Pitching Podcasts: PR Tips For Success

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!

Top Entrepreneur Podcasts PR Agencies Should Know

In the last ten years or so, podcasts have shot up in popularity, especially for PR agencies. Podcasts about entrepreneurism in particular can be a strong way for top executives and thought leaders to share their success stories and advice for budding business-builders. Every business leader has a strategy to share, and there’s a story behind nearly every company, young or old. 

Here at Crenshaw, we represent high-growth tech businesses, so these types of business are extremely useful. The entrepreneurial podcast space can be powerful. They are easy resources for listeners to reference as they are starting their own company or need inspiration on what they can do to propel an idea into a successful business.

In the past, we’ve recommended top retail podcasts PR pros should know for clients in relevant sectors. Here are six of the top entrepreneur podcasts for PR teams who want to secure meaningful  interviews in the podcast industry.  

Entrepreneurs on Fire

The award-winning podcast hosted by John Lee Dumas has over 3,000 episodes where he talks with successful founders and picks apart their entrepreneurial stories in a unique way. Episodes are released almost daily, aimed to inspire and educate would-be entrepreneurs. This is a strong choice for anyone looking for some inspiration to enhance their business or kick off an entrepreneurial journey. At the end of each episode, John asks his guests to share key takeaways for his listeners to use in their entrepreneurial journeys.

Recent Guests: Kevin Moran & Matt Lombardi (Founders of Beam, wellness company), Chad Willardson (Founder & President of Pacific Capital, wealth management firm), Cary Jack (Founder & author of The Happy Hustle podcast)

How I Built This 

“How I Built This” is a weekly podcast that offers insights about the most successful people in the world, with a focus on marketing and business. It’s a great listen for those who love hearing motivational stories from highly successful founders about the ups and downs of building a new business. The host, Guy Raz, uses an “everyman” persona to ask his guests the hard questions to understand what it takes for entrepreneurs to succeed. Plus, “How I Built This” features attention-grabbing openers with terrific theme music. It’s an upbeat way to start the day.

Recent Guests: Alejandro Velez & Nikhil Arora (Co-Founders of Back To The Roots, organic gardening company), Don Katz (Founder of Audible), Christina Tosi (Founder of Milk Bar)

This Week in StartUps

Hosted by angel investor Jason Calacanis, This Week in Startups focuses on the tech industry. Jason talks with some of the world’s greatest founders, innovators, operators and investors for in-depth conversations about their business journeys. This is the ideal podcast for those looking to start their own company, seeking strategies on how to improve their business or who just want to stay on top of tech industry and startup news. Calanis also explains to his listeners how angel investing works and how he builds his companies. Listeners will get inspiration from others’ success stories and gain helpful tips on how to keep their startup thriving. 

Recent Guests: David Bennahum (CEO of Ready Games, gaming app), Aaron Wright (Co-Founder of OpenLaw, blockchain-based protocol for legal agreements), Ryan Engle (Founder & CEO of Golf Scope, AR app)


Mixergy is a podcast that brings interviews with some big names, but mostly interviews with lesser-known companies. Given that host Andrew Warner interviews lesser-known founders and entrepreneurs, the stories are fresh and typically haven’t been heard before. Warner gives listeners a deeper insight into the successes and failures of some of the greatest thought-leaders today. The goal is to provide tips and strategies on how to succeed and face challenges that may arise when starting a business. 

Recent Guests: Craig Hewitt (Founder of Castos podcast and analytics), Sahil Lavingia (Author of The Minimalist Entrepreneur, How Great Founders Do More with Less), Kenny Schumacher (Founder of Delesign) 

Master of Scale

Hosted by co-founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, Master of Scale sets out to describe and prove theories that explain how some of the best entrepreneurs succeed. Hoffman and his guests talk about entrepreneurship, leadership, strategy, management and more. Guests share the stories and strategies that helped them grow their startups into well-known successful brands. Along with the success stories, guests share the failures and hardships they have faced as well and what they did to overcome them.

Recent Guests: Eric Schmidt (Former CEO of Google), Beth Ford (CEO of Land O’Lakes), John Foley (CEO of Peloton)

The Tim Ferriss Show

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the top-rated Business podcasts on Apple. In his episodes, Tim gets the inside scoop from world-class entrepreneurs on their strategies and tactics. This is an educational resource for budding entrepreneurs to listen to as they will hear real and raw conversations about succeeding. The podcast offers business tips, book recommendations, lifestyle hacks and fascinating exchanges. Tim gives his guest scenarios where things go awry and asks them how they, as an entrepreneur, would successfully get themselves out of that situation.

Recent Guests: David Blaine (Magician), Marco Canora (chef, restaurateur and television personality), Debbie Millman (Author, Designer, Host of Design Matters podcast)

Top Retail Podcasts PR Pros Should Know

For retail companies, podcasts have become increasingly popular over the past couple of years. Many have made their way into PR plans, and for good reason  They’re a great way to showcase an executive or industry expert’s knowledge and expertise on the ins and outs of the retail industry at a challenging time. 

But with so many different podcasts out there, it can be tough to pin down which should be considered. It’s the job of the PR team to sift through the variety of shows to assess which are most worth a business executive’s time. 

With that in mind, here are five retail podcasts to check out and consider for retail companies who want to amp up their podcast footprint.

Total Retail Talks

Produced by the well-regarded retail publication Total Retail, the podcast is hosted by Joe Keenan and targeted to executives who crave the knowledge and insights necessary to stay afloat in the busy, ever-changing retail industry. It consists of topical interviews and chats with a wide variety of guests. Listeners will absorb too-notch information and practical advice from retail experts, influencers and leaders. 

Recent Guests: Alexander Sienkiewicz (CMO, SwimOutlet), James Brohamer (Director of Omnichannel Marketing, Purple), Jessica Herrin (CEO & Founder, Stella & Dot)

Retail Gets Real

Retail Gets Real is a weekly podcast from the National Retail Federation (NRF) that showcases authentic, insightful chats with some of the most interesting and important people in the industry. Each week, retail executives, industry experts, entrepreneurs, influencers and more come on the show to discuss current trends, their personal stories and what the future holds for the retail industry. 

Recent Guests: Amanda Hesser (CEO & Co-Founder, Food 52) and Merrill Stubbs (President & Co-Founder, Food 52), Sharon Leite (CEO, The Vitamin Shoppe), Amy Vener (Head of Retail Strategy, Pinterest)

The Jason & Scot Show

Hosted by industry vets Jason Goldberg (Chief Commerce Strategy Officer at Publicis) and Scot Wingo (CEO of GetSpiffy and Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor), this weekly podcast focuses on the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing and its most prominent trends. Episodes include interviews with retail and e-commerce leaders, deep dives into key topics, as well as any timely news. 

Recent Guests: Nick Huzar (CEO, OfferUp), Juozas Kaziukenas (Founder and CEO, Marketplace Pulse), Kasey Lobaugh (Principal & Chief Retail Innovation Officer, Deloitte)

The Modern Retail Podcast

The Modern Retail Podcast is hosted by Digiday Managing Director of Editorial Products Shareen Pathak. Each week, it features an interview with an entrepreneur or executive in the retail or DTC space. There have been more than 100 episodes of the show so far, and it’s a favorite for those looking to hear insightful commentary from some of the brightest names in the industry. 

Recent Guests: Stuart Landesberg (CEO, Grove Collaborative), Franklin Isacson (Co-Founder, Coefficient Capital), Nick Ling (Co-Founder, Pattern)

Retail Focus Podcast

The Retail Focus podcast takes a close look at the world of retail as a whole. Everything from the latest trends to new businesses developments to more general, historical perspectives are covered each week. Podcast episodes include news summaries, interviews and a look into what’s on the horizon for the retail industry. 

Recent Guests: Karl Haller (Consumer Center of Competency, IBM), Meghann Martindale (Global Head of Retail Research, CBRE), Paul Cohen (National Sales Director, CREXi)

A Journalist’s POV: 3 Questions From A PR Team

Like many in the PR world, I am an unabashed podcast junkie. The best of the genre provide in-depth looks at a range of people or ideas, and they often include the extra interview questions that you just don’t get on traditional radio shows. Podcasts can spark ideas that are just irresistible to the PR profession. One of my personal favorites is The Sporkful food podcast at WNYC Studios, and its thoughtful and witty host, Dan Pashman (who also hosts the Cooking Channel show “You’re Eating It Wrong.”)

Reliably entertaining whether discussing something scientific or just loving on favorite foods, (I’m a sucker for his bagel musings) The Sporkful is a must-listen. In our Q & A with him below, Dan, who also happens to do his own PR, gave us his no-holds-barred perspective on how PR pros can improve their relationships with producers.

Q: Do you find that PR people understand how to work well with a podcast producer and what would you say are the differences between “pitching ” an interview on a traditional radio broadcast vs a podcast? 

A: I find that most PR people don’t know how to work with any kind of producer. I think the main difference with podcasts vs. radio is that podcasts are more niche. They are more specific in what they cover. So you really, really have to know what a podcast covers and specializes in before you pitch them if you want to have success. I do a food podcast, but there are whole parts of the food world and food-related topics that I have no interest in and never cover. I often get sprayed with food pitches from people who have clearly never listened to a single episode of The Sporkful.

Q: How often do you work with PR reps and what is an example of a good experience you have had?
Here Dan was kind enough to compliment Crenshaw and another agency whom he cited as consistently opting for “quality over quantity.” Dan continued to say that he finds most PR people lazy, but qualified this by saying they rely too heavily on compiling huge media lists and sending mass email pitches so they can tell their client, “I pitched you to this place and that place!”

A: Sending a mass email is not a pitch. I never send the exact same pitch to two people. You’re better off sending 10 individual, personalized pitches that are custom tailored to the specific recipients than you are sending one mass email to 1,000 people. You’ll get about the same number of hits and you’ll build good will and a strong contact base. I always read the emails I get from my trusted PR sources because they know what I do and they only email me when they have a good idea that could really fit. We don’t always go for it, but I always read the email and consider it. (And to be clear, I can easily tell the difference between a person who spent 30 seconds scanning my website so they could reference something specific I’ve done and someone who actually listens.)

Q: What advice would you have for someone who wanted to start a podcast, perhaps one about PR? 

A: There are a couple of specific PR podcasts but they tend to be very “Inside Baseball,” it might be interesting for someone to produce one that was more fun and appealed to a broad audience by telling some PR secrets or pulling back the curtain on some interesting stories –that the layperson would have no clue – were PR-generated. PR is so much about presenting a certain image or idea to the world, I think people who are really immersed in PR can become so accustomed to communicating with a certain filter. I’d love to hear PR people talking without that filter. Anyone up for the challenge?