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Publicity and Public Relations
Wesley Chapel, Florida
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How to Market Your Book or Product on Radio & TV Without Buying Advertising Time!

You may think the only way to get TV and radio exposure is to buy advertising. That’s simply not true. An even better and more effective means of promotion is appearing as a guest on TV and radio talk shows.
Written Jul 25, 2011, read 2607 times since then.


Here’s the situation. You have a great product or service and YOU know it. But just like the “better mousetrap,” it doesn’t mean a thing unless your market knows it too. TV and radio are great avenues for promoting to the masses. They are dynamic media allowing consumers to visualize and hear you enlighten them (the way only you can) to the great value of your offering.

But you may think the only way to get TV and radio exposure is to buy advertising time, which can be very cost prohibitive. And that’s simply not true. An even better and more effective means of promotion is appearing as a guest on TV and radio talk shows.

What you may not realize is that TV and radio talk shows are always looking to interview quality experts who will help them entertain and inform their audiences. Regardless of the product you’d like to promote, with the correct PR strategy you can land these priceless interviews, and when you do, it’s pure marketing gold!

Why are these interviews so valuable? You see, when you or your spokesperson is on the air, you’re on as part of a regular show with a host the audience has come to trust. By interviewing you, the host is giving an implicit endorsement so the listeners believe you – they’re hearing about you from their trusted friend. And they tell their own audience in turn.

If you think your product isn’t interesting enough for TV and radio interviews, in and of itself, you’re probably right. But keep in mind you won’t be invited as a guest to deliver a commercial. You’ll be there as an expert to discuss an important issue which of course your product provides a solution to.

Let me share an example…

We had a client who was CEO of a life insurance agency. Now, I don’t think it will offend anyone if I say that life insurance is a pretty boring topic. An angle was needed that would generate interest from the media so they would have him on as a guest.

We created a very effective headline for our pitch: “Can You Afford to Survive without Your Spouse?”  The interview focus was about the need for spouses and children to be protected financially after the death of the family breadwinner. In effect, it became a human interest story instead of a boring interview with an insurance salesman.

The CEO appeared on numerous radio shows, as well as on local and national TV shows, speaking to the vital issue of financial security for women and families. The result? The highest number of new leads the company had ever experienced, for any type of promotion.

We’ve had similar success arranging interviews for clients promoting everything from anti-fungal liquid to a book on ridding your home of termites!

The reason we’re so successful in arranging media for most any product is that we understand the formula needed to gain the media’s attention and interest in our clients.

Two crucial points we keep in mind when approaching the media:

  1. We never pitch the client – we pitch the issue on which he/she is an expert. (And you ARE an expert – have you read my book, “Celebritize Yourself”?)
  2. We never pitch the client’s product – we talk instead about the problem the product addresses and how it ties in as a solution.

No matter what it is you’re promoting, publicity is a valuable marketing tool you should make use of. The possibilities are endless, so get creative!

Publicity and Public Relations 
Wesley Chapel, Florida 
Marsha Friedman

Marsha Friedman is a 20-year PR veteran and the CEO of EMSI Public Relations ( a firm providing PR services to corporations, entertainers, authors and professional firms.

Learn more about the author, Marsha Friedman.

Comment on this article

  • Inspirationalist / Motivational Speaker / Aflac Acct Mgr 
Fernandina Beach, Florida 
Mark Combs
    Posted by Mark Combs, Fernandina Beach, Florida | Jul 26, 2011

    Some great ideas. Thank You!

    I'm working diligently in an effort to complete my first book. Writing comes easy. Self-Promotion seems most difficult. Thanks for the insight.

  • Publicity and Public Relations 
Wesley Chapel, Florida 
Marsha Friedman
    Posted by Marsha Friedman, Wesley Chapel, Florida | Jul 27, 2011

    Hi Mark,

    I am glad that you enjoyed it and I hope it was helpful! Thank you for chiming in and welcome to my network. BTW, do you get my newsletter on PR tips? If you'd like, you can subscribe at :)


  • Director, Sales & Marketing 
Littleton, Colorado 
Mark Walker
    Posted by Mark Walker, Littleton, Colorado | Jul 28, 2011

    As with ALL promotion and sales gigs- uncover a problem and present a solution and you will generally be successful. Nice work, and good tips!

  • President / Digital Media Marketing Strategist / Webmaster 
Midlothian, Virginia 
Travis Yates
    Posted by Travis Yates, Midlothian, Virginia | Jul 28, 2011

    Marsha, I just happened to catch your post by accident. I like what you have to say. I've found sometimes its difficult to think out of the box when it comes to yourself. As a marketer and writer I always knew it to be an advantageous avenue, but your spin on the example of the insurance agent was sheer genius. As in most markets, its in the list of who you know though that makes it work. Your contacts from doing it for so many years far out weigh someone trying to do it on their own with limited contact lists of key decision makers regardless of the spin. Doing it on your own takes hours and hours of time just trying to find the right person to talk to, let alone getting them to say yes. So, for me, I'd like to contact you in the future once I have less projects looming. Once I'm ready, I don't want to waste time tying to reinvent the wheel or build a bridge when there is already one standing there; assuming the costs are reasonable.

    (And no, I have never met Marsha before in my life, but I know a sharp arrow when I see it).

  •   Educational Cognitive  Psychology Consultant/ Learning Disability /ADHD Strategy COACH / Calgary  Reading Tutor  ***Doing my BEST is the least I  can Do !!  
Calgary, Alberta Canada 
Dr.  Brenda E. Abbey
    Posted by Dr. Brenda E. Abbey, Calgary, Alberta Canada | Jul 28, 2011

    Hi Marsha , Thank you for the suggestions in your helpful article. I like the idea of promoting talk about an issue or problem { in my private practice - helping develop new methods for Trauma - Informed Practice with children} , then approaching the media by presenting ways my expertise and Equine - Assisted Therapy program can be seen as helping by contributing ideas to solve the problem.

  • Interior Designer & Coach 
Kirkland, Washington 
Nancy Meadows
    Posted by Nancy Meadows, Kirkland, Washington | Jul 28, 2011

    Thank you, Marsha. Your info, as always, is spot on. Why is it so hard for us to do these things? That must be why you have the business that you do. We need to know what you share if we are to experience the successful businesses we all work so hard for. Each of us is an expert in our field, but few of us are P.R. experts!

  • Creative consultant and mentor 
Vancouver, British Columbia Canada 
Lewis Evans
    Posted by Lewis Evans, Vancouver, British Columbia Canada | Jul 28, 2011

    Excellent article, Marsha. It's so true that people are interested in benefits and expertise - not products per se.

  • Publicity and Public Relations 
Wesley Chapel, Florida 
Marsha Friedman
    Posted by Marsha Friedman, Wesley Chapel, Florida | Jul 29, 2011

    Hi Travis, thanks so much! I'll look forward to hearing from you when you're ready! :)

    For the rest of you, I'm so glad you enjoyed the article! It's been part of our secret sauce for success.

    Marsha :)

  • Business Etiquette Consultant, Speaker, Trainer and Columnist 
Seattle, Washington 
Arden Clise
    Posted by Arden Clise, Seattle, Washington | Jul 30, 2011

    Great post Marsha. I like how you explained not to pitch your service/product but the solution it provides. I just had the honor of being on TV show New Day Northwest for a second time talking about social media etiquette. It does give you credibility.

    I've been on several radio shows and have actually gotten a client or two from it. So, it can work.

  • Publicity and Public Relations 
Wesley Chapel, Florida 
Marsha Friedman
    Posted by Marsha Friedman, Wesley Chapel, Florida | Aug 05, 2011

    Hi Arden, That's great about your success, getting on radio and TV. And, thanks so much for chiming in.

    Have a great weekend! :)