Dos and Don'ts for Getting Free Radio Promotion

Surefire Ways to Get Your Business on the Air

One of the best ways to get free radio promotion for your business is to get known as a desirable guest. Here Kimberly Henrie provides tips for getting a radio interview and establishing the kind of reputation that will get you on the air regularly, increasing your chances of getting free radio promotion. – Ed.

1. Become familiar with the radio program. Listen (if you can) over a period of several days to get a feel for the tone of the show and determine how you would fit in as a guest.

2. Don't call the producer or show host at random to schedule an interview. They are busy and view unsolicited telephone calls as annoyances.

3. Email them. Use a creative, yet accurate title in the Subject line of your email. Be brief and to the point with a link to a Web site for more information. Make it clear whom should be contacted for more information, and how. Do not call to follow up - see tip #2 for getting free radio promotion.

4. Provide complete information about yourself and what you do. Do not try to tease and make them call you to get the whole story. They probably won't.

5. Identify "show prep" services. (Two examples are InterPrep and Toms Lake Humor Company). Send them an email and link to your Web site. If they like what they see, they'll get the word out to hundreds of radio people in one day, with their perceived recommendation!

6. Remember that radio is entertainment. If you land an interview be prepared to entertain the audience in addition to informing them.

Be over-friendly, over-excited, wildly outrageous, flirtatious, funny, morbid, something that the audience won't expect. And do it in a big way. You have to overdo in radio for the emotion to get across the airwaves. A guest who says they will be entertaining, and doesn't deliver is a big disappointment for a show host/producer.

7. Become a frequent caller to your local radio show. Call in with jokes, funny stories, Christmas shopping ideas, road conditions, whatever. As long as you are witty and entertaining, the show's host will probably keep putting you on the air. If you add something to his/her show, he/she will love you for it and be more likely to let you plug your business on occasion.

8. Become an expert on something that many people want to know about. Ski conditions, gardening, fishing, hunting, soap operas, sunbathing, etc. Then call your local station on a regular basis (like every Wednesday morning) and give reports. You may become a regular character on the show! (You can do this on several stations and they don't necessarily have to be local.)

9. Call when you say you will. You ruin it for yourself and everyone else in the future if you are not reliable. It's amazing how many guests make an appointment for interviews, get pre-interview radio promotion, and then neglect to call and do the interview. It makes the radio station look bad and it makes interviewees in general look bad.

10. Offer them something to give to their listeners. Include this information on your Web site. Please make it something that will be exciting enough to give away on the air.

A copy of your book about "Relationships" is probably not going to cut it. But a copy of your book about relationships and a pair of heart-covered boxer shorts (or something else unusual) may.

11. Create an interview kit. This can be included on your Web site, emailed to the show's host in advance or sent via mail service after the interview is booked. Include suggested questions, a bio of the interviewee, samples of the product, a list of interesting (and fun!) facts about the interviewee and/or the product, an easy-to-find telephone number or web address to be given to the audience for more information.

Kimberly Henrie is a radio personality, voice talent ,​and professional speaker. She lives with her family in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, USA.