Our “Five Questions With…” media interview series continues this week with Bill Moller, host of his own radio show on WGN-AM in Chicago. Known as “The Voice of Chicago,” WGN Radio is one of the largest news and talk stations in the Midwest. During his weekend slot, Bill focuses on a variety of topics with an emphasis on business, and is often open to authors of new books. He has a broad range of business interests, with regular features on entrepreneurship, tech, and investing, and his non-business interests are eclectic – everything from the architecture of skyscrapers to dealing with grief and loss.
Bill was kind enough to share a few thoughts about working with publicists and booking guests for his radio program.
1. What’s your biggest publicist pet peeve?
Not knowing the show or the person being pitched, resulting in scores of inappropriate pitches and raising the ire of the people with whom you most want to have a good relationship. This comes from thinking that doing your job means getting your client in front as many eyes as possible rather than just the most appropriate eyes.
2. What gets your attention in a pitch?
I pay attention when someone is writing specifically to me and not sending out a fax-blast generic message. That gets my attention but to hold it I want to see the hook (one designed to excite me and appeal to my audience) followed by a handful of bullets that the guest would discuss.
3. What causes you to pull a book out of the stack?
If the title (subject matter) or the author has particular appeal to me…and my audience.
4. What does it take for you to book someone on WGN? Any particular must-haves regarding topics or the author’s background? Any deal breakers?
A must-have-not is another self-help book of tips (“the four things to do to become a millionaire”). The author has to be a genuine expert and also have some connection to Chicago. Her/his appearance cannot be self-serving or self-promotional. The topic has to have broad appeal and be original.
5. What’s the best business book you’ve read lately?
I’m afraid I get so many, I don’t read them for pleasure.