By Maury Tobin
During a recent car trip around town, I was channel surfing and happened to hear Frank Sinatra’s classic “My Way.” For most people, hearing the song conjures up feelings of nostalgia. For some reason, it reminded me of the hundreds of spokespeople I’ve worked with over the past two decades.
Looking back, the great majority of these spokespeople excelled during their campaigns, making a strong case for their issues and providing radio stations with interesting content.
But there were a few who didn’t do as well for a variety of reasons. Maybe they missed important cues during their interviews. Maybe they weren’t very interesting and came across as overly scripted. In some cases (and against our advice), spokespeople conducted interviews on a cell phone instead of a hard phone line and the sound quality was poor.
Here’s Our List of Nine Ways to Shine During a Radio Media Tour (RMT):
- Get media trained by a professional who has specific experience in radio. Tobin Communications provides complimentary Media Training as part of its RMT service. Whether you work with us to get trained or someone else, the point is to get it done.
- Do radio interviews on a hard phone line. While sound quality has certainly improved over the years for cell phones, hard phone lines provide the best sound quality. In addition, spokespeople need to speak directly into the phone to achieve an optimal voice level.
- Don’t speak in acronyms during radio interviews. No one really likes them or understands them.
- Who is your audience? Does the radio station reach a conservative, liberal or moderate audience? Is the station focused on straight news or is it a news/talk format? All of these factors make a difference.
- Typically, radio interviews come in three forms: interviews that are aired live on talk shows (usually under 10-minutes in length); short taped interviews that air as news stories; and, longer form interviews that air at a later date (up to 30-minutes in length in some cases). The key is to understand how your particular interview is being used and plan accordingly.
- Localize your message to the specific audience of the station by using statistics and other information that apply to the station’s geographic area.
- Don’t be boring. Be conversational.
- Since time is limited during most radio interviews, hone your key message points down to 40-seconds or less.
- At least once or twice during an interview, make sure you provide a website where radio listeners can get more information or take action.
Good luck with your campaigns!
Maury Tobin is the president of Tobin Communications, Inc., a firm he founded in 1996 that provides integrated campaign and digital services. Tobin earned both a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and a Master’s Degree in Public Communication at American University.