Aloha, I have a parenting expert, author, and frequent radio guest with us today. Brenda Nixon is also a dear friend and I'm always excited that she is on radio so often. Let's find out how she does it...
Brenda, tell us about yourself and what topics you speak on for radio and other media.
As a child behavior expert, I express my call to serve families through speaking and writing. As a speaker, CLASServices and Christian Speaker Services represent me and I coordinate several of my own engagements.
What feedback do you receive about your speaking?
Audience feedback includes comments such as, “Brenda encouraged, uplifted, affirmed, and guided with suggestions in childrearing!” and "Truly the highlight of our Parent Expo this weekend." It’s a blessing to speak at parenting and childcare conferences, schools, churches, libraries, and teacher trainings.
You have a wide breath of topics within the parenting arena. People can check that out at your website at www.brendanixon.com It helps someone be on radio more frequently to have a variety of speaking topics.
You’ve also been a quest on radio. Let us know how that has worked for you.
You may have heard me on Focus on the Family's "Weekend Magazine" radio ministry or on regional radio stations around the country. Mardie Caldwell, radio talk show host, wrote, "I wanted to thank you for being such a delightful and informative guest on my radio program, Let‚s Talk Adoption. You were charming and funny, offering helpful advice to our listeners. I appreciate how organized you were, this is a huge help in a busy studio. I look forward to having back again as a guest.”
You are quite accomplished. You also write.
Yes, I'm the author of Parenting Power in the Early Years (raising kids from birth to age five), a contributing author to 23 books including several of the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series, my articles are featured in Christian and mainstream publications around the world, and I'm a former columnist with Children's Ministry magazine and inspiredparenting.net.
Do you remember how you landed your first radio interview?
I joined my city's civic organizations and made connections with executive directors and media personnel. Through those connections, and them learning about my skills and expertise, I was asked to appear on a program and be interviewed about a parenting topic.
Did it go smoothly? Yes, it went fine. I just didn't think of the number of listeners, but focused on an intimate interview with my host. That helped me relax and keep the dialogue personal and genuine.
How often do you tend to do radio interviews now?
My goal is at least one radio interview each month. Of course, I don't always realize that goal, but it gives me a gentle nudge when I have nothing scheduled.
How much do you research before contacting a station? Whether they contact me or visa versa, I go to their website and read the program schedule, hosts' bios, and other information. Sometimes, I'll ask the producer what about the demographics so I can be certain my topic will meet the needs of most of their listeners.
What are the main methods you contact radio stations? Two ways; I laboriously search the internet for radio stations that have parenting programs or a talk-show format, or I go to colleagues' websites and see a list of their radio appearances and ask if I may contact those stations too. I've also purchased an ad in the Radio & TV Interview Report (RTIR) as a way to introduce myself and topics to different media markets.
As a self-published author what has been your experience on being a radio show guest? To date, I'm a self-published author who has had no problem proving my expertise to the media. I don't know how much easier it'd be if I was published through a royalty House, but, hopefully, I'll have that opportunity as my agent is shopping two mss even as we speak.
What are a few problems you’ve encountered on radio and how did you overcome them? Only a couple times have I had a host who wasn't a skilled interviewer. He/she stumbled over or repeated questions. In those cases, I elaborated on my answers and tried to make the interview as informative for the listener as possible. One time I was interviewed by a San Francisco shock jock who used profanity and vulgar statements. With him, I continued to answer legitimate questions and simply ignored the inappropriate ones refusing to be lowered to his style of communication. I wanted his listeners to gain something of value from the interview.
Do you talk about controversial topics? If so, what and how do you handle such issues? As a speaker/writer on parenting issues I find that discipline is always a hot topic. When asked to comment on discipline, I find that phone-lines light up or the host later receives the most email. But I don't simply express opinion or experiences as a mom, I share research and child development facts that give a valid basis for the discipline techniques I recommend.
Have you ever had a hostile host or questions? If so, what did you do? No host has ever been hostile with me. If I sense any tenseness, I use humor to defuse the atmosphere.
How have you monitored results from being interviewed? From increased emails to spikes in my amazon sales rank.
You have used a paid radio report to advertise yourself. Which on and how did it work out? The Radio & TV Interview Report (RTIR) which is a subscriber publication going out to thousands of TV and radio producers looking for experts to interview. It's pricey, but my experience was worth the investment.
Next week we will continue this interview. If you have questions you want to ask Brenda, just post them. We'll learn about Brenda's TV appearances and more.