In 2004, media personality, Adam Curry, and software developer, Dave Winer, are credited with the invention of podcasting. Since then, we have seen podcasts continue to grow year after year, especially with major hits like “Serial” and “This American Life.”
According to MusicOomph, there are more than 700,000 active podcasts and, last year, Apple’s podcasts alone topped 50 billion all-time downloads. With those numbers, the reach you can achieve by securing an interview opportunity for your client is tremendous.
So, how do you get a podcaster interested in featuring your client on their show? Follow these simple steps for successfully securing podcast coverage.
Research (Listen) First , Before Pitching
This goes without saying. Just like you would research anyone working in traditional media outlets, you should know who you’re pitching. Whether you’re using the podcast app’s search feature or are turning to Google, determine the category you’re looking for and pull together a list of targets that you and your client are interested in.
Once you have your target list, the best way to learn about the podcast is to listen to several episodes. They all have different formats and you should know those of the ones you’re pitching. If the podcast you want to place your client on doesn’t hold interviews with guests, don’t pitch them with an interview opportunity.
Crafting Your Podcast Pitch
Depending on the format of the show, your pitch will differ for each person you pitch. After researching and determining your approach, developing a clear and concise email with a couple of points that could be discussed is beneficial. Whether you’re pitching your client for an interview spot, to discuss an area of expertise, or maybe it’s more of an opinion piece, the most important aspect is to position your client as an expert in the space. As part of your pitch, be sure to include links to other podcast interviews, bylines articles, blog posts and other content to reinforce thought leadership.
If the show has a contact page with specific instructions on how to pitch the show, follow them. I wouldn’t recommend trying to find your way around it by finding them and reaching out to them on social media. Many times, no matter the medium, contact forms are used to help sort the opportunities and keep them organized for selection.
Most importantly, don’t lie. Never claim to be a huge fan of the show if you’re not. If you say something out of step and then pitch your client for an opportunity that’s not a fit, that podcaster could very well blacklist you from future opportunities. No matter what, honesty is always the best policy.
Time to Follow Up
Just like any other pitch, be sure to follow up with the contact of the podcast. It’s important to be on top of it, but you don’t want to be pushy either.
PR Daily spoke to Bill Banham of the HRChat podcast and said, “Podcast interviews can be booked and recorded pretty quickly but the release date is usually at least four weeks later due to our backlog of shows.”
Jim Davis of HR Works added, “Our podcast airs every other week, and we receive five or so guest requests a month. We begin talking to guests four to six months ahead of the broadcast of their episode. Much of that is due to the time it takes to book a guest, prepare questions, conduct the recording, edit the episode, post it and distribute it. Even if we rushed the whole process, it would be at least a month from start to finish.”
Don’t be afraid to ask for lead time when the contact responds – respectfully. It will save you the time it takes to follow up with them and it won’t upset them while they are working with you.
Promote Your Podcast Appearances
Once you’ve secured an opportunity with a podcast, it’s recommended that you share the episode on your website and social channels. These are simple ways to thank the podcaster for having you and further expanding the reach for your client and the show.
Further, podcasts give your client the opportunity to become more human. Sure, you can create a ton of content like bylines and secure other interviews with print publications, but there is something about audio that is personal and really allows people to showcase their personality.