GFP017: How to prepare for a media interview with John Suscovich of FoodCyclist Farm New Milford, CT

Getting exposure from the press can be either a good thing or a bad thing. I'm not talking about being caught out for a scandal or something like that, I am talking about being unprepared for that media exposure. Disregarding any bad press you might receive, and I hope that you never have cause to receive any, I want focus on how you can make the most out of the good media exposure.

I have gotten good press across the country. On radio, television, and various forms of print. The honest fact is, it is not that hard. Sure, there is some luck and skill involved with getting your name to appear in the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, I'll save that blog post for when I have accomplished that feat myself. I am talking about local news.

Local newspapers and local television stations want to print an upbeat story every now and again. Since you are a farmer selling locally, this is the media outlet you want to hit. After all, you are selling to the locals.

In this farm podcast I go over what you should do before you approach the press with a story. Below I detail a few ways I have found success getting local press across the country.

Right click to download the MP3

In this farm podcast you will learn:

  • It is never too late or too early to "grow bolder"
  • Three things to keep in mind when preparing for a media interview (in particular radio)
  • How to think when you are behind the microphone
  • Some strategies for better articulation
  • Creating a sales funnel and why it is necessary

Interview with Me, John Suscovich on the Growing Bolder Radio Show

A few years ago the producers at Growing Bolder contacted me after I had some other press appearances. Given the tone of the show I was excited to be a guest. The hosts Marc Middleton and Bill Schafer are top-knotch interviewers and I really enjoy their show.

I especially wanted to share this interview and highlight Growing Bolder because I feel like their program and project hit at the heart of why a lot of us get into farming. We are adventurous, courageous, and at times down-right crazy. Friends and family might judge, society might stick it's chin up, but at the end of the day we love what we do. We are farmers, and we are bolder!

I always enjoy talking with Marc and Bill. If you have a good story to tell I am sure they would be happy to have you on the show. If nothing else, I recommend listening in on a few shows if you have the time.

Items mentioned in this farm podcast include:

chicken farm-6759

How to get the media to talk to you in the first place:

One word, confidence.

Everyone has some kind of interesting story in their life. Especially if you are a farmer now-a-days. I am guessing that you are if you are reading this. There are as many possibilities as their are farms. Whether the farm has been in your family for 200 years and you are restoring the old buildings, or you just got out of college and you are going to live in a tent and work land that someone let you squat on for free, there are all types of stories out there, you just have to have confidence that your story is a good one.

When I approach media I have a purpose in mind. A problem that needs solving. No matter what media outlet you decide to pursue, they are always going to put their spin and their flare on it, just accept that. Their flare aside, know what you want to get out of the situation.

My Example

This winter I was searching for farm land, as you know if you have listened to all of the episodes. I also just launched the podcast. I wanted to find farmland in my area, and get exposure for the podcast. I found a template for a one page press release online (here's a link to random one) and wrote my one page story.

My problem: young farmer needs land

Interesting hook: young farmer starts his own radio show

The newspaper had a way to help me with publishing an article. Not only did it help me, but because of the article many people got in touch with me, and got in touch with the paper with solutions.

I sent my press release out to two or three area newspapers, and low and behold the biggest paper in my State was the one to get back to me. They sent a reporter to my house, we spoke for two hours. They sent a photographer as well. Within a week I was the front page story with a lot of color photos.

In the past I used "problems" like raising money for a worthy charity, with an interesting hook of riding a bike across the country.

The return on investment.

I got several leads on land (which I now am using) and I developed a relationship with a reporter at the paper. Brynn if you're reading this you are an incredibly talented writer and thank you for the article. I also got some CSA customers out of the article, not a bad side effect.

Don't Forget!

I am always looking for people to interview. I haven't had problems finding people yet, but I really want to highlight my listeners if I can. Please get in touch and we will schedule a time to talk. Thanks!

Take Aways:

Do you know your farm business enough to describe it in one sentence?

Are you confident "behind the microphone"?

What would getting on the local radio station do for your farm business?


My skills are ever-evolving as an interviewer. Thanks for taking the time to listen in, and let me know what you think. You can leave a comment below, send me an e-mail, reach me on Facebook or Twitter, or leave a 5 star rating in iTunes if you liked the show.