Prepping for radio interviews, social media sites, and more

What should PR pros keep in mind when prepping clients for various radio formats?

What should PR pros keep in mind when prepping clients for various radio formats?

Live news radio interviews are very fast paced, so guests must provide concise answers that hit key message points, yet allow interviewers to ask several questions in a compact time frame, explains Richard Strauss, president of Strauss Radio Strategies.

For interviews on live morning shows, guests need to bring high energy because the format is fast paced.

“While there is more time allotted for guests, they must maintain energy and match the host's pace or listeners will tend to tune out,” Strauss says.

Taped-as-live interviews are done when a reporter or show wants to seamlessly record an interview into a live broadcast at a later date.

“It is important for guests being interviewed in this format to avoid referencing specific dates or times, since it is not known when the interview will... run,” he adds.

Phone interviews
What are some tips for a successful phone interview? 

“First, dedicate time to prepare written key messages,” says Terri Ammerman, president of The Ammerman Experience.

Have an agenda for the interview that includes a few key points you want to address.  If the reporter doesn't raise those points, inject them into the discussion.  And consider not only what you say, but also how you say it. 

“A dull, uninspired recitation of facts is unlikely to engage the reporter's interest,” Ammerman says.

Prior to the call, take control of your environment by closing the door and turning off your cell phone. And remember not to let your guard down.

“Talking on the phone is an everyday occurrence, and you may... forget you're speaking with a reporter,” she adds. “Assume everything you say will be used.”

Social media
Interacting in social media and micro-blogging sites like Twitter is nothing new, but what if employees want to take those conversations out of the public domain? 

Many people who are accustomed to instant messaging, as well as closed social networks and wikis, are turning to tools like Yammer, which is a closed micro-blogging site viewable only among people within a company, explains Blake Cahill, SVP of marketing at Visible Technologies.   

“This facilitates communications for employees who need or desire to share bursts of information with colleagues, which might be inefficient or inappropriate to send via e-mail or IM,” Cahill says. 

Additionally, contributing publicly in a way that all other employees can see adds an element of self-regulation that isn't always present with one-to-one IMing. 

“The power of consumers' conversions across the social graph is well documented with marketers and PR professionals,” he says. “But the same power and insight exists among the voices of employees, so why not leverage it and practice what we are all preaching to clients?”

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