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How to pitch to the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show

By Lisa Goldsberry

Don’t leave 8 million potential customers waiting

tom-joyner-morning-showSome come for the music. Many stay for the comedy. All are enlightened by the insightful commentary, special guest interviews and educational segments. If you are successful in pitching to the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show, its more than eight million listeners could also be learning about your company or clients.

Axia Public Relations recently hosted a webinar with the show’s senior producer, Nikki Woods, who shared advice and insider knowledge on how to craft a more winning pitch to improve your chances of getting your company or client in the ears of the show’s eight million daily listeners. Here are some of the highlights:

About the program

  • A theme of the show is “Party with a Purpose,” meaning that listeners have an enjoyable experience while discovering new information and helping their communities.

  • Although the audience is mostly African-American women aged 40-60, with a target of younger listeners aged 30-54, people of all races and ages tune in to the show.

  • The show airs in more than 100 cities.

  • The connected website receives one million views each week.

  • The show has been popular since 1994, garnering more than eight million listeners every day.

  • Special segments include Money Mondays with Melody Hobson, and Get Well Wednesdays.

  • The show focuses on entertainment, national news, sports, relationships and finance, and includes lots of opportunities for interviews and calls for expertise.

Pitching the producers

With a specific audience profile, Nikki explained that show producers are typically not interested in receiving the types of pitches you could send to every other news outlet. To increase your likelihood of catching their attention, your pitch to the Tom Joyner Morning Show should:

  1. Arrive through email – no faxes or snail mail

  2. Pitch the correct person at the show

  3. Have a great subject line that explains why she should open your email

  4. Include social media information for your company or client

  5. Quickly describe why the show’s specific listeners will benefit

Poor example: I am promoting a book on new findings in health care.


Good example: I have written a book which addresses new risk factors for heart disease and I can discuss how this issue affects women in general and African-Americans in particular.


During the webinar, Nikki stressed that the companies and clients who effectively demonstrate how they can lend value to her audience and who show passion for their fields are the ones more likely to get on the air and even be invited back in the future. Also, anyone booked for the show must be able to speak confidently on the air and be prepared to have a little fun with the host. She added that pitches for stories or experts that don’t make it onto the show may still have an opportunity to be featured on the show’s website, which includes blogs and videos.


After the pitch

Another important part of this informative webinar was a series of helpful tips from Nikki on what companies should do after the pitch, whether or not they are chosen for on-air appearances. Among some of the more surprising bits of advice were:

  • It can take time between when you send your pitch and when/if you are booked for the show – sometimes more than a month – so be patient and don’t give up.

  • Follow up with a purpose. For instance, don’t just say, “Did you receive my email?” Instead, have a reason to follow up, such as an upcoming commemorative event, like Skin Care Awareness Week, with an explanation of how you can provide helpful information about it to the show’s specific audience.

  • She does not mind if you ask why your pitch was rejected.

At Axia Public Relations, we understand the importance of learning from the experts and advancing PR strategies to maximize your promotion and publicity goals. We periodically host webinars to connect you with professionals who can provide counsel and guidance to increase your return on investment for PR efforts.


View the webinar with the Tom Joyner Morning Show’s senior producer, Nikki Woods. We have more webinars to help you pitch to media outlets as well.


– Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business, higher education and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter at @axiapr.

Topics: public relations, PR tips

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