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Promote your work through radio

BY JOHN KRUSE
Your book just came out in print. Your photo essay just appeared in a major national magazine. Your article just received an Excellence in Craft award. Your company is rolling out a new initiative. In all of these cases, you want to share this news with the world. But how do you go about doing it?
You can speak to service clubs. You can share the news on your Facebook page, website or blog. You can even send out a press release. All of these will help, but you probably won’t reach a very large audience. So consider promoting it on the radio.
As the host and producer of two weekly outdoors radio shows, I’m always hunting for guests who are experts in a certain field or have an interesting story to share.
Let’s say you wrote a book about fishing destinations in Oregon or hiking in Colorado or where to paddle a kayak or canoe in Maine. Don’t you think audiences throughout the state you featured and the region would be interested in knowing “the best places” you described in your book? Radio show hosts like myself would be, and you’ll get free exposure reaching hundreds to thousands of listeners, which is a lot more than you’ll likely see at local bookstore signings.
To land a spot on a radio show, you’ll need to market yourself. Let’s say you specialize in wildlife photography. You can market yourself as an expert on wildlife behavior as it relates to getting memorable photos, photography equipment or simply creating better wildlife photos.
You can work with a public relations firm to contact radio show hosts and producers. I am contacted all the time by public relation firms hoping to get their clients on the air, but of the 50 or more pitches that hit my inbox, maybe one has a topic relevant to the outdoors. It’s easy for hosts and producers to overlook public relations company pitches when they are swamped with work, but when I am contacted directly by an individual I tend to pay attention. You just have to convince me it’s something my listeners will want to hear on the air.
Sending a review copy of your book or a sample of your product helps. Consider offering the same as a giveaway on the show, too. Every time the host or station promotes the giveaway, it’s more publicity for you.
Once you book your interview, figure out if it’s going to be in-studio or over the phone. If it’s a phone interview, remember landline phones work best. Only use a cell phone in places with excellent reception and no background noise.
Ask the host ahead of time what the conversation will cover and how long you have to chat. This can help you craft your message to an appropriate length. There’s a big difference between a 30-minute interview where you can speak in-depth and one that is only five minutes long where you have time to cover only one or two points.
No matter the length, make sure you plug where listeners can find out more information about you after the show. Phone numbers are easily forgotten and not everyone uses Facebook, so give your website and try to repeat it if you can.
Radio is a great way to get your message out to a wide audience and do so for little to no cost. Take advantage of it and become the guest every host wants on their show. ♦
— John Kruse is the host and producer of two syndicated shows, Northwestern Outdoors Radio, www.northwesternoutdoors.com and America Outdoors Radio, www.americaoutdoorsradio.com.

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