In B2B PR, we’re always looking for ways to promote client stories, often through interviews with members of their senior leadership team. Podcasts are naturally part of that mix; they’re a great way to secure thought leadership opportunities, and they’re growing in popularity. In 2022, the number of monthly U.S. podcast listeners will increase by 6.1% year-over-year (YoY) to 125 million.
Broadcast is still a popular platform for reaching PR goals, but lately podcasting has even edged out TV, in part due to the advantages they offer. Podcasts typically offer the luxury of time; leaders have anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to share information, usually in a relaxed, informal setting. Podcasts also offer the opportunity to connect to a specific target audience, engaging listeners who are interested in relevant business or cultural topics.
There are many popular podcasts for businesses, including “How I Built This,” “Snacks Daily,” The New York Times’ “The Daily, and NPR’s “Up First” to name a few. But not every entrepreneur is a fit for “How I Built This,” so consider alternatives. There’s no shortage of options; in fact there are over 2 million of them worldwide. For example, we have many marketing and adtech clients, so we like “DemandGen CXO Conversations,” “AdExchanger Talks,” “The Sales Evangelist,” “Accelerate With Andy Paul” or “Marketing Over Coffee.”
So how can PR teams secure podcast opportunities for their brands? The secret is in the pitch.
Do your research
When creating a list of prospective podcasts for business executives, be on the lookout for two things – an audience that matches your demographic and a podcast theme that makes sense for the business.
Then, make sure the podcast aligns with your spokesperson. For example, if you’re promoting a B2B sales enablement tool, you’ll want to focus on sales podcasts and not marketing shows. And it’s okay to think horizontally. For example if the founder of the brand you’re pitching has an interesting story or point of view, you can target entrepreneur podcasts like “This Week in Startups” or “The Entrepreneur Way.”
Another idea is to search by location. If your brand is focused on a specific region, that background may carry more weight with a podcast from the same area than with a national or international podcast where people don’t have access to the product or service.
It’s also important to search where your competitors have been featured. If the podcast host invited them to their show, your brand should be of interest too. Just make sure to stand out with a new perspective in your podcast pitch.
Tailor the outreach
Make it clear why you’re emailing. In the subject line, begin with “Podcast Guest Pitch” then include keywords to describe your topic.
To make your pitch stand out, make sure you know the podcast first. Listen to a few episodes to get a feel for the themes, see who they’ve interviewed previously, learn the types of questions asked, and study the host’s interview style. Consider your client’s personality, too. If they’re new to podcast appearances, you may want to start with lighter, more casual podcasts versus serious ones.
In your pitch include a compelling story that will keep listeners engaged and tuned in. Explain your client’s expertise, experience, and personality and share specific examples of the information they can provide.
Include 5-10 potential topics for the podcast interview in your pitch as this provides the host the option to decide on a topic, making it easier for your client to prepare.
Position your executive as an expert
Doing the work to guide the podcast host toward accepting your guest can mean all the difference between your pitch being accepted or rejected.
Make it easier on the host by including a robust bio that speaks to this person’s experience and ability. Links to your guest’s website, LinkedIn and Twitter also offer a better understanding of how they might interview. If your spokesperson has appeared on broadcast or spoken on a podcast before, include links to relevant press hits to help your client’s credibility.
Finally, make sure your spokesperson is prepared. Confirm they have a quiet space for the interview and a proper microphone for better sound quality. Prepare a briefing document with background information on the podcast and host, links to previous interviews, a list of potential questions and messaging to help the spokesperson get ready. Set up a call a few days before the interview to walk through the questions and get them talking about the subject matter. This way they’ll feel comfortable on the day of the interview.
Pitching podcasts requires both patience and professional persistence as it’s really all about timing. Just because you may not have received a response after following up doesn’t mean it’s a “no.” Keep that idea handy, update it later, and send your pitch again when the time is right. Remember, there are plenty of podcasts out there to consider so just move on to the next contact!