By Betty vonLiebermann
Give up the struggle!
One of the best ways to gain valuable publicity for your business is to be a guest on local radio and television talk show programs.
Appearances on radio and television programs help to set you up as the “Expert” in your field. Many of the shows are call-in programs and quite often listeners will call-in with questions. This gives you the opportunity to make the listeners more knowledgeable about your area of expertise and you may gain a client from the call.
I asked Kathryn Stroomer to share her insight on how television appearances can help you spread the word and this is what she had to say, “I have been producing a live, call-in show in the New Haven area for the past seven years. Our program, Issues and Answers, interviews everyone from local artists and writers to non-profit organizations to lawyers and corporate executives. Most of our guests have never done live TV before and come away with a very positive experience. It’s excellent exposure and frequently callers turn into clients. We even get calls from viewers after the show asking if they can contact the guests. Although we air live, programs are often re-run or “bicycled” to different localities (e.g. Fairfield County, Lexington, MA), so one show can go a long way. People do watch local TV. It’s a great vehicle to get your ideas out there.” I firmly agree with Ms. Stroomer. One show can go a long way in creating visibility for your business.
Once when I was interviewed on ESBN Radio in Norwalk about a Business & Professional Women’s event, I received a call and gained one of my best clients. If I had not been on the show that day, I probably would not have gained that client. He was listening to the show and I was “at the right place at the right time.”
I asked Michael Eastland, the Producer/Host of ESBN radio to share some advice with you about radio appearances and this is what he had to say, ” Make it a point to research any show that you may want to contact for a guest appearance to be sure that the audience for the show is the same as the target market for your product or service. Most producers are extremely busy and have a low tolerance for people who contact them without taking the time to find out a little about their show.”
Wayne Winsley of The Wayne Winsley Program which airs in Danbury shared this advice, “Make yourself interesting to the local media. Ask yourself, why would people care if I’m here?” This is great advice. If you research the audience that will be listening and prepare properly for the appearance, people will be glad to know you are there.
Often times your appearances as a guest can lend credibility to the show and it’s host. Where most guests are excited to be featured on a TV or radio show, Carla Dietz of the Women in Business television show credits her success to her guest when she says, “Suffice it to day that the best PR I get comes from highlighting the work of other fabulous people who are good enough to give me the time of day. Time is precious and people are sooooooo busy, lately. I am grateful to have been introduced to and to have interviewed so many great people on The Women In Business Show, both on radio and on TV. With all due respect to myself, my best PR comes from being next to and befriending others who have achieved greatness in their lives.”
I have my own Public Relations Business and Michael Eastland, Wayne Winsley, Carla Dietz and Kathryn Stroomer have helped me greatly in gaining publicity for my clients. Carla even asked me to sit in as her guest host once when she was on vacation. This was a great experience for me.
In the past, I wrote an article about the importance of networking. The networking I have done over the years has certainly paid off. My advice to you as a small business owner, is to make sure you include the broadcast media in your networking activities. This will help you greatly in growing your business in 2001 and beyond.
Betty vonLiebermann has over 16 years experience in the field of Communications and is the owner/founder of BVL Public Relations.