Five steps to rock that radio pitch
Getting your client interviewed on radio is one of the best ways to ensure brand exposure across a wide audience, but it can be a daunting task, especially for the uninitiated. Aside from the three Ps (Practice, Practice and … Patience), landing that radio interview comes down to knowing your media, your topic and how to sell it. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Listen. Take the time to understand the station, audience and producer you’ll be pitching to. Make the effort to research their preferences. Pay attention to the show format: are interviews usually telephonic or in-studio, and are discussions one-on-one or are panels preferred? Try offering an independent spokesperson. This will help you gauge what kind of stories work for specific programmes and will save you the embarrassment of pitching a topic that has just been covered or that they may not be interested in.
- Pitch with the audience in mind. It might seem obvious, but remember that the angle you pitch needs to be interesting and captivating. Ask yourself: “Would I turn up the volume or change the station if this topic was discussed on air?” and let that be your guide.
- Be concise. Get straight to the point. Make sure your email motivation clearly outlines your request and why it would work for the particular show. Are you offering them an expert to comment on a current story? Are you motivating for an interview with your client on a particular topic or providing a sound-bite? Tell them what you have to offer and why it would not only benefit them, but also their listeners.
- Don’t be lazy. Tailor your pitch, and NEVER spray and pray. Newsrooms are under pressure, so make the link between your story and a newsworthy topic to make sure your pitch stands out. Don’t expect the producer to do the work for you.
- Be prepared. Make sure your client is available before you pitch the story. When briefing clients for radio interviews, prepare a tough Q&A. Answers should be short and within a 15-second time frame – this way it’s much more likely that your sound-bite will be aired on radio during the news bulletin. Radio is fast-paced, so your client needs to convey as many key messages as possible and not drift off topic.