You volunteer to do PR for your church, and the job includes generating publicity for–groan–the annual spaghetti supper.
A morning drive-time radio show in your community would be the perfect place to promote the event. It’s a fun show and everybody listens to it because the deejay is a real character.
But what can you say about your church spaghetti supper when it’s no different from the spaghetti suppers at the 47 other churches in your city?
Lots, says radio talk show host George McKenzie. First, do a little research. Plug "facts about spaghetti" into Google. Then start compiling a list of the most interesting things you find.
Next, call the local radio station and ask who is responsible for booking guests on the morning radio show. Call your key contact and offer to do a tongue-in-cheek segment on fun facts about spaghetti. Offer a few examples of what you’ve come up with and then, just to keep things interesting, throw in a few outlandish facts you’ve made up.
George says the pitch might sound something like this:
"You know, there are some recently discovered facts about the history of spaghetti that your listeners would probably be interested in finding out. For instance, did you know that spaghetti was originally an American product? Columbus discovered spaghetti when he came to America in the 1490s, and it was the staple of the Native Americans at the time. In fact, spaghetti grew on trees."
Imagine motorists in their cars at 7:30 a.m., listening to this and thinking to themselves, "Is this for real?"
"When you get on the air, it’s the same thing," George says. "You read your list of facts about spaghetti and you say ‘Did you know that?’
"The ‘did you know that?’ phrase is big and that’s what you’re shooting for. Any time you can get somebody to say "Gee, I didn’t know that’ or ‘That was interesting,’ you’ve caught their attention."
The kooky deejay can make the segment a hoot for listeners. And because he’s a pro, he’ll eventually ask you to mention your upcoming event that ties into the fun facts. You then tell listeners about the spaghetti supper, including the time and date and where to get tickets.
In other words, George says, "The best way to promote the dinner is to not promote it." Think of another clever angle or hook that will let the deejay really have fun. A pitch like this probably won’t work on stations in major markets. But smaller stations might welcome it.
Can you get free publicity if your company sells toothbrushes? Of course you can. At Halloween one year, a dentist George knows gave away a free toothbrush for every child who traded in their Halloween candy. Even if the kids thought the trade-in wasn’t worth it, the dentist still got free airtime on George’s station.
George knows lots of other tricks. He explains them all on the CD titled "How to Get onto Drive-time Radio Shows."