Thoughts on books, publicity, and the media from our Cave Henricks staff.

Media interview series: Five Questions with Bill Frank, host of KVTA-AM’s “The Bill Frank Radio Show”

Bill Frank, Host of "The Bill Frank Radio Show"

We had the pleasure of speaking with Bill Frank for this week’s installment of the “Five Questions With…”  media interview series. Bill is the host of “The Bill Frank Radio Show,” airing on KVTA-AM out of Ventura County, CA.

Here is what Bill had to say about working with publicists and what he looks for in guest suggestions.

1. What is your biggest publicist pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is pitching by telephone. I dislike it when a publicist calls me up to make a pitch. This is particularly irksome when the publicist has sent me a book and is following up on whether I received it or not and if I’d like to host the author. My preferred method is email so I can handle it in my own time. If a publicist sends me a book and follows up by email, I will almost always respond by email, even if my answer is no.

2. What gets your attention in a pitch?
Several things: a) the publicist must know I interview guests in business, entertainment (typically celebrities), politics, sports, technology and California issues. If a publicist pitches me a novel, I’m already bored b) the pitch must appeal to the business, economic commerce aspect of whatever is being pitched c) the publicist must be confident that his/her guest will be able to speak to more than the talking points of his/her book.

3. What causes you to pull a book out of the stack?
I pull a book out of the stack for the following reasons (and typically in the following order): a) the book cover art catches my eye (simple, powerful graphics generally interest me) b) the book title is intriguing. Often times it’s the book’s subtitle that grabs my attention more than the title c) the back cover. I read the bullet points of why the book is considered important. I also look to see who is recommending the book (although I’m mildly skeptical of endorsers because I know they can be “for hire” d) I look on Amazon for a more detailed description, video and reader ratings. I read the reader comments, generally ignoring the 5-star ratings and focusing on the 3-star and 2-star ratings to see what people think of the book.

4. In considering guests for your show, what do you look for?
I look for guests who are glib, seasoned radio guests, guests who understand the constraints of a radio interview (commercials, traffic, etc.) and someone who is prepared and willing to tackle questions typically not asked by mainstream interviewers. My guests have to be willing to defend their theses.

5. What is the best business book you have read lately?

Coolidge by Amity Shales. Considered a biography, I’m reading it because it’s instructive on how a president can manage a budget in a thoughtful way.