Radio Stuff: How to get booked on the radio (or TV)

22 Aug

cute little girl listenerIt was October of 1998. I was two years out of college, two weeks out of a destructive relationship, and bound and determined to change the course of my life.

I loaded up my car, turned south on I 35, and drove.

Destination: Dallas, TX

Objective: Job in radio

My plan of attack was simple – paper the town with my resume, get my tape (yes, it was a tape) in the hands of every program director I could find, and get my foot in the door.

By nothing short of a miracle, a program director gave me a shot, and sixteen years later, here I am, co-hosting mornings on 90.9 KCBI with Jeff Taylor.

While staying firmly planted in radio, I am embarking on something new. In the next few weeks my first book, Holy Jellybeans: Finding God in Everyday Things, will complete its metamorphosis. That which started as whisper, a grain of an idea that would not let me sleep, becomes something tangible I can share.

If you are an author or aspire to be one, you know exactly what I mean.

Suddenly, I find myself in an interesting position. I am on the other side of the fence. I am looking through the lens of an unknown author, and because of that, am seeing things in an entirely new way.

If you are an author or aspire to be one, you will nod your head in agreement when I say the publishing world has changed. Gone are the days (unless you are a proven bestseller) of huge advancement checks. Major marketing campaigns? Sorry. Familiarize yourself with concepts like platform, selling-strategy, and promotional push. And by the way, all of that is on you, the author.

Publishers are less interested in writers who can write and more interested in writers who can sell. Connections are everything. Networking is essential. If you have a message you believe in, you have to find a way to get it out there.

Radio stations provide a great platform.

Hi, my name is Rebecca. I work at a radio station, and I can help you.

For the last sixteen years I have sat behind both a microphone and a computer, striving daily to simultaneously encourage, entertain, and Bible nerdinform you. The microphone is how I interact with my extended friends and family – the listeners. The computer is how I schedule guests.

Many times I book through a publicist, but guess what? Most of the time I don’t.

So you have a book, a message, a product. You have something to say, but how do you get people to listen?

Can I offer you some insight? I have interviewed all kinds of people for all kinds of things. And there are things you can do that will help you get booked on radio and TV. Interested? Read on, but before you do, I want you to keep something in mind. I have worked at two different kinds of radio stations: news/talk and music. The tips I am offering are best suited to get noticed by a morning-show on a music-intensive station, but don’t discount them if your goal is Focus on the Family. I have also produced a three-hour-long talk show, and most of these tidbits apply.

Okay, are you ready to get going? Let’s do it! (more…)

Melissa’s Pen ~ Storm of the Century

30 Jul

meI am thrilled to announce the latest addition to the LSS Ministries team! Melissa Fairchild joins us (Rebecca Carrell, founder, and Anne Shannon, Director of Marketing and Outreach) as the Senior Editor. A proud grad of the University of North Texas, Melissa is a technical writer/copy editor with Texas Instruments who blogs in her spare time. She is also the proud mama of Gavin, Stephanie, and Katie Lynn.

Storm of the Century

I am neither a good Bible scholar nor an effective teacher. I am a mom, a writer, a coffee-enthusiast, an editor, and an encourager. Words are my tool of choice.

My journey probably looks much different than yours, but we have at least one thing in common—we have each weathered a storm. Several dreamstimefree_26288years ago I was hit with what felt like a hurricane. This was the kind that required more than a few house repairs. It called for a complete re-build.

This storm came in the form of a “Job” year—I lost my grandmother, my husband, my marriage, my home, my car, my freedom, my dignity, my ministry, and my job all in the space of twelve months. It was not my fault, at least not to begin with. (I injected my own faults along the way.) It was not fair. It really was NOT fair.

Really-not-fair turned into a few years of why-do-I-bother-always-doing-right? I pouted. I sinned. I stewed. I online-dated. I punched the air. I became depressed.

Sensible Rock Builders vs. Foolish Dirt Builders

Jesus tells a well-known parable in Matthew 7 about one devastating storm, two types of foundation, and two types of people: sensible rock builders and foolish dirt builders. The terms sensible and foolish refer to acts of obedience rather than intellect. Jesus says, “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock.”[i]

When I came to the end of me, I found myself looking down at a pile of dirt. I had heard of God. I had been a “Christian” since I was eight. I knew Jesus Christ died to pay for my sins. I was still standing in a dirt pile.

What happened? Well for one thing, in the aftermath of the storm, everything was me-, my-, and mine-oriented. My dad, who has been a preacher for over 40 years, says: “You need to take yourself off the throne of your life and put God back in his rightful place.” I desperately needed to live from a different point-of-view. I needed to shift my focus off myself and on to God.

But wasn’t God supposed to save me when these kinds of storms hit? I had done everything right, yet I still had lost everything. (more…)

Shaunna Jennings McNatt, 1975 – 2014

8 Jul

ShaunnaSweet friend,

I remember the first time I met you. Cancer had already inserted itself into your life, yet you never broke your stride. You fearlessly forged ahead, taking on more projects and responsibilities than most “healthy” people I know.

I remember the first time we went to lunch. You admitted you faced periods of utter exhaustion and uncertainty, but for the sake of your children you never let it show. You always seemed upbeat, positive, and concerned about the wellbeing of others.

What a privilege to know you. I will hold every moment we shared forever in my heart. The only thing bigger than the void you have left is your legacy. The only comfort to be found is in the certainty of this – you are snug in the arms of your Savior.

You will be sorely missed until I see you again in glory. May this poem bring the rest of us peace as we wait to be reunited with you and all of our loved ones.

In sadness and blessed hope,

Rebecca

From Jesus to Us: Death, From Heaven’s Perspective

It’s time to set your burdens down;

Exchange your pain for a crown.

Your work is done, your toil through…

The angels are awaiting you…

Those who’ve gone before in death, are waiting now with baited breath.

Death is not the end you see, you’ve only just begun.

You’ve kept the faith, you’ve fought the fight, your battle now is won.

It’s time to gather your reward, your treasure now awaits;

Leave this world of tears and strife, and enter through my gates.

Pain cannot exist here; not darkness, only light –

Your body is eternal, your robes are sparkling white…

A mansion has been built for you; your treasure will not rust;

Leave your earthly tent down here, and let it turn to dust.

Yes, you’re leaving some behind, and they will mourn and grieve;

Trust Me that I’m with them too, and to them I will cleave.

It’s time to follow Me now child, but this is not the end.

It’s time to enter into to rest.  Well done, My faithful friend.

Funeral Services for Shaunna: (more…)

Today’s Bread ~ The Model Plane

10 Jun

Genesis 5:1 – This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. ~NASB

photo (2)I looked down at the pile of screws, nuts, and round things, and sighed. A model airplane kit for his seventh birthday. This can’t be for a seven year old, I thought to myself, and looked at the box. Yep, ages 7+.

“Nick, are you sure you don’t want to wait until Daddy is done working on his car?”

A pair of big, beautiful, woeful brown eyes looked up at me. The brows furrowed and the lip quivered, but it didn’t matter. The eyes were my undoing.

“Okay sweetie, hand Mommy the directions.”

The two of us sat side-by-side, Nick in his element, me nowhere near mine. My son already had the first few pieces we needed; now it was time to build.

Slowly, methodically, we turned screws and attached round things. Proud of our work, I held it up and said, “Look Nick, we did it!”

An engineer in the making, Nick looked at the picture and looked at…whatever it was I had made. “Mommy,” he wailed, “you did it backwards!”

Backwards, indeed. Undo screws and round things. Start over from scratch.

At that moment my husband, fixer of all things big and small, walked in to check our progress.

“Okay Nick, I need a round thing, a square thing, and a little screw. No, not that one. The big square thing.”

“That’s also called a bolt,” he said cheerfully, as he strode to our work-space. “Here buddy, let me take a look.” (more…)

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