Pitching Radio Programs and Podcasts

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By C.L. Fornari

Spanish version available

There are many reasons a garden communicator might be interested in being on the radio or a podcast. You might be the author of a new book or the manufacturer of a product that you want to promote. Perhaps you’re looking to strengthen your brand as an expert in the field of gardens and gardening. Or maybe you have a great horticultural idea you’d like to share with the public.

No matter what your reason for wanting to be on the air, as the host of a live radio program and co-host of a podcast, I offer these tips for pitching a show.

  • Do your homework: listen to the show. This might seem obvious but it’s surprising how few people do this. I have had authors ask if they can be on Plantrama, the podcast I co-host with Ellen Zachos. If they had listened to even one episode they would know that we don’t have guests on our show. I’ve also had authors be surprised when I tell them that they’ll need to call into GardenLine, my radio show, at 8:05 Eastern time. “But that’s so early,” they often say. “Can’t we prerecord it?” Had those authors bothered to look at the radio link on my website, or listen to the program online, they would have known that GardenLine is always broadcast live.
  • Find out who the show’s average listener is and think about what they care about. The host wants to make the listeners happy, and if you can demonstrate that you have that same goal you’re more likely to secure a spot on the air. If you can’t discover something about a program’s listening audience, email the staff, advertising department, or host and ask.
  • Never pitch a program that doesn’t have anything to do with your topic unless you can demonstrate a clear way that they are connected. For example, if you’re approaching a cooking show about a gardening book, begin your pitch by explaining how your book connects with cooking and why their listeners will be interested. Media people receive dozens of pitches a day, and if there isn’t a clear link demonstrated in the first sentence, your email will end up trashed or marked as spam.
  • Pitch the producer and the host at the same time. Smaller programs like GardenLine don’t usually have a producer who schedules content, but shows with bigger audiences or those that are syndicated do. Take the time to do an online search for the producer’s name and contact information, and pitch that person as well as the host.
  • Pitch well in advance. Many schedules for radio shows and podcasts are worked out months in advance. This is especially important if you’re an author who has a gardening book coming out in the spring. There are so many spring releases of books about horticulture that it’s crucial to contact the producer/host in the summer or fall, even if the book isn’t yet available. If you wait until the book actually comes out their guest slots are likely to already be filled.

In a future blog post I’ll give provide tips for being a successful guest once you’re scheduled to be on a radio show or podcast.

Meet the AuthorCL Headshot_preview.jpg

C.L. Fornari is the host of GardenLine, heard live every Saturday morning on WXTK, and podcast and streamed online through iHeart Radio.  She is also the co-host of Plantrama, a podcast that is released every other Thursday. For more information and links to both programs, go to the Radio page at www.GardenLady.com

Author: GWA

GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators, formerly known as the Garden Writers Association, provides leadership and opportunities for education, recognition, career development and a forum for diverse interactions for professionals in the field of gardening communication. GWA members includes book authors, bloggers, staff editors, syndicated columnists, free-lance writers, photographers, speakers, landscape designers, television and radio personalities, consultants, publishers, extension service agents and more. No other organization in the industry has as much contact with the buying public as GWA members.

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