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By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies
At the heart of any successful online strategy is content. But most radio stations find themselves with staffs that don’t have an abundance of time to blog. Fortunately, there are a few shortcuts for generating quality blog content. One of them is to publish written interviews. Here’s how:
1. Make a list of appropriate topic areas for your radio station.
What are your listeners interested in? Make a list. For example, if you have a rock station that targets 28-to-34-year-old men, those topics might include:
- Stand-up comedy
On the other hand, if your station targets 25-to-54-year-old women, you might be looking at a list that includes parenting, clothing, wine and cocktails, etc.
2. Brainstorm a list of influencers in the market related to these topics.
An influencer is somebody who has a following of their own. This following could be a television audience, a readership, a social media following or an email list. The hope is that if you interview them on your station’s website, they will share a link to the post with their following, and drive traffic to it. Keep in mind, influencers can be individuals or organizations.
For example, your list of influencers might include:
- The local paper’s restaurant critic
- The singer of a popular local band
- The local food and arts festival
- A local brewery
- The quarterback for the college football team
3. Using an email template, send them an invitation to be interviewed.
Reach out to these people and organizations and ask them if they would like to be interviewed for your radio station’s website. You can speed up this process by creating email templates. Depending on the email program you use, you may be able to save email templates (or install an extension that allows you to save email templates) so they can be easily used over and over again. Or, simply save the email copy in a document and copy and paste it into your emails.
I find it best to use two email templates. The first is a very short introduction. For example, it might say:
“Hello, my name is Johnny Fever from 108.8 WKRP. We love the work that you do and we’d like to highlight it in a written Q&A on our website. You can see a past example of this type of interview at wkrp.com/past-interview. If you’d be interested, please let me know and I’ll send you more details.”
If people respond to this email (not all of them will), follow up with a second email that contains five to ten questions. For example:
“Great, we’d love to feature you! Please answer the questions below. Also, please send us a headshot, a logo from your organization, a two-sentence bio, and any links you’d like us to include. Here are the questions…”
I often “overwrite” the questions and then shorten them before publishing the interview. This way, I avoid short boring answers. For example, I might email, “Tell us how you got started. Who were your early influences? When did you first know that this was what you wanted to do?” But in the published interview, I’ll shorten it to, “Tell us how you got started.”
4. Publish the interview.
When the interviewee sends answers back, paste them into a blogpost, format it correctly and publish it. Share it on social media — not just on your station’s social media accounts, but also in any relevant discussion groups. For example, if you interview the lead singer of a Detroit band, share a link in the “Detroit Musicians” Facebook group. Be sure to tag the person or organization in these posts.
Finally, email a link to the post to the interviewee and encourage them to share it on social media. (Use a third saved email template to make this easier.) Hopefully, they will share it with their following and the post will go viral.
Interviews are an easy way to generate content for your radio station’s blog. If you’d like more content ideas, check out this list of sure-fire blog topics.