Wave Resources

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Tips on Arranging Your Interview

Our experience shows that with a little confidence, creativity, and energy anyone can set up an interview. Radio Wave is an resource to help you to get to know the radio stations in your area and the people who keep them running. With a bit of luck and perseverance, this could be your opportunity to increase your group’s radio profile in the future!

Here are a few steps to make that happen:

1. Identify the radio stations and programs you want involved:

The first step to getting an interview arranged is figuring out who you want to target. Survey a few of your friends if you aren’t sure which radio stations might be interested in “joining the wave” or generally interested in discussing climate change and song. What kind of programs or stations might be interested?

  • World music programs
  • Political/ Talk show programs
  • Commercial stations that do community announcements
  • Community stations
  • Public Radio stations
  • Independent Podcasts
  • Friends of yours involved in radio or podcasts!

Now make a list of all of the stations, programs, and/ or podcasts that you plan to contact and then it’s time to get friendly with a search engine or local phone directory. Use the internet or directory to search for the stations/shows you are targeting, with the goal of getting contact information for each one.

Who do you want to talk to? If its a larger show, look for the email and phone number of a “producer” or sometimes the DJs provide their contact details, while on smaller shows you might have a general email with the name of the show and no number, or it might even have the contact information of the host of the program. Preferably you want to just contact one person by name, rather than emailing everyone separately. When you have these contact details, add them to your list of target shows, and you are ready for the next step!

2. Start making connections to your list of shows:

The next step is figuring out if you or one of your friends have a connection to the local station you are interested in, or if you are going to introduce yourself from scratch. If a member of your group knows someone who works at your target station, have that member make contact with them. If not, now is the time to start building a relationship!

A few days before you actually want them to do the interview, start by sending a short email to each contact introducing yourself and briefly letting them know why this song and interview are worth 5 minutes of their time. At the bottom of the email, make sure to include your contact info (and you can include a link to the song for them to listen to).

3. Follow Up!

Email requests are like raindrops – the folks you are contacting probably get hundreds of them. So it is really important to follow up with a phone call. Phone calls personalize your request. Use the pitch calling guide to have a short chat with the person to make a strong request that they air the song, and to ask if they might be interested in hearing more about how local folks are organizing to stop the climate crisis (which they can hear about by interviewing you either in studio or by phoning you).

As the song is your ‘hook’ to getting an interview, remember before your call to listen to the song a few times and read about the musicians involved, as the radio person may ask you questions about the song. In addition, some stations may think that the song is not a ‘musical fit’ for the music they usually play. If this is the case, don’t push the song, but do let them know that you’re available to talk with them about local climate efforts and how this links to climate change and the global climate movement.

4. Pitch Calling Guide:

Remember to keep it short – your contact is likely busy, so try to keep your whole call to under three minutes. Also, be friendly! Being pushy won’t make them any more likely to be interested. And if they are not available when you first call, schedule a time that suits them to chat later.

Hello! Is ______ available?

Hi! My name is _________________ ________________ (FIRST and LAST) and I am a (climate change organizer, volunteer, etc.) with __________ (group name).

I’m calling about a new song made by internationally known artists from Africa, the US and EU as part of a global radio campaign. Do you have a minute or are you on deadline?

(If on deadline, set up a time to call back; if not, continue!)

Did you see the email I sent you?

IF YES: Great!

IF NO: I’ll send you one after this call and I’ll check if I’ve got your correct email. (Continue with below, but confirm email after you pitch them)

I thought you might be interested in this because _____ (you often cover community events… I heard you talking about climate on your show… You play a lot of world music and I think you’ll love this song… ).

This new song, called “People Power”, tells the truth about how hard climate change is affecting Africa and our world, and it also reminds people of what we can achieve by working together.

Here in _____(city/area), we have been organizing in response to all the crazy weather that has been happening as a result of climate change. This is also part of a worldwide campaign called Radio Wave, that is using the song to draw attention to climate change and the climate movement through radio internationally.

We think the listeners to your show would be really interested in hearing this song, and as it’s free, you can play it as much as you want. Plus, if you are curious to hear about what local people are doing to solve the climate crisis, we’d be happy to do a short interview with you over the phone or in studio.

IF YES or MAYBE: Great! When would work for you? (Get details of time of interview, and whether or not it will be in studio or via a phone call)

IF NO: Do you want a chance to listen to the song and then let us know if you want to play it or talk with us? Alternative: Is there someone else you think would be interested at _______ (name of their radio station)?

(If they did not get your email) Please can you give me your email address so that I can send you the song with additional details.

Thanks so much for your time!

Friends’ help needed! After you do your first call to the station, it is often useful to get your friends to call / email / text the same station to push for the song to be played and to show there’s a lot of interest in it. This pressure from ‘listeners’ is often very useful to get a station to play the song (and to interview you!).

5. Practice for the interview!

If you manage to get them to agree to an interview – woohoo! It really helps to prepare beforehand and builds your confidence. Here are some tips for practicing:

  • Role play at least 8 times with some friends to give you constructive feedback and for you to practice speaking smoothly and slowly.
  • Keep your answers/responses short, as you’ll be cut off if you speak for too long. That’s why it’s important to be clear on what the most important messages are you wish to communicate.
  • If you have the chance, very briefly mention why you are motivated to serve your community by tackling climate change. Personal stories give color and emotion, which touches people more than facts do. For example, “As a young person, I worry about our increasingly materialistic and destructive lifestyles, so it’s important to me to help remake our communities in a more sustainable and harmonious way.”
  • If you don’t know the answer, just say so. Don’t guess – it’s better to be honest.
  • Pivot – if the question they ask you is irrelevant to your story and message, pivot it! That means that you move away from the question with a connecting word and then answer with your own message.

Below you’ll find a sample script to adapt and talking points to assist you have a great interview!

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Sample script for actual interview

To help with your planning for your interview, here is a sample script for you to adapt and use.

Remember when given the chance to introduce yourself clearly and give the name of your group.

State the challenge:

Climate change affects us all – artists, farmers, mothers, ______ (add examples of the members of your community).

This year, throughout the world, we all have experienced crazy weather caused by climate change, such as __________ (insert local, regional example relevant to your city, country, region). This is caused by polluting our skies with greenhouse gases from activities such as coal-fired power stations, the emissions from vehicles’ exhaust pipes from burning petrol/gasoline, deforestation, _________ (add examples that are relevant to your city/country/region).

Give people hope for solving the crisis:

But the positive is that since humans created this problem by burning fossil fuels like coal and oil, we also have the power to solve this problem.

And in ___________ (your city, area or country), we have shown that we have the _____________ (communal value, such as courage, creativity, compassion) to face up to this climate change crisis, as demonstrated in _________________ (a past event/happening in your community where this value was displayed when people worked together to overcome a problem – even if the problem was not related to climate change).

What you ask listeners to do:

Based on your group and what you’re involved in, what you ask of listeners will vary. Here are some ideas:

We are hoping this song will inspire the listeners to want to get involved in helping to solve the climate crisis. They can do this by…

  • Joining our group on facebook at …… to learn about local events you can participate in
  • Signing up on 350.org’s mailing list to learn how you can help turn things around and solve the climate crisis.
  • Join us for this event we’re planning on _____________ (date, time, venue, and what event aims to achieve)

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Talking Points

Climate Crisis:

The climate crisis is a reality already being felt around the world. Drought in the horn of Africa, floods in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Thailand, and massive hurricanes and cyclones hitting the United States, the Philippines and Mexico. These are just a few examples of how climate change is affecting us today.

What is Radio Waves?

Initiated before the United Nations climate change conference in Durban, South Africa in 2011, Radio Wave is a grassroots campaign spreading a climate song by African, U.S. and E.U. musicians called “People Power”, and create a ‘wave’ of radio interviews on airwaves around the world to inspire and motivate listeners all over the planet to take action on climate change.

Why bring focus on Africa?

Africa is the continent that is most vulnerable to climate change because it is the hottest of our continents, so any increase in temperature from global warming causes havoc fast in Africa. In addition, Africa already faces huge challenges in regards to poverty, lack of infrastructure, water scarcity, and diseases such as malaria. The injustice is that Africa has contributed the least to causing climate change.

But there is a climate movement in Africa! It is still small but it’s growing fast, and includes youth, elders, organisations, faith communities, and volunteers from all walks of life. These people are creating climate theatre shows, organising soccer and boxing matches to raise climate awareness, planting countless trees, lobbying for bicycling lanes in their cities, building solar radios, and pushing their governments on better climate policies. We are calling on others to join us in standing with these creative and courageous Africans to help solve the climate crisis.

Why a climate song?

African, U.S. and E.U musicians have created a new song, titled “People Power,” that both tells the truth about how hard climate change is affecting Africa and calls us to action — to use people power to turn our world around and create a brighter future for everyone.

What does the number 350 stand for?

The number 350 is the most important number in the world because leading scientists say that 350 parts per million is the safest upper limit of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Above this limit, our planet runs the risk of runaway climate change. The current level of carbon dioxide is 390 parts per million, which is why we are already experiencing climate instability

What is the 350 movement about?

350 is a unifying global target because if we reduce our carbon dioxide emissions to come back down to 350 parts per million, this will mean the survival for all communities around the world. But this is not an easy target to achieve because we are up against the invested interests of powerful, rich fossil fuel companies that are lobbying governments to fiddle while our planet burns. To challenge this, we need a people power movement, and that’s what 350.org is helping to grow.

What do we need to do?

We need to grow even bigger and braver though to stand up against the powerful interests that are pillaging our atmosphere and paralyzing the climate politics. These are challenging and exciting times: we have the opportunity to turn around our planet’s dangerous direction, and to insist of our governments that together we can build a decent, inclusive society while respecting the real limits of our atmosphere and natural world.

What steps can people take now?

Visit 350.org to download the free song, share it with your friends, and sign up to join the movement to help solve the climate crisis.

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