FAQs

Alex Carroll
Radio Publicity Expert
Veteran – 1,200+ Radio Interviews

1. I’ve done radio interviews before ... but nothing happened. Why?
Because you were on a bunch of little shows with little or no listenership. Trust me. I’ve “been there ... and done that.” 95% of the radio shows out there won’t “move the needle” for you. Nobody’s listening to them. And what’s worse, they “lie” about their numbers ... telling you they “reach” millions of people. Don’t listen to them. Just because their signal “reaches” a lot of people ... doesn’t mean those people are actually tuned in and LISTENING. Many internet based shows and podcasts are even worse. They’ll tell you they “reach” all kinds of ridiculous unsubstantiated audiences ... and they’ll tell you they broadcast “worldwide!” Yeah, and so does everyone who has a website. If you want to be successful being a guest on radio shows, you MUST focus on the big shows with the real, verified, substantiated, listener numbers. These are the 5% of radio shows that reach 95% of the audience ... and these are the shows that are in my database of the top 1,300+ radio shows in America. Don’t waste your time with anything else.

2. Does your program only work for authors?
My program is perfect for authors ... but you don’t have to be an author to take advantage of it. The only requirement you have to meet is to be able to have something informative, entertaining, inspiring or controversial to share with a general audience. The magic formula looks like this: Teach them something ... make them laugh ... wow them ... or get them arguing. It might surprise you to know that more than half of the guests who appear on radio shows are not authors.

3. What if all I have is an ebook? Will your program work for me?
Yes. Radio people could care less what the format of your book is ... and as you just read ... they don’t even care if you have one. What they care about is that you have something informative, entertaining, inspiring or controversial to share with their audience that will keep them tuned into their show. That’s it ... its really simple.

4. What if I’m a fiction or poetry author? Will your program work for me?
It can be a challenge. In general, fiction and poetry authors are not teaching people anything, they’re not normally comedians, they usually don’t have a “wow” story to tell ... and they’re rarely interested in wading into the “controversies of the day.” There can be exceptions ... but you must be willing to be flexible and creative. If you are able or willing to take a theme or event from your book and tie it into something current and controversial ... and talk about THAT (and not your book) then you may be able to make it work (don’t worry, you’ll still get to “plug” your book, you just can’t make the interview all about it). This can often be done with works of “historical fiction” ... because history is always repeating itself ... and a show can usually be created out of “What does what happened in the past tell us about what is happening (or what is going to happen) now?” Some fiction books are written strictly for entertainment purposes, while others are actually written to teach people something. If yours is written to teach people something, then you can focus on the “teaching people something” part and make a show pitch out of that. Just remember the magic formula: Teach them something ... make them laugh ... wow them ... or get them arguing. If you can’t do one of those ... then radio interviews are not the right medium for you.

5. What if I’m a children’s book author? Will your program work for me?
Maybe. The best strategy is to position yourself as a guest who can help parents with the raising of their kids ... and “Oh by the way ... you also wrote this children’s book.” However, the interview (and your pitch) cannot be about your children’s book ... it must be about the tips for the parents.

6. What if I have an accent and English is not my first language? Will your program work for me?
Yes (in most cases). In radio, accents are actually an advantage ... because you sound different than everyone else. This means you stand out and people listen to you more. And many people find accents to be quite enchanting. So that’s the good news. However, people do need to be able to understand what you are saying. So if your accent is REALLY heavy, or your English is REALLY bad ... then it’s probably not the best media for you.

7. I was just approached by a radio show/network trying to sell me a guest appearance. What should I do?
Run. Well, maybe not always, but usually. Because in most cases, they’re lying about their numbers. There’s basically two revenue models in radio: 1. Sell advertising 2. Sell airtime. Those stations/shows that focus on providing good content (programming) normally have lots of listeners because they have something on the air that people actually want to tune in and listen to. Those stations/shows will be selling advertising (30-60 second “spots”) ... because the advertisers are willing to pay to reach the audience that the station/show has worked hard to build. Stations/shows that don’t have very many listeners will often resort to selling airtime ... because they’re having trouble selling ads. You can buy all the “airtime” you want ... but if no one is listening ... what’s the point? Almost by default, a station/show selling guest appearances won’t have much of an audience. Because if they did, they’d be selling advertising instead.


IMPORTANT: These shows/networks will “lie” about their numbers by telling you that they “reach” millions of listeners and are “heard” in 100 cities ... or whatever. What you need to understand (as I alluded to earlier) is that in radio terminology, “reach” means that a station’s signal (their transmitter) covers an area with a certain population. It means that that station is AVAILABLE for all the people who live within that coverage area to tune into ... if they choose to. But it DOES NOT mean that those people are actually tuned in and listening!!! In fact, in most cases, practically no one is actually listening to these stations. Of the more than 10,000 radio stations in America ... at least 9,000 of them have extremely low listenership. Those 9,000 little stations have virtually no budget ... and pretty much all they do is broadcast free shows from network feeds. So when these “networks” tell you they’re heard in 100 markets (or 100 cities) or whatever, what they are really telling you is that they are heard on 100 stations that have little or no listenership. In most cases it’s best to save your money and your time and avoid these “scams.”

8. I was just approached by a radio network trying to sell me my own show. What should I do?
In most cases ... see #7 above. Again, if they’re selling airtime, they probably don’t have much of an audience ... or else they would be selling advertising. Now if you want practice, and a production team, and a “demo reel”or a bunch of your own shows for other purposes ... then perhaps it might make sense for you for those reasons. Just don’t go into it expecting to have some massive pre- existing audience just waiting for you when you hit the “airwaves.” I put “airwaves” in quotes because most of these outfits only broadcast over the internet ... not the actual radio airwaves ... and their “listener number projections” are dubious at best, and fraudulent at worst.

9. Does your program have tips on using social media to book radio interviews?
Yes it does. All social media platforms (especially Twitter and LinkedIn) provide opportunities for contacting producers and I include tips on exactly how to use them and capitalize on them in my training materials.

10. Are you a PR Firm? Will you book the radio interviews for me?
No I am not a PR firm, and no I do not book interviews for other people. I provide resources and training for those seeking to save money and do (or manage) their own PR campaigns. You can easily use my training resources to train an employee, intern, fan, family member etc., to do the bookings for you ... so all you have to do is the interviews. Many of my clients do just this, and it’s WAY cheaper than hiring a PR Firm ... and far more effective. If you’re really after a PR firm and don’t want to be involved in your campaign at all (and you have a healthy bank account) ... then I do have a couple of excellent and reasonably priced PR Firms that I refer people to. Email me for an introduction if that interests you.

11. Can I purchase just your database of top radio shows without the training materials?
Only if you can PROVE that you are in PR ... or have significant PR experience ... and therefore know exactly what you are doing already. Otherwise it would be completely irresponsible of me to sell you the just the database. That would be like me selling you a car before you’d ever taken driver’s training.

12. How up-to-date is your database of top radio shows?
I completely update it every 6 months ... and I’ve been doing so over the past 3 decades now. And when I say completely, I mean completely. I go through every single show and station and verify all online info and data on their websites/social media pages and all offline info and data (producer names, program director names, news director names etc) by calling each and every one of them directly and verifying the information over the phone. I also test each and every email address, delete the bounces and replace them with new ones as available. It’s a tedious process that takes me nearly a month each time I do it. I’ve tried to hire others to do it several times in the past ... but it’s impossible to transfer my massive knowledge base to someone else in any kind of a reasonable amount of time ... and they end up screwing things up and I’ve just found that it’s easier and faster for me to do it myself.

13. I’m not good with computers ... can I print out your database?
It’s not the greatest idea. By its very definition, a database is meant to be used on a computer. If it were printed out, it would be referred to as a directory ... not a database. My database is laid out and created in a standard spreadsheet format (columns and rows) ... and it can be used in any database or spreadsheet program (I use Excel). It is not designed to be printed out. You can try, but it will leave you frustrated. That’s because it’s very wide (with lots of data columns) and when you try to print it out ... your printer will “tile” it together. Trying to match these “tiles” up after you’ve printed them out will prove very challenging ... unless you have a big empty wall in your office that you want to tack them all up on (like a big jigsaw puzzle). You will be MUCH happier (not to mention WAY more efficient) if you take a little time to go online and watch some Excel tutorial videos on YouTube and learn the basics of how to use a spreadsheet program. It’s not hard, and it will enable you to organize the data quickly and easily, flag and sort by all the shows you want to target/follow up with, and easily keep track of (and update) all of your notes.

14. How much is your program and database?
Not dirt cheap ... but not expensive either. Watch the training video. After watching and learning exactly what is involved in the process, you’ll know whether or not this whole radio interview thing is for you ... and you’ll learn a ton in the process (it really is a training video). I do this because I don’t want people buying my program until they know what’s involved in it. If you want to move forward at that point, there’s a special one-time offer at the end of the training video. It’s a great value. Payment plans are available if you’re super- strapped for cash ... but it’s really not that big of an investment (it’s in the hundreds), especially when compared to the potential returns or what it would cost you to hire a PR Firm.

15. How much are updates to your database once I have purchased your program ... and how do I get them?
The first update is complimentary ... and you can request it any time you want. Some people have come back to me 10 years later to get their free update. Just ping me an email anytime ... and I’ll send you the latest available update. Future updates past the first freebie are $99 each time ... and if you want one ... you’ll need to email me for the link (I don’t publish it).


16. What is your international shipping policy?
All shipping charges for orders shipped outside the United States are billed at cost. This happens via a second charge to your credit card after your program has shipped and I know how much the shipping charges were. All orders to Canada are shipped UPS Ground. Orders to all other countries are shipped US Postal Service Global Priority Express Mail. Both services give us a tracking number all the way from origin to destination ... which is critical with international shipments. By the way ... even though I now spend the majority of my time in New Zealand (more details under the “About” tab if you’re interested), my orders are all shipped by my fulfillment staff in the US.

17. What is your returns policy?
30 days. Return authorization must be obtained from me via email in advance. Returns without a return authorization will not be accepted. 10% restocking fee (to cover my credit card processing fees and fulfillment charges) as well as a deduction for shipping costs. Materials must be returned in original condition.


18. Will you interview me on your radio show?
Don’t laugh ... I get this question a lot. People just don’t pay attention. Folks ... I don’t have a radio show. I’m all about being a guest on other people’s radio shows. And my resources will help you do the same.

19. Will you be a guest on my radio show?
Sure! ... if your radio show is listed in my database of top shows! It amazes me how many people, even after absorbing all of my training material, experiences and philosophy about leverage and only going after the big shows with at least 100,000 listeners (Nielsen/Arbitron verified) ... will hit me up to be a guest on their Blog Talk Radio or other internet radio show or podcast. Really?

20. Will you promote and be a guest on my tele-summit? (or similar)
So you can mine my list and make money selling transcripts/access to my content in exchange for giving me a list of people who will think I’m spamming them if I should ever email them? No thanks.

21. Can we do a joint venture where you book me on radio shows and I give you a percentage of the sales ... or a percentage of my company?
No. Please refer to FAQ #10

22. Will you promote my book to your list?
No. The majority of my 10,000+ clients are authors. If I promote your book ... then I’d have to promote everyone else’s book ... and then no one would open my emails anymore.

23. Will you promote my Amazon (or other) best-seller campaign to your list?
No. Please see FAQ #22 above.

24. I have a book/program/event/resource that I think your list would be interested in ... can we do a JV?
Only if it falls directly into one of two categories: Publicity or Book Marketing. And even then there are several other factors involved in whether or not I will say yes. If you think you might qualify, email me a proposal.

25. Do you have an affiliate program?
Yes I do. If you are interested in becoming an affiliate, please send me an email telling me a little bit about yourself and your platform/list/following/reach etc. ... and if we’re a fit, I’ll get you set up as an affiliate.

26. I have a speeding ticket question ... can you help?
In case you haven't read the "About" tab yet, the reason I've been on all the radio shows I have is because I wrote a book on how to beat speeding tickets. So I get this question a lot. The answer is no. I am not an attorney and therefore cannot give you individual legal advice on your (or anyone else's) ticket.