Boosting your chances to get on the air

publication date: Jun 11, 2011
These inside tips come from Gordon Deal, host of The Wall Street Journal's radio program "This Morning" via Russell Working of They're aimed at businesses, but are just as important for charities wanting to take their case or their campaign to the airwaves.

Know the medium

For radio, make sure you sound good on the telephone. Radio interviews are often conducted by phone rather than in a sound studio.

Understand the time slots

A radio news story lasts 45 to 60 seconds. If you're interviewed for a talk show, you might get just five to seven minutes. Even that's not a long time, so hone your key points and practice a concise delivery.

You'll improve your odds if you understand the programming, Deal advises. Figure out why your topic is best for the morning drive audience, the midday break, the evening drive show or the supper hour and pitch it accordingly.

Pitch what talk show hosts want

Deal and his colleagues like lists. So pitch your appearance as something easy to package. In the charitable sector, it might be something like five ways to house street youth or six surprising ways your hospital's new wing will improve listeners' health outcomes. That makes it easy for the announcer to promote your interview.

Speak like your neighbour

Don't use jargon, either for the pitch or the interview. You're communicating, remember? That means anyone who hears you once and can't ask questions for clarification has to understand you right away.

What's in it for the listener?

Figure out a way that your story will improve the lives of listeners. That includes making them feel good. "How to give a hungry person a full meal for $1.35" (because the volunteers at my soup kitchen make your contribution go farther than you can). "How to change a child's life forever" (by becoming a mentor, tutor, Big Brother/Sister).

There are more tips in the full article

Like this article?  Join our mailing list for more great information!

Copyright © 2011-Current, The Hilborn Group Ltd. All rights reserved.

Free Fundraising Newsletter
Join Our Mailing List