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Sky Radio: Middle Schoolers Reading Firm Brochures

Q:  Sky Radio called, inviting us to participate.

“At first I thought it was because we are such great lawyers.

“Then I learned it was really just pay-for-play. They’ll basically ask us whatever questions we want to answer, so we can highlight our CEO, firm, or market differentiators.

“Should we do it?  Is it worth it?”

A:  I fly a lot. When my iPod dies, I listen to in-flight radio.

I’ve occasionally stumbled over the Sky Radio “business interview” segments and have heard a couple law and professional-services firms that have bought the spots.  As a marketing consultant, I thought I should listen to them, to learn in context whether they might be beneficial to any of my clients — a little market research.

My personal and professional opinion?  I felt like I was listening to two middle-school actors read aloud a badly written firm brochure, in a Q&A format:


  • Jovial interviewer: Welcome, John. So, John, tell me about Smith, Jones & Johnson, LLC. The word on the street is that you’re an outstanding firm with terrific lawyers and very satisfied clients.
  • Lawyer, all business: Well, Sam – Smith, Jones & Johnson, LLC is a national, full-service business law firm with approximately 173 lawyers in six offices across the United States that has been in business approximately 23-and-a-half years, representing the full range of clients from individuals to Fortune 500 companies. We’re really all about the clients. And the service.
  • Interviewer, oozing love and admiration:  Really?  That’s fascinating, John! You sound like an outstanding firm!
  • Lawyer, proud that interviewer noticed:  Thanks, Sam!
  • Interviewer, sincerely: You’re welcome, John!  I’ll bet your lawyers are smart, efficient, and service-oriented!
  • Lawyer, almost modestly:  Yes, we are!  Thanks for noticing, Sam!

The entire production screamed “pandering infomercial.”

I tried to listen, I really did, but I simply couldn’t force myself to sit through more than a couple minutes. It made me squirm; I was embarrassed for them.

In other words, no, I don’t really recommend it.  Here’s an interesting article in The New York Times that discusses the issue of Sky Radio and whether it should require full disclosure that this is a paid placement, rather than “news.”  


“Want a good present to give to your associates?

“I’ve got the ideal gift idea. Give them Ross Fishman’s ‘The Ultimate Law Firm Associate’s Marketing Checklist,’ a well-written, engaging and very practical guide—no, make that, bible—to show associates what they need to do to begin to build internal and external networks and eventually establish a book of business.

     (-Of Counsel magazine)

Order copies for yourself or your associates here!


Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • RIchard Erschik says:

    I did it. And while the ROI wasn’t in the on-board broadcasts, it certainly was in the duplication of the file and replay on my website and in every other promo I did. Certainly adds credibility while few know it’s pay to play. Jus sayin.

  • Ross Fishman says:

    Interesting, Richard. I’m glad you feel that you received value for your efforts.

    My opinion is that with a bit more work, Sky Radio could make these work better. I suspect that sophisticated listeners would recognize the pandering, pay-to-play tone of these segments and discount them.

    If they tried to make them more educational and less promotional, i.e. if they toned down the gushing and focused it on providing some real value to the listeners, the participating company could look better, and still having a nice promotional piece on the back end.

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