Optimizing Radio Interviews 

Optimizing radio interviews increases sales of merchandise, tickets, fans, and gig opportunities as well as creating new personal and working relationships. If done well, it will also benefit the radio station and the host.

Optimizing your radio interview can bring some great rewards and this brief guide can help. You’ve just landed an interview at a radio station. Maybe the show is local and in support of your new album or perhaps the show is in a new city, where you are about to do a gig for the first time, and you are looking to reach new fans. As a musician how do you best optimize this important gig? Radio gigs and their hosts are as important as performance gigs and venue hosts! Treat your radio opportunities and the hosts in the same manner.

BEFORE The Radio Interview 

Grow your relationship with your radio host. As you would grow your relationship with your venue hosts and fans, you should do the same with your radio host. Radio hosts are playing your music and have asked for an interview because they enjoy your work and craft and want their listeners to get to know you better. The radio host is key to reaching more fans, which equates to more sales, more people in seats, and more gig opportunities. More often than not, radio hosts are volunteers, putting in tremendous hours of their own time to support the music they play and love. AND, more often than not, they are sadly overlooked as being a key player in a musician’s career. Make these changes:

  • Once you’ve landed the radio show opportunity – put it on your website. BE sure to include the date, time, station, show, host, and their website.
  • Ensure the radio host has a promo pic, bio, physical and/or digital copies of the CD, and all necessary contact information.
  • Get it out on social media, blogs, and forums – Be sure to tag the show host, the station and again include the date, time and website.
  • Create an event on Facebook, like their Facebook page, and share it widely asking folks to tune into the show.
  • Invite your fans to like their show page.
  • Set up an email blast to your mailing list. This is also an excellent time to add other upcoming performance gigs.
  • Ask if you can receive an MP3 of the show, in advance, to share once live.
  • Offer a pre-station ID if you have the capability of good audio at your fingertips.
  • Be on time whether on the phone or in studio.
  • Be prepared with any necessary information.
  • Have your call to action ready.
  • If live, ensure instruments are tuned and ready to go.
  • Rehearse music and any information – treat this opportunity as you would at any venue.
  • Advance the show 7 days before with the host to ensure all systems are a go.
  • If you are playing a show nearby, ask the venue if the radio host can be comped and if so invite them with all necessary information.
  • Take pre-photo, during and after if time allows.

DURING The Interview  

Enhance your career and support their show. Radio shows are time sensitive and if they are live, it’s crucial to be ready. As they say, timing is everything. There is little room for error. Being prepared, helps you to succeed in good promotion and publicity, and ensures your host is able to do what they do best. Be engaging, be yourself, have fun and properly thank the host on air as well as off air.

  • THANK the interviewer for this opportunity and for having you on their show.
  • Have water nearby.
  • Do not tune instruments while the host is speaking.
  • Sit close enough to the microphone and be aware of unneeded sounds (don’t crinkle that candy wrapper) which will be picked up on air.
  • Answer questions in a short and concise manner. Now and then a 5-30 second bite is used on air in other shows.
  • Tell the story within the story about the song and how it was created, that your host and their listeners may not know about you unless they tuned in. Engage the host and engage their listeners.
  • If you make a mistake, keep going. Don’t call attention to it. Often times listeners will not notice.
  • Be yourself, be personal.
  • Use a call to action often, let listeners know about the upcoming show, the new album, and where they can get more info such as your website and how they can find you on social media.
  • Thank the host again before the interview ends and after before you leave the station.
  • Leave at least one copy of the album, and or a show poster, at the station if they don’t already have it.

AFTER The Interview 

Follow-up and continue your growth and support theirs. Even though the interview is over, it doesn’t mean the relationship is. This is the time to lock in new friendships as well as future opportunities. Networking is key to growing and enhancing your career. These relationships can also develop into lifelong friendships, more than worth their weight in gold.

  • Offer a new station ID if you have the capability of good audio at your fingertips.
  • Share photos you have taken with the host on social media, email blasts and website.
  • Embed and share the MP3 on your website, social media, and another email blast, sharing it widely with fans, friends, and family.
  • Be sure to tag and mention the station, the show and the host in personal and page social media messages.
  • Ask for a review, or if you’ve picked up on a great snippet in the conversation, ask permission to use it on your EPK.
  • Write a thank you note. An email thank you is great, however, a handwritten note will get you noticed.
  • Write down any pertinent information you have learned about the host. They love cats, their Mom is having health issues. They will remember things you’ve told them, now return the favour in kind.
  • Stay in touch. Reach out at a later date, just to say hi, ask how Mom is doing and so on. Stay connected and enjoy a new friendship.

Enjoy your new found friend, new fans, and time wisely spent on promotion of the radio show and the host!

Catch my previous post about Elevator Pitch which may be helpful for your radio interview. CLICK HERE