Democratic, instant and often controversial, talkback radio is highly influential. Big business and government pay thousands of dollars to have monitoring companies scan the talkback sessions looking for the mood of the electorate.
If you've got an opinion on an issue, or disagree/agree with something you heard on the radio, read in the newspaper or saw on the TV, let other people now. Pick up the phone.
In Tasmania, the most regular statewide talkback session is on local ABC radio with Leon Compton on the Statewide Mornings show. Talkback is usually between 9am and 10am each morning, although sometimes calls are taken earlier.
The Morning Show usually has particular topics he encourages people to call in about. If you want to talk about something else, try to work out how your issue fits in with the day's topic.
TALKBACK ONLY: 1300 222 936.
Calls to ABC talkback numbers will usually be charged at a local call rate. However, actual costs may vary depending on your carrier and location and may be higher if you're calling from a mobile phone or a pay phone. You should check with your telecommunications provider for the exact cost.
SMS: 0438 922 936
Standard SMS/MMS costs apply. Please contact your service provider for details on charges from your phone.
Have the numbers ready. Store them in your mobile and home phones.
Listen to the show to determine the hot topic of the day. Decide what you want to say.
Jot down some brief notes to help you when you're on air. It's better not to read out what you've written word-for-word, as this doesn't sound natural on the radio. Just have a few dot points to remind you.
If you are calling from a work phone, or someone else's phone. consider blocking caller ID before you call the radio station.
Call the number and say briefly what you want to talk about. If you have something that is particularly relevant to the current discussion, let them know. Your personal connection will make it more likely you will be put on air.
If you're calling from a mobile phone and don't want to be put on hold, tell the station as soon as you ring. They will either put you on air straight away, or take your number and call you back.
When on hold make sure your radio is switched off and listen to the show via your phone, otherwise your call will be affected by feedback.
When you're on the air:
Remember your mission—to convince, to educate, to lobby—to convert the unconverted.
Be concise and get straight to the point. Remember this isn't a normal conversation so the usual rules don't apply. A quick "Hello Tim" and then get straight into it. Don't waffle. You'll probably have 60 seconds maximum.
Keep it simple. Always assume that listeners don't know as much about an issue as you do.
Make it constructive. Don't just make a wise crack or let off steam - that won't change anyone's mind. Tell a compelling first-hand story. Give a statistic (but make sure it's accurate). Give out information (website, phone number, meeting place) so interested listeners can take action.
Be polite. Passion is great but anger comes across poorly on air no matter how right you are. Don't insult the presenter, politicians, or other callers. And don't swear!
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