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Oct 31, 2003

How to get on Public Radio's Brain Brew Radio Show

SUMMARY: No summary available.
Corie Roudebush
Brain Brew Radio

-> Listeners

The show is syndicated by Public Radio International and is broadcast on 13 stations throughout the country. It also airs on Sirius and online at Because Brain Brew is a new show (launched in April), audience data does not yet exist.

-> Roudebush's background

Actually, Roudebush doesn't have much of a background to speak of. "I'm fairly young," she admits. She majored in Communications at a small liberal arts college, then "went into politics for three years." When that wasn't fun anymore, she moved to Brain Brew Radio, where she's the only full-time employee.

But don't let Roudebush's age fool you: she may be young but she's the gatekeeper. All pitches go through her.

-> Current editorial coverage

The show strives to "help people think quicker, smarter, and more creatively," Roudebush says. It's geared toward business people and entrepreneurs. While it sounds like a live show, it is actually pre-recorded and airs weekly.

Brain Brew encompasses two very different types of interview:

#1. Entrepreneur Jump-Starts

For these interviews, hosts Doug Hall and David Wecker talk with people who want to change careers, start their own businesses, have their own businesses, or have invented something. The interviewee shares information about the business and the business "problem." Then Doug and Dave offer ideas to help improve their odds of business success.

Recent guests included a man who invented an invisible speaker system ("He's obsessive about architecture and hated seeing speakers attached to ceilings," says Roudebush) and a man who sells seaweed ("They asked who he sells to, and he said, 'To people who like seaweed.' He has over a million-dollar business.").

While this type of interview will certainly get you national exposure, it is geared to help you in your business, rather than to position you as an expert.

#2. 30-Second Gurus

"We ask people who have had extreme success in their field to break down their success in a 30-second monologue," Roudebush explains. "Then they have a 10- to 15-minute discussion with Doug and Dave."

Gurus can be successes in marketing, creative thinking, advertising -- any topic across the board that's relevant to small business owners.

Recent Gurus included Scott Bedbury (creator of Nike's "Just Do It" campaign), Sergio Zyman of Coke marketing fame, and Garfield-creator Jim Davis.

-> What Brain Brew hosts look for in radio guests

Besides looking for experts in a variety of business fields, Roudebush needs guests with two attributes:

Attribute #1: The ability to target your expertise to small business owners (the show's main listener base).

"This is the most important part, because often we get people who do not have the ability to bring (their knowledge) down to the level outside of corporate America," Roudebush says.

Attribute #2: A sense of humor

"A lot of times we get people who know their stuff but they just don't have an entertaining way of presenting it," she says. "We take our guests very seriously, but we have a good sense of humor about it."

Warning: If you do get on the show but have no personality, they won't air your interview.

-> The best way to pitch Roudebush

If you'd like to be interviewed for an Entrepreneur Jump-Start, the best way to contact Roudebush is through the Web site. Go to and fill out a short questionnaire that asks about your business and business challenge. Roudebush reviews all submissions and will contact you for more information or to set up an interview.

Most 30-Second Gurus come to the show through publicists, Roudebush says. However, that's not a necessity.

"If you have written a book, send your book, because we will always ask for copy," she says.

Include a press kit with your background information, a summary of what you'd like to talk about, and a summary of the main points of the book. (Note: the book does not have to be published by one of the biggies. "We look at everything, big publisher or small," says Roudebush.)

If you don't have a book, email Roudebush at and let her know what you're an expert in and what your 30-second spot would cover. Focus the pitch as "My advice on success in XYZ," or "The secret to success in XYZ." Include a resume.

Again, show Roudebush a glimmer of personality or sense of humor and you're more likely to win an interview.

Follow up with her after a week or two if you haven't heard back, either by phone or again by email. "Sometimes I get a little backlogged, but I will always let them know," she says.

-> Pet peeves

People calling incessantly. Show some restraint, and she'll get back to you within a couple of weeks.

-> Deadlines

No real deadlines for the show. "For the next couple of months our recording schedule is very sporadic; it all depends on Doug's travel schedule," Roudebush explains.

In a perfect world, they record every Friday from nine to noon Eastern time.

-> Tips for success if you do land an interview

Tip #1. Script your 30 seconds.

Tip #2. Be prepared to have fun.

Straight-arrow types tend to not meld with the hosts' personalities, Roudebush says.

Tip #3. No speaker phones and no cell phones. Always use a land

Tip #4. Request a do-over.

Remember that the show is pre-recorded and you have the opportunity to repeat yourself. "If they start their monologue and feel like they're tripping, they can start over. We've done that many times," says Roudebush.

Tip #5. Relax, you're not live.

There are only five people actually listening at the time of the interview. And they'll edit the conversation to take out all your "um's."
See Also:

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