Be Smart About Internet Radio

A few weeks back I got a call from WRNW (www.wrnw1.com), an Internet radio station that wanted to interview me for a segment. I set up a lot of interviews for clients, so it’s always interesting to be on the other side. The one was a women’s radio network. Perhaps they’d heard how great I was (once?) with the ladies.

internet radioThey told me they wanted me for an 8-minute interview and proceeded to ask questions about my company, web site address and email.  But other than basic background, there was no prep from the anchor/producer.  What, I wondered, were we going to talk about?  I was told we’d go over that that part in a pre-interview.

The day before the interview I did do a very short call with a producer, where I really just went over the same basics about my company that I’d done initially.  Still no real conversation about what we’d discuss when we went live the next day.

So, the next day when I got on the phone for the interview I did what I all tell our clients to do: I stuck to my key messages and directed the conversation to an area of interest to me: the importance of media training for CEOs.

I had a great conversation with anchor Lisa Singer. She seemed very interested in the topic and was very engaged.  I hung up and wondered what would come next.

I didn’t have long to wait. About 10 minutes after the (live) interview I got a call from an executive producer who told me that my interview had been heard by 926,000 people and had better ratings than most of their interviews!

The producer than told me I’d done so well they were going to offer me two 30-minute interview opportunities in January. They’d even do a press release in advance about my interview. Sounded like a deal that was … too good to be true.

I finally stopped him and asked him what their business model for this was since I didn’t see ads on their site.  Ah, now we’d get to it!

I was eventually told that $2,500 would be the cost for these two interviews and the press release. That’s not really in my budget for Q1, but I might have been swayed if I’d seen some feedback from the initial interview. But of those 926,000 people who were listening I didn’t get a single call that day. Or the next day. Or the next.

Perhaps I wasn’t a good interview? I thought I did well, was organized and articulate and provided some very useful advice that companies might like.  Listen and you can be the judge! https://soundcloud.com/mitchleffpr/mitch-leff-on-wrnw-radio.

So what’s the scoop here? Were there really 926,000 people listening?  If so, why didn’t at least one percent of one percent (92 people) call me?

business radio xI get requests from internet radio stations fairly often and wonder about their effectiveness. This one didn’t raise my opinion of the concept, but I wanted to talk with a source I trusted to offer another perspective. So I talked with Rich Casanova with Buckhead Business Radio (http://buckhead.businessradiox.com/).

Rich is the Host/Producer for the show, interviewing business people in the Buckhead area. I’d first heard about him in regard to his Buckhead-focused radio, but they also have different streams focusing on Gwinnett, Sandy Springs and Midtown and then he’s got others around the country. Think of it as hyper local radio.

They’re very clear and transparent on their web site that there’s no cost for interviews and that they are definitely “earned media.” Casanova describes his station as “NPR meets the Atlanta Business Chronicle,” with a focus that’s “unabashedly pro-business.”  Guests come from all kinds of businesses. Looking at their web site I see people from retail, hospitality, professional services, etc.

We talked about their business model and he used the Public Radio analogy.  Their programming is funded through sponsors and underwriters, much like NPR.

They promote all their interviews in advance via social media and post-broadcast of course.  Once a guest is done with the interview they get an audio podcast that they’re encouraged to use on their own web sites and social media. That gives their interview even more reach.

I’ll be on the show myself on Jan. 27 at 10 a.m., so listen in!

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