Although advice about radio interviews usually focuses on how to prepare for them, what you do after the interview can make a big difference to your book. Here’s what’s best to do:
● Call the receptionist to say thank you, and to ask whether the producer relayed the sticky-note with your contact info on it that you mailed in advance. You’ll need the receptionist’s help when listeners call and ask how to reach you.
● Send a thank-you note to the producer and the host, saying that you really enjoyed the interview, and that if they are ever in a pinch you’d be happy to do it again. Subconsciously, they will think about asking you back for regular, ongoing interviews.
● While you are thanking them, ask whether they ever read about you on one of the radio discussion Web sites that are accessible only by stations. You are not really expecting them to say yes, but, since you mentioned it, and if they like you, they may just go and post nice comments about you there. Exactly what you want.
● See if the host–or better yet, the station’s GM (general manager)–will sign a letter of recommendation on its letterhead for you. Say you’ll be happy to write the text and e-mail it. Or, you’d also be happy to get some letterhead from the receptionist, print the text on it yourself, and send the letter back for signing.
● Ask the producer for an “aircheck” (a taped recording of the interview); you may need to do this more than once, as airchecks are somewhat of a pain for the station (they benefit only you). But some stations are great about providing them. If you get a good aircheck, post it on your site, not only for consumers to hear, but also as a way of introducing yourself to people at stations that have not yet invited you to appear. You also want airchecks so you can critique yourself and your interview ability, and to play back to your distributor and/or sales force to prove you are penetrating the market.
● Contact the Webmaster of the station and ask about getting a link to your site from the station’s site. The Webmaster will probably need to get approval from the host, PD (program director), or GM. You don’t care where the link is on the station’s site; just having it somewhere will boost your site’s rankings, since a station’s site gets a lot of hits.
● Ask the host or the PD for a referral to other stations in the cluster (the group of stations in the same office). If you just finished a great interview, it’s sometimes possible to segue right into another interview with a sister station down the hall. If the station has no other stations in the building, ask if counterparts in other cities might be interested in having you, and whom you should contact there.
● Send the host a critique form. Include basic questions like, “Was John Doe [you] loud and clear enough?” “Was John Doe energetic enough?” Other things to ask: Were you too talkative, not funny, too pushy, or just plain not interesting? This will help you do better in future interviews.
● Here’s a little-known trick, taken from the music-airplay promotion world: Send the PD or host a bunch of free books, for ongoing giveaways after your appearance (and include a note saying that one of the copies is for the receptionist). If you made a good impression, and especially if you got a lot of calls during your interview, the station may want to continue the excitement after you are gone by doing a mini-giveaway at the same time of the day, each day, for a week . . . all the while continuing to promote you. Talk about a great add-on!
Bryan Farrish heads Bryan Farrish Radio Promotion, an independent radio-interview promotion company. For more information: 818/905-8038; www.radio-media.com.