Booking Spaced Out Radio Guests Ain’t Easy, Especially For Paranormal Guests

By Dave Scott, Host, Spaced Out Radio
When it comes to booking guests, let me tell you, booking isn’t easy.  Along with hosting and producing the show, I also book my own guests where I try to stay at least four to eight weeks booked in advance.  It’s easier for me than trying to struggle to find guests say a week to ten days before.  OCD has its privileges sometimes, and when it comes to booking guests, it’s a powerful tool in the arsenal.  Each month, I will send out approximately 50 to 100 emails and messages on Twitter or Facebook to try and find different guests for the show.  Yes, we have our regulars per month that ease the tension a bit, but there’s still approximately 22 to 24 days we have to book solid.  Trying to find different stories, messages and tales can be difficult.
Lord knows we try to bring up a mix of topics, but sometimes we always seem to find our way back to some of the same old, same old, especially UFOs.  Why?  Sometimes it’s not by choice.  I really do try to mix it up, and get some different topics to break the rhythm of everything.  Sometimes we’re successful.  Sometimes, we’re not.  And sometimes, scheduling gets conflicted.  Other times, we are also dealing with ego, and people who are aloof to the importance of the commitment of their time to our show.
One of the topics I would love to cover more of is the paranormal.  But you can only hear the same ghost stories from the same locations so much.  I’m tired of Gettysburg or Waverley Hills.  I’m tired of trying to interview weekend warriors who claim their are conducting scientific study of the paranormal, when it’s only obvious they haven’t conducted a scientific experiment since high school.  People using opinion as scientific fact is a real trigger for me as well.  Then you get those who have no knowledge of what we do, and then right before they’re about to come on the show, change the course of what’s going to happen during the interview.
I just had this happen the other day.  So a few weeks ago, I was approached by a person and another representative about coming on Spaced Out Radio for an interview about a new television show that’s been picked up by a network.  I said sure, and of course, why wouldn’t I?  Now I’m not going to mention this person’s name, because that does no good.  This is a person, to be honest, I’ve never heard of until recently, and so I let this person know the length of the show, how we do things.  I always remind guests we are a live radio show, and not a podcast that has less than 100 listeners.  I always explain that we do not pre-record interviews.  We are always live, and the interviews for our format are two and a half hours long, including commercial breaks at the top and bottom of the hour.  Easy right?  Especially when you’re pretty up front with what you’re doing.
So every Wednesday, I send out an email called a ‘Confirmation Email’ reminding the guest about their up-coming appearance on Spaced Out Radio, and what we need to make it a successful show.  This was sent to this person’s publicist who understood the commitment.  This was after the publicist and I had exchanged emails a couple times confirming the date of the interview.  Take us to this past Friday, where the publicist decides to contact me asking if we can cut the interview down by 90 minutes to two hours since her client doesn’t want to do the interview for that long, and was hoping to cut it back to just 30 or 60 minutes.  I said no.  I said we value our audience’s time.  And if her client didn’t want to market his name, brand and new show to our audience of approximately 177,000 people a night, then that was up to him.  Here’s the funny part.  The publicist then stated that he had a flight that he had to catch and couldn’t do longer than his allotted time.
So I thought about this.  It stewed on me. I felt the ‘screw you’ from this person.  I’ve interviewed millionaires, billionaires, athletes, television stars, musicians, authors, and everyone in between over my years as a journalist.  And for some reason, this picked my hide.  It’s because I knew he wasn’t cancelling because of sickness or an emergency.  He was cancelling out of ego.  So I sent this over.
I’m sorry, but I’m going to vent here a second.
You know the funny part about this, with (your client), is I was approached by him, and someone else to come on Spaced Out Radio.  He’s known from the onset about this show.  He’s known the show was 2.5 hours.  He’s known the date as we’ve been very professional and up front about this.  And now, a few days before show date, he says he’s only available for 30 minutes to an hour?  Oh and now he has a flight?  I’ve been a journalist and broadcaster for a long time.  I’ve dealt with more ego than you know, in covering sports like the NHL, NBA, MLB, PGA, and I know what’s happened here.  Well I have a pretty good assumption.
I’m not trying to be a jerk here. Far from it, because after looking at your website, I can tell that you are a professional agency who tries to do what’s best for your client, whom, by the way, I’d never heard of until I was approached by (your client) and colleagues of his.  I have a pretty good grasp of what’s going on, as I’m building Spaced Out Radio to be top notch as well, and so far, we are starting to succeed.
I can pretty much say that I usually have a long thread, and I’m not looking to burn a bridge here, but I’m not interested in interviewing (your client) at any time on Spaced Out Radio.  I’m standing up for our hard work with SOR, and the audience that deserves commitment from guests.  This is a very typical ‘paranormal’ move.
If you have any other clients that will hold to their commitments, then please let me know.  But I will not be pursuing an interview with (your client) any longer.  For the sake of my audience, I’m no longer interested.
Appreciate your time.
Thank you,
Dave Scott,
Host, Spaced Out Radio
Here’s the thing.  Out of all the guests I’ve had troubles with trying to book, 90% of the time it always seems to be paranormal groups.  Either they don’t return email, or after agreeing to the interview, they try to change the perimeters of the interview.  Or, sometimes, they no show.  This is rare when it happens but it has.  When you’re in my position, to make the show run smoothly, you count on people’s words and their commitments.  It’s frustrating when that doesn’t happen.   Sometimes you can’t control it, like say if someone has an emergency.  But for the most part, it’s ego and aloof attitude that surrounds the paranormal, especially, that makes me shy away from taking part in ghostly interviews.
Now where this changes is if someone is recommended to me.  For instance, there have been a number of guests that David Weatherly has recommended us to interview, and they’ve all turned out fantastic.  The best part about being a veteran show host now is that when someone of say David’s or John Tenney’s stature recommends someone to me, I know two things: 1) That person is going to be good people.  2) They’re going to be great on air.  It makes life a little easier going in.
So, if you’re involved in the paranormal, and you’re trying to build your brand and your name in the field, show up for interviews.  Be interesting.  Make your commitments.  It puts a bad taste in people’s mouths when you no show or try to dictate how the interview is going to go and for how long.  You may get your way with certain shows, but the ones who draw a larger audience aren’t going to pay attention to you.  Most of us are already once bitten, twice shy.  Show up and do the interview!

Author: Gail Hodson Shirk

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