Just a thought… Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life. [Brian Tracy]
Sometimes when a friend does something extraordinary, you shout it from the rooftops. This will be better, since I hope you’ll pass this on!
I can’t tell you how many times in my career I was approached by people who thought they or their clients would make great guests on our radio show. Usually, I would pass them on to our senior producer who would gently say, “No, thank you,” and that would be the end of it.
Sometimes, the person reaching out would be persistent, as in the case of the PR giant in Toronto who hounded Ian “The General” MacArthur year after year to have his clients, Playboy bunnies, on CHFI to talk about god-knows-what. Uncharacteristically for Ian, that annual ordeal ended in a screaming “F-off!” from both sides. But it was within Ian’s right to protect our show’s best interests and only serve up what would be valuable, entertaining and appropriate for our listeners. It was always “what’s in it for the listener?” and “tell us a story.”
Then there were the times that people who were running a charity would hope we’d give them air time to pitch a golf tournament or a run or a lemonade stand or a dance-a-thon. Wonderful causes were behind every single one of these events, but we couldn’t put them all on the air. Fortunately, as technology evolved, we could point them towards Facebook or I’d ask them to email me, so I could post something for them here and help get the word out.
Now there’s a concise little book out that every person who wants to pitch themselves or a client for an interview – on any medium – NEEDS TO READ. It’s called Make the Media Want You: An Insider’s Guide to Creating Persuasive Pitches and I devoured it in a few sittings.
Lisa tells you what the media need from an interview and she pulls no punches. She does a morning show in London, Ontario (although you may remember her from the 680 News morning show, as well as news on our show, too, at CHFI). In a pared-down cutback radio economy, Lisa and her radio partner have to book, prepare and execute live radio interviews – several per show – and she’s waded through the worst and plucked from the best, to help guests know what they need to do to pitch, prepare and present well.
I can’t stress enough what a powerful tool this book is for everyone: from a city councillor to a volunteer spokesperson, from a proud parent to a seasoned public relations expert. EVERYONE who wants a spot on a radio show (or TV, or wherever) should read this book. Even if you think you know how it all works, there are insider tips that could help you get that coveted few minutes to share your story and your message and to stir up interest in the community.
I’m honoured to have contributed a chapter to this book (no, I’m not getting paid, nor did I expect to!) and should point out that Lisa is donating a percentage of the book’s profits to her own personal favourite charity in memory of her dad, who died last year of Parkinson’s Disease.
Please, please, please share this journal today. Whether you hope to get fifty more people for your town fair this fall or are booking drivers from the Honda Indy, everyone who wants to get close to a microphone – and a bigger audience – has to read Make the Media Want You. Here’s the Amazon.ca link.
Congratulations, Lisa. You’re doing everyone a service here. Now, can I talk about my book on your radio show? See, it’s about this woman who’s a little loco….
Talk to you here tomorrow.