If you are running for public office, proper preparation for a talk radio interview is the difference between advancing your cause and creating a campaign disaster. Today, I’ll share a few simple steps about how to prepare for a talk radio interview.
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1. Know how much time you will have. A five minute segment will limit the number of opportunities you have to convey your central points. A 20 minute interview will allow time for 3 or 4 stories to illustrate your point.
2. Decide what points you want to get across during the talk radio interview, and drive them home at the outset. Why? If you go into an interview with no idea what you want to say the host may steer it to a topic that doesn’t get you any votes.
3. Use the questions you are asked as an opportunity to quickly pivot off a short answer and circle back to your principle talking points. Mention the name of your website every 90 seconds.
4. Study the style of your host. Listen to interviews they have conducted with other personalities. Do they let their guests talk absent interruption? Do they pepper the guest with questions? Do they allow the guest to control the talk radio interview or do they try to veer the topic to something the host wants to discuss?
5. The expectation is that you will be well informed. And you had better be able to quickly explain and defend your platform. If you are asked a question that you do not know, best to say you don’t know than to pretend you do. A factual error or mistake will quickly become news, and likely tweeted and blogged into the universe.
6. Know the rules of audience participation. Will all of the questions come from the host? Will listeners be allowed to call in and ask questions on the air? Will those who call be screened by a moderator? If people are allowed to call in line up a few friends and allies to participate in the program.
7. Are you doing the show in studio? If so, dress accordingly, for your interview may be videotaped and posted on YouTube.
8. If you are doing the talk radio interview over the phone, try to call from a hard line so that you have a good connection. If possible call the station 10 minutes before your interview begins so that you can listen to what is said before you go live.
Have some questions about talk radio interviews? Hit the comment button. If you send me a question I will answer. And if I can help you in any way with an upcoming interview, call me at 845-458-1210.
Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.
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