As the pandemic continues to stretch on, radio stations are trying to find the proper balance between addressing it without deviating it from their usual programming. One way forward is to shine a spotlight on local businesses and artists in their time of need by publishing interviews with them on your website. Here's how you can do it:
1. Identify the people or organizations in the community that you want to highlight.
Decide who you want to interview based on the image and audience of your radio station. Do you want to profile local business owners, front-line workers, or artists and entertainers? A Hot AC station whose audience includes a lot of parents may chose to focus on educators, while an Alternative Rock station may want to interview local bands, bartenders, and stand-up comics.
2. Draw up a list of potential interviewees.
Get several people in the station to help you brainstorm a list of people to approach for interviews. The best interviewees are those who are finding interesting ways to adapt to the pandemic.
How long a list you will need depends on how often you intend to publish interviews. It's usually best to start slow — say, once a week — and then increase the frequency if you are able to.
3. Send emails inviting these people to be interviewed for the website.
The initial outreach email should be short:
“Hello, my name is Johnny Fever from 108.8 WKRP. We're fans of what you do and would love to spread the word 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.”
(You can save a lot of time by creating an email template so you don't have to type the same thing over and over. Do a quick Google search to see if your email program supports templates.)
If people respond — and not all of them will — follow up with an email that contains the questions. Don't forget to ask for a headshot, logo, photos, short bio, website link, and any other supporting materials that you might want to include in your post.
4. Edit and publish the interview.
Once your interviewees sends back the answer, paste them into a blogpost and format it. Don't forget to optimize the post for search engines. Over time, search engines can be a significant source of website traffic, and interviews like these may show up in the results.
5. Share the interview.
Share the interview on social media. When you do, be sure to tag the subject of the interview, along with anybody else who is mentioned in it. This will encourage them to share it with their own followers. Also, email the interviewee with a link to the published interview and ask them to share it on social media. Finally, use your airwaves! Encourage your DJs to mention the interviews.
Under normal circumstances, interviews like these are a great way to create content that drives traffic to your station's website. During the pandemic, they provide the bonus benefit of enabling you to support people and organizations in your community.