Small Business Trends Radio

10 Tips For Your Big Show Biz Break; Start With Radio

Charmaine, wife of Your Business Blogger, regularly appears on TV and radio.

If you are marketing with success and making a difference in your small business, you will be in demand as an on-air talent and expert. Before you get to the Big Show in the visual media, you will do radio. Lots of voice.

Charmaine on ABC

Charmaine on

ABC World News Tonight Charmaine peddles public policy. She sells the most challenging type of product — an intangible. But most small business products are tangible with easier features, advantages and benefits to sell.

Radio producers need on-air talent to educate and entertain. Not in that order. If you’ve ever sat on a panel or been a keynoter, you will be sought out for radio interviews.

Get ready.

Here’s a compressed check list Charmaine uses for media gigs. It might be helpful for you for your big show-biz marketing break:

1) Talking points. John McLaughlin will not allow any of his guests to have notes on the set. But a pro doesn’t need them. Your talking points, your elevator speech, will be memorized. The broader the audience — the narrower the message.

2) Practice. (The other) Roger Ailes would evaluate a person’s likeablilty on camera by watching the performance on the TV. With the sound off. Ailes says that if, as he watched, he caught himself standing up to turn up the volume, he knew he had a client he could help. Most business marketing performances — presentations are learned, practiced behaviors.

3) Pre-interview. This is your audition where the booker/producer will run you through your paces. They claim they are looking for competence, of course. But this is show business — the producer is looking for entertainment. Are you personable? Are you likable? And can you still fit into the booker’s box. Remember, radio and televised media are similar to print media reporters: the story is already written, already in the can. The writer or booker is merely looking for quotes. That’s why they’re called talking heads.

4) Logistics. For an in-station interview, ask for the network to arrange for a car. Don’t burden your staff with driving — and directions. Pros show up on cable and network with their own IFB’s. Internal FeedBack wiring.

5) Coach in Your Corner. Take your peeps with you — your entourage. This will give you a chance to practice your opening 8 second sound bites. Andrew Dice Clay would show up — joking and smoking — with his wife(!) two kids, publicist, agent, and assorted strap hangers. The driver and dogs remained with the car.

6) Non-answer. You Don’t Have to Answer Questions. Especially if the segment is taped, you answer the question with the answer you want to convey. Your message.

7) Time. The appearance is time consuming. Charmaines’s gigs normally take up half a day. Here are numbers down the funnel:

3 hour notice
2 hours in traffic
25 minutes for makeup and mike-up
35 minutes taping
all for…
8 seconds of airtime

8) Cost/Benefit. Gore Vidal once said, “Never turn down a chance to have sex or to go on TV.” But it might not be worth it. (The TV part, I mean.) Only agree to an appearance if you can advance your agenda or as an expert witness. There are some debates that cannot be debated. Or that you should not touch — outside your expertise or the interests of your company. There are a number of other topics that Your Business Blogger dare not put in print or on the airwaves. And you never discuss in a short forum. Email me before you go on-air.

9) Feedback. Ask the producers and bookers how you did. Get a beta copy of the show or have your tech guy capture a digital copy. Get — no — demand, honest feedback. There is always something that can be improved. See my analysis and an example of doing it right.

10) Exploit. Be sure that your appearance is promoted. Clips of your appearances can be shown at board meetings. Company reports. Your bio.

Your blog.

Your small business deserves the exposure provided by radio. The listening audience deserves the benefit of your experience.

Break a leg, as the British would say.

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