Releasing a new product, no matter what it might be, is one of the great achievements of someone who loves what they do. They have labored with their body of work for some time, been involved in the testing and editing process and then put it out for the world to enjoy. Having it available is one thing. Letting people know about it is another.
The internet has done a great deal to help us all publicize our work in various forms, but there is nothing like having someone on the outside share the message of what we have done. This is where the media, bloggers and other tastemakers in our respective industry can be beneficial. Setting up an interview to discuss what you have created or produced and how others can get it can be an important step to spreading the word. The key is to be both prepared and make sure that you do your part to make it a success.
Reaching out to the press can seem daunting, but I have found that just as creative individuals want to share their work, the press and other mediums are looking for exciting and informative stories to feature! There are many ways to make sure that you get noticed and get attention. If you are looking to be featured locally on the radio or television it can be as easy as contacting the station and pitching yourself and your product. I have found that this works best if you can tie it into something that is already considered newsworthy in your area or that gives an angle that will both get the attention of the station and its audience.
If you are looking to reach a larger audience, once again the internet can be invaluable. There are thousands of internet radio and web showsand blogs out there looking to share valuable content. The key is finding those that will fit you and your product and that will allow you to present yourself and what you have done in the most productive way possible.
Let’s say that you’ve either found a show on your own that you are interested in or that you are contacted by someone interested in interviewing you. That is only the beginning. You need to make sure that you are prepared to use whatever amount of time you have to get the important aspects of yourself and your book out there. Preparation is the key. Know the show. Know the host and something about their interviewing style. Most importantly make sure they know something about you. This will ensure that there is a real give and take during the interview.
Some talk shows like to have prepared questions for the guest. Others, like myself, prefer a more free-flowing conversation. Make sure you know that type of information before the interview, and that the needed information is provided.
If the interview is an in-person event, make sure you are dressed in a way that will represent yourself and your brand well. If you are doing a web show via skype make sure that your surroundings are not distracting and that there is no unnecessary noise going on in the background. For phone interviews I can’t stress enough these three points: 1) Use a landline if possible to get the best sound quality. If a landline is not available, make sure you are in a place that has a good connection and where you won’t have to worry about dropped calls. 2)Speak clearly and avoid using the speaker phone. I have had some great guests that have just been “okay” guests because they were hard to hear and couldn’t be heard. Being nervous is a natural thing but make sure you are speaking in a way again that will give your brand and product the best presentation possible. 3)Finally when it comes to phone interviews make sure that you are not eating, drinking or doing anything else that would take away from the professionalism of the interview. Since you are on the phone many reason that they can’t be seen so these things don’t matter. I have to tell you that if you are doing anything that can be distracting to the host and the audience you are definitely doing yourself a disservice.
During the interview make sure to answer the questions that are asked, giving pointed but pithy responses. You don’t want to talk too much, but you definitely want to make sure you answer completely. Not everyone listening to the interview may buy what you have to offer initially, but make sure you get your website or how additional information can be found in the discussion. It can be as easy as saying. “On my website xyz.com I have more information” or “If you visit my Facebook page you can stay updated with any promotions or updates”. This will let listeners know where you are and how they can find out more.
In the end, have fun with it! Interviews are one of the rewards for doing something great, and by releasing your product you have done just that. Make sure you are taking advantage of every opportunity to share your work with others, and it will make the journey that much more enjoyable.
Cyrus Webb is the President of Conversations Media Group, home of Conversations Book Club, Conversations Magazine and Conversations LIVE Radio Show. Since 2003 he has interviewed over 7,200 guests from around the world including notables in television, the literary world and music. He is also a media coach, motivational speaker and author of the inspirational book WORDS I CHOOSE TO LIVE BY and several children’s books. You can find out more information about him at www.cyruswebb.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.