US based management and marketing magazine, Radio Ink, recently published an article outlining the main points of focus for a personal appearance on radio. As Radio Ink are a US based company, many of these points may be more aimed towards US radio personnel, but are also relevant when applied to the radio industry in other parts of the world.
How to act. Arrive early and stay late. Be on your best professional behaviour. We do promotions to get votes, to cement important relationships, to increase the love. You are a rock and roll politician and your job is to shake hands and kiss babies. No drugs, no alcohol, nothing that momma wouldn’t be proud of.
What to say, what not to say. You are a representative of the station and your show’s brand. If you have any issues about station policy or format or anything at all, an event or promotion is not the place to air them. In public we put on a united front. Same goes for competition. No bad mouth; we do our fighting behind the scenes.
Good beginnings. It’s a good idea to have some sort of icebreaker that makes it easy and natural for air talent to engage visitors when they arrive. This can be a prize wheel, a door prize drawing, or a fun contest in the venue. Ask your engineers to set up multiple mics with a recorder; play your fun benchmark game in person and air the audio when you go back to the studio.
How to work. Don’t stay in one spot and wait for people to come to you, move through the crowd and greet as many people as possible. Touch them, smile, thank them for listening to the station, and tell them we couldn’t do what we do without their support. Find the primary contact and thank them again for the opportunity to work with them on this event. If you’ve connected with the client via social media, send a public thank you.
Promote the event online. Get video, pictures, and audio. Before and during the event, share the details via social media. Post photos or videos during the event, encouraging listeners to attend. Stream big events on Facebook Live or YouTube. Get audio to use on the air. Take pictures of the talent with fans. Grab email addresses and send them a copy. Ask permission to share on social media.
When you leave. Be sure you have everything you came with minus the stuff you gave away.
How to work the client. When you first get to the site, immediately find your contact and tell them you’ve arrived. If the contact is the client, spend an extra minute and put some star power on her. Let her know just how much you and the radio station appreciate her support. Bring a little extra something from the station: tickets, CDs, whatever you have. It’s so easy to go that one extra step, and the impression you make can be so valuable.
Don’t let one fan monopolize your time, and should you encounter a listener with a negative attitude, don’t let that person make you lose focus. Be polite, move on, and quickly adjust. You are the General Manager, the Program Director, the Marketing Director and the CEO all rolled into one. Be sure to act like it.