Today we are going to discuss radio interviews, and specifically what type of equipment (meaning, phone) to use to do the interview. This matters – a lot.
And yes, radio is important. Radio isn’t dead, despite what you’ve probably heard. It can be a very valuable tool for growing your business.
The most important reason is simple: Radio is one of the only media that reaches people in their cars (podcasts are the other). You can’t watch TV while driving. You can’t scroll through social media. You can’t – at least in most states – talk on the phone while driving.
And keep this in mind: 128 million people drive to and from work in their cars each day. This is a huge captive audience that you can tap into to help people and get more customers, clients and patients.
You definitely want to consider radio interviews in your town to grow your business. There is a lot that goes into a successful radio interview – the topic you pitch, your message and talking points, your relationship with the host and producer, your call to action. But for the purposes of this episode, let’s talk about equipment.
The one thing I want you to remember is to never use a cell phone for the interview. Or only use it if there is absolutely no other option. Why do I say that?
Your audio quality through a cell phone is terrible. Remember, the host is most likely in a studio (unless they are on location somewhere). That studio has a professional microphone, sound insulation and more. He or she will sound great. You need to sound as good as possible too.
You want the listener focused on your message and what you’re trying to explain to them or offer them. If they struggle to hear and understand you, your message won’t land. You’ll miss most of the benefits of doing the interview in the first place.
Plus, cell phone calls drop. All the time. The signal quality can be unpredictable.
So do everything you can to avoid doing a radio interview by cell phone.
I do a weekly radio interview on the largest sports talk radio station here in Charleston, the most listened to show in this area. If I ever have to do it away from home or my office, I email ahead of time or at least tell the producer when I call that I am on a cell phone. I apologize and explain I don’t have a choice. If they know ahead of time, they might not like it, but they will give you some slack. And they will be prepared if the call goes in and out or drops. But I try to do that very, very rarely. Using a landline makes the host and producer happy, and you sound more professional.
Now occasionally, you will do an interview that will be pre-recorded to air sometime in the future. Maybe the interview will air late at night, and they don’t want to bother you keeping you up that late. Maybe the interview will be cut into several segments that air at different times.
If it’s going to be a recorded interview to be played on a show later, then there is no excuse to use a cell phone. Schedule a time when you can use a landline.
So, what exactly should you use for your radio interviews?
- Traditional landline – by far the best option. If you have a phone directly connected into the phone jack, as opposed to a handheld wireless phone, that’s even better. These give the clearest sound. I know that most of society has gotten rid of landlines in favor of cell phones. You can either invest in a dedicated phone (and maybe even a dedicated number if you will be doing a lot of interviews) or do them from your work phone at the office if that’s an option.
- If you don’t have a traditional landline, get a Voice over IP line, preferably with very a high-speed, reliable internet connection. There are ways to call landlines with Skype. Or you can get a dedicated VOIP line through your internet provider.
- If you absolutely have to use a cell phone, try to use high-quality headphones and mic with it, and get somewhere where you can connect to Wi-Fi.
- Finally, consider using a headset. But test it out ahead of time so you know there is no delay or poor volume of your voice coming through.
And finally, here’s a pro tip, and sometimes I forget to do this myself. Turn off call waiting if you have it.
Even if you don’t answer the incoming call, the listeners can hear a click or other noise when that call hits your phone. Plus, it will distract you and interrupt what you are saying or what the host is asking you.
If you are calling the radio station, dial *70 and then call the number. This disables call waiting for the duration of the phone call. As soon as you hang up, it will be reactivated.
Better yet, call the phone company and cancel call waiting.
And many producers will want to call you instead of you calling in, especially the bigger shows. I haven’t tried this trick, but I hear it works. After you have answered the phone, ask the producer or host to hold on for a second. Then click over to the other line just as you would if there were a call on the other line. You will hear a dial tone. Then click back over and do your interview. Now any incoming calls should receive a busy signal because you just tied up the second line.
One of the things I do with the clients I work with one-on-one is that you and I figure out how radio interviews can grow your business, look for shows that have the perfect audience for your business, develop pitches for those shows, and then create a perfect message for the radio interviews you get.
Now please remember, that just like my website, my coaching and everywhere else, that I am not giving business, financial, legal, medical or any other kind of advice here. Talk to a professional for advice specific to your situation.
If you want to learn more…if you want more customers, more clients, more patients, you want to make more money, you want to be recognized as THE expert in your industry, or you even want people you don’t even know to come up to you at the gym or in the grocery store, thanking you for helping them, I can help you become a Media PRO.
Go to MediaProsCoaching.com and sign up for a FREE 30-minute media strategy session with me. We will see where you are and what you’re trying to achieve in your business, and then plan some strategies for you to get more media interviews and appearances to achieve all those goals and far more.
While you’re there, pick up my FREE eBook – The Media PROS Interview Checklist, offering you a handy reference full of tips to shine in your next media interview or appearance so they keep asking you back, over and over.