Pitching radio 2.0V2

Pitching radio 2.0V2

Since this is a slow week for us in the U.S., I thought I would bring back some of the more popular posts that people seems to really use. If you’ve got a book, radio is still a great complement to a book marketing campaign. These tips still apply…enjoy!

Last June I wrote about pitching radio in 10 steps. Since then, advertising is up and free spots are DOWN, making it a bit harder to gain those coveted drivetime spots. Be sure to check out 10 Tips for Pitching Radio – these basic points still apply, as do my tips for Being a Great Radio Guest. I’ve also included a sample pitch at the bottom of this post…this pitch got over 50 interviews for my client!

Here are a few more ways to see if you can get noticed and booked on a radio station.

  • Find out what promotions they’re running – frequent topics like “Wacky Wednesday” often run out of guests and products to use. Spin your book or service into something that fits into an ongoing promotion and you might get included. Plus, these promotions often get tons of airtime. (Check out my friend Kat’s promotions on KCLD in St. Cloud here for some examples.)
  • Call in to the station so they know you’re a frequent listener. Steve Garfield got onto Jimmy Kimmel this way – it works for radio too. Once the producers and hosts know you, they’re more likely to listen to your ideas – you know their show!
  • Meet the hosts at an event. Radio hosts are always at charity events or other sponsored programs. Find out where they’ll be and approach them at the event. Don’t be too pushy, but do mention that you have an interesting idea for a segment. When you pitch the producer, mention that you met the hosts and they encouraged you to call.
  • Buy a radio list if you want to try for national. For a large list contact Radio Mall For a list of talk shows and stations with detailed information, Gordon’s Radio List is my favorite.
  • Get to know the ad reps. Many times, an advertising sales rep can be your best friend. Radio editorial and advertising work very closely together on many commercial stations (NOT public radio or news shows remember). Share leads to an ad rep and they may return the favor by mentioning your name to a producer…and again it’s now a ‘warm’ pitch instead of a cold call
  • If all else fails, buy advertising and negotiate an interview into your spend. Radio can be really inexpensive, particularly if you’re willing to buy ads that “rotate” into unsold spots. I’ve bought them for as little as $20. That can be a cheap way to get on air and the combined synergy of ads and talk time can be very powerful.

Remember, however that content (as always) is queen. Just like TV, you won’t get booked with a salesy pitch about your product, book or service. You have to turn it into something that will entertain (think Rachael Ray), amuse (think Kathy Griffin) , educate (think Dr. Oz) or provoke (think Howard Stern) listeners. That’s how you get on the air!

Here’s an example of a pitch that worked (note the peg here too – Be kind to animals week). I’d love for readers to comment on what’s worked for them regarding radio too!

[stextbox id=”alert”]

SUBJECT LINE: Book award-winning journalist Karin Winegar for Be Kind to Animals Week

Be Kind to Animals Week is May 3-10 Karin Winegar is the award winning writer for the New York Times , Wall Street Journal and others and author of the best-selling SAVED Rescued Animals and the Lives They Transform

Karin is a lively, fun guest who can tell your listeners about

  • Why interacting with animals improves your physical and emotional health
  • The number one thing you can do to help animals in need in the US
  • Why people who rescue animals get back much more than they give
  • How she came to write SAVED and why Jane Goodall wrote the foreword for the book

We would love to provide copies of SAVED for giveaway for your listeners. And don’t worry – Karin is far from a prickly animal rights activist. She’s an author and animal lover with great stories to tell your listeners will LOVE.  Karin has appeared on many national talk shows – SAVED has been given rave reviews in local and national press.

Karin is available most times May 4 – 8. Please email me at ——or call —— to book an interview.


  • Matt
    Posted at 10:01h, 29 April Reply

    Interesting article, thanks for taking the time to share it with us and keep up the good work.

  • Medical Assistant
    Posted at 15:53h, 29 April Reply

    I really like that line about a “‘warm’ pitch instead of a cold call.” Establishing a relationship makes everything so much easier and it’s productive for future pitches you may deliver to them. Thanks for sharing this. I really like the examples you give us.

  • Paul Davidson
    Posted at 17:24h, 29 April Reply

    There’s some very good tips in that article, especially getting to know the ad rep well and making an interview entertaining. Getting airtime that amuses listeners whilst simultaneously mentioning your product seems like it would be an effective way to sell it. Those links to the talk show lists are very useful. Thanks.

  • yalova veteriner
    Posted at 03:37h, 30 April Reply

    Interesting article, thanks for taking the time to share it with us and keep up the good work.

  • Andy @ FirstFound
    Posted at 09:10h, 30 April Reply

    Excellent example pitch there, really sums up how you can’t use the same old sales copy to get a radio (or indeed TV) spot.

  • bonnie
    Posted at 09:37h, 05 May Reply

    I’m glad you all liked the post. If you’d like to see other “real world” pitches that we send, let me know and I’ll include them in future pitches!

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