For several years now I have had friends and clients who host internet radio programs. Over that time I’ve learned a lot about not only the production aspects but more importantly the marketing impact of their efforts.
Today I was a guest on The Publicity Show, a new radio program that focuses on the public relations industry. The program just began airing this month and I was fortunate to be their second guest. (Download podcast here if you want a sample.)
For the most part, the hosts of Internet radio programs have a vastly different objective than the hosts of terrestrial programs on your AM/FM dial (and probably your satellite, too, but the only place I get to listen to satellite radio is on my DirecTV). For them it’s not about their ego. They’re not out trying to reach thousands of listeners and they are likely unconcerned about advertising dollars.
So what’s in it for them? First, it’s about the credibility. It’s much like when you tell someone that you were recently on a radio show (they are impressed) or that you published an article or were the speaker at an event. Obviously if you have enough clout to get invited as a guest or speaker, then you must know what you are talking about. And only folks who are really good at the periodic appearances get invited to host, right?
The second reason they do it is to develop their network. Everyone is flattered to be invited to be your guest on the show. This is a great gateway to making contact with some of your best prospects and gateopeners. Along the way it builds credibility for your both.
So let’s say you get invited to be on a radio show (either internet or terrestrial), how do you make the most of it?
First, promote it in advance to your friends and associates.
Then go to the broadcast with a plan. I wouldn’t be doing my job as a PR pro if I didn’t advise you to have an agenda and some messaging points in front of you before you left for the studio. Don’t try to script out the entire broadcast but an index card with 3-5 points will really help ensure you reach your objectives. I always tell my clients that they want to own the media interview.
Afterwards request a recording that you can post in the newsroom of your website, provide a link in your Blog if you have one and send out as an email message to prospects and customers who would benefit from the recording.
Now here’s where the creativity really comes in. You’ve got a professionally produced audio commercial for your business. Maximize it! Consider putting the link in your auto-signature, at least for a little while. Download the podcast to a CD or zip drive and give it as a gift or leave-behind the next time you meet with a prospect. Upload the recording to your automated attendant and broadcast the show as an infinite loop instead of pirating an AM/FM broadcast for hold music.
These are just a few of the creative ideas I’ve seen clients implement with their radio programs and all with great results.