How SMEs can use local radio to reach new customers

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Radio is one of Australia’s most popular mediums, with around 90 per cent of the population listening to the radio every single day – giving smart business owners the opportunity to reach many potential customers.

The persuasive power of radio is too often overlooked by businesses not understanding the human connection and reach that radio is capable of.

When you’re interviewed on the radio you truly your own message because you’re the one telling it. It gives potential customers a taste of the ‘authentic’ you – which makes selling to them so much easier.

A voice breeds familiarity and potential customers will often play back your words in their head if your message strikes a chord with them which leads them to take action.

For the business owner who’s been interviewed it means the sale has already been done. Once a potential client hears you being interviewed, there’s no great need for well crafted words on a web site to persuade them to buy. It’s usually simply a case of being able to contact you in order to make the purchase.

Here are five steps to using radio interviews to tell your story and reach more clients.

Come up with a story to suit the audience

Consider the audience of the program and what will interest them. For example, a business show will want tips about running a business or how to overcome common problems in business.  A mainstream radio show that reaches a young demographic might want stories about education, renting and employment.

Remember, the radio show you want to be interviewed on should be one your customers would be happy to listen to.

Approach a ‘producer’

Announcers are the people we hear on radio but behind the scenes it is the producer who books people to be interviewed. The producer is your first point of contact when seeking an opportunity to be interviewed.

You can find the producer of a particular show by looking online or calling the radio station and asking.  Once you have an email address, send them your story idea with a media release attached.

Media release is a must

A media release is the most appropriate way to contact the media.  

The media release is usually only one A4 page in length and is made up of quotes from you as an expert, written in the third person. Each sentence conveys an interesting point about the story.  

The on air announcer will often have the media release in front of them when they interview you as it helps them come up with questions.

If you don’t hear from the producer about your story after a day ring them and get feedback. A simple follow up phone call can mean the difference between being interviewed on radio and not being interviewed.

Interview is confirmed

Once the interview is confirmed you will be given a date and a time. Make sure you are available at that time because if you aren’t you won’t be asked back again – they will simply find someone else who is available. Sometimes radio can run behind schedule so don’t be put off if they call ten minutes late because they had to go to breaking news.

Making the most of the interview

When you’re on air avoid really short or very long answers. Create a flow of conversation by answering questions with useful information and call the announcer by their first name. During the interview ensure you mention your business once or twice without being too obvious by saying ‘our customers at xyz business tell us this is happening.’ When the announcer wraps up the interview simply say if your listeners need any more information they can contact you through your website.

Sue Papadoulis is disrupting the PR industry through her business Publicity For Profit, teaching businesses how to do their own publicity. Visit http://publicityforprofit.com.au or call 1300 123 110