The old war era photo of Frank Sinatra and actress Alida Valli doing an interview for the Armed Forces Radio Service during WWII for broadcast to troops overseas evokes the idea of how important communication can be. These days there is a constant streaming source of information, and what you say and do can live forever.
When Deb Ferns, author of Babes with Bullets ™, released her book in early 2006 she wasn’t prepared for the numerous requests for radio interviews she received. Now, over 500 + radio interviews later, she shares with members of the Women’s Outdoor Media ingredients for a giving a good radio interview.
- When contacted by a radio host you want to firm up which day and date, what time you will be on their show (in their time zone) and how long the host anticipates your interview will be.
- Make sure to get the landline number you will call in on or what landline they will call you on. No cell phone radio interviews if at all possible.
- Follow up with an email to the show host, thanking them for the invite, reconfirming time, date/day and subject matter.
- To prepare for your radio interview check the website of the show you will appear on. Listen to a few archives from previous shows (if available) to get a handle on the style of radio host/hosts you will be dealing with. Write down on a cheat sheet, one you can keep in front of you during the interview the first name of the host/hosts in bold type. It’s embarrassing to forget the name of your host/hosts (or worse yet get their names wrong) when they will be most likely conveying to their listening audience that you are new best friends.
- Prepare “soundbites” which are short statements you can back up with a dramatic statistic, a passionate feeling the audience can relate to, a short story, a notable quote. Use a quote from the host done on another show prior to your interview. The host (and their audience) will be impressed with this tiny bit of homework.
- Know in advance what your host/hosts “hot” buttons are, both good & bad. Hot buttons = energy and both the interviewer and the interviewee needs to portray energy through the radio waves. Hot buttons are also a perfect way to introduce the soundbites you’ve prepared.
Stay tuned for tips 103-110 so you can approach your interview with confidence, and get your points across!