

It doesn’t matter how many press kits, phone calls or emails you send, if you don’t fit, they won’t put you on. So don’t waste your time.

I had the opportunity to promote an International conference for the Image Consultants in Honolulu Hawaii. First I researched what was going on in the business community, and found that the Islands wanted to increase business conventions, and not just be thought of as a vacation destination. When I reached out to the Radio Stations, I had crafted a number of angles based on the keynote speakers at the AICI Conference. Civility and Respect was something the radio show was interested in. I was able to prepare my client, a book author for Civility Counts, for an early morning radio broadcast show. We understood their business audience commuting in the early morning hours and understood what their show was about.

  • Be an Interesting Guest

It’s not enough to just book an interview. You need to provide key questions for the hosts so that they are prepared, and because you provided the questions, you’ll shine with your well-crafted answers. Make sure you know how to talk on the air.

If you have no experience being on a radio show, practice by recording asking questions and listening to your responses. It’s important with radio to animate your voice to sound good on the air. Radio is a different experience because the audience only can hear a person’s voice. You have to put your personality into it.

  • Arrive Early

In addition to practicing, the guest should go to the show early to hear what the show is like and to get used to the surroundings. You need to practice and learn how to talk on the air. Don’t be afraid. If you’re prepared, you’ll be able to handle whatever the host throws your way, and you’ll have fun!

  • Bring Food

People working behind the scenes at a radio station are very appreciative of guests who bring goodies. Since radio does not pay well or have any perks, food is a nice benefit, and the people behind the scenes will talk about it even after your segment ends.

Action Photo in the Studio

Action Photo in the Studio

  • More Tips on How to Make Hosts Love You

When you’re a guest on a radio show, take charge of your own media. Make arrangements in advance to record the segment. Producers are busy and sometimes don’t have the time to send you audio on request. Since you are the guest, it is your responsibility to understand how to capture your segment, so either learn how to do it and get the right tools, or hire someone to do it for you.

If you feel you need to ask the producer for the audio, be patient and kind in your request. Very few producers nowadays work at a station full time and are not paid for many hours beyond the airtime of the show. So if the producer does not respond, or takes a while to respond to your request, it’s probably because he or she can only do so much within the time that’s been allotted.

  • Don’t Promote or Pitch on Your Radio Show Segment

It’s a show, not an infomercial. You don’t want to infuriate the host; the host is in charge, not you.

This is where your prepared questions for the host can be incorporated. If you’ve written a book, and the host only talks about a general topic related to your book, that’s his or her prerogative.

You’re not there to sell your book, company, or products. You’re there to talk about topics that would interest listeners because they will tune out if they feel like they’re listening to a commercial.

I’ve seen various guests who’ve had no problem going with the host’s flow, and it seems like they’ve listened to enough radio to understand that quality content, more than their business, matters. So remember, it’s not about you. It’s about the host, the listeners and the goals of the show.

  • Do Take a Photo on Air and if Possible With the Host

Action photos lend themselves very well on social media, your website and your online media room.

  • Treat All Radio Personnel with Respect

If a guest is demanding, condescending, rude, or has some other negative attribute, everyone in the station will know, and the guest will instantly have a bad reputation.

That could spill over into the producer not responding to the guests’ requests after the show, delaying communication, not promoting the segment extensively in social media, not inviting the guest back, etc.

The best guests are the ones who are friendly but not pushy, understand the producer’s limited time and capabilities, and are helpful with information, no matter how many TV shows or radio shows they’ve been on.

  • If You Get Bumped from a Radio Show…

Don’t be offended. Sometimes you might get booked for a show, but will get bumped for something else. If there is breaking news and you can’t add anything to it, or if an A-list celebrity has decided to go on the show during your time slot, you will get bumped.

Don’t take it personally, but communicate with the producer to set up another day. Remember, the host is in charge, and he or she has to make the show entertaining and informative for the audience. If you don’t fit that day, don’t worry. If you feel like you’ve been neglected after the bump, gently remind the producer that you would like to be rebooked.

Acting aggressively will not convince the producer and can do more harm than good. If you can, try to go to an event outside of the station to meet people who work for the show and let them know you’re still available to do a segment.

So the bottom line is to do your homework, get to know a show, practice, be nice, and bring treats.

The people working on the show will love you, and you’ll be invited back!

About the Author:

LynAnn King of KingSings PR

LynAnn King of KingSings PR

LynAnn King, Publicist | KingSings PR

LynAnn King partners with successful small businesses and empowers entrepreneurs to deliver compelling marketing communications, special events promotions and media campaigns. She brings her visionary leadership in rolling out creative marketing campaigns that create visibility and media coverage. Her clients partner with KingSings PR as their marketing branding expert and publicist.

About the Author

The Author has not yet added any info about himself

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *