In the past, it was difficult to pitch a podcast because there weren't as many podcasts. In 2021, it is easier to pitch a podcast because there are more podcasts. But should you be pitching them? This blog post will give you tips on how to start pitching podcasts and answer some questions about whether or not you should be doing so.
This blog post will give you tips on how to start pitching podcasts and answer some questions about whether or not you should be doing so.
First of all, let's talk about the differences between traditional media (print, TV) vs podcasting in 2021. Traditional media is a much more established medium with a set of long-standing, well-defined rules. Podcasting is still a relatively new medium.
In podcasting there are no defined pitching rules so you have more freedom to pitch whatever show or idea you want (within reason). The only way to get your foot in the door with a traditional media outlet would be by being introduced through someone they know or if you had a really good story to tell.
Podcasting is still in its infancy so the rules are very flexible. There's no "industry standard" for pitching, which means it can be harder to get your foot in the door with podcasts than traditional media outlets because there isn't as much competition (or established rules).
But, if you do manage to get your foot in the door with a podcasting company there are several things you should know about pitching podcasts.
- Start by making contact via email and introduce yourself. Make sure that your pitch is professional and includes all of the necessary information for them to consider it
- Start your email by telling them what show or idea you're pitching and then give a brief summary of the content
- Start with an elevator pitch about the podcast, which is like explaining it in 30 seconds to someone riding an imaginary elevator
- Include information on how often episodes will come out and topics covered. If there's any special guests scheduled let them know
- Include a short description of the show, like how many episodes are planned for total
Here's an example:
I am pitching my podcast about social media to you. It is called Social Media Start (SMS). The first episode will come out on October 18th and it will release every Saturday from that point on. In this show I interview people who have been successful in social media and ask them to share their tips.
Differences between pitching a podcast and traditional media
Unlike traditional media outlets, which generally invite guests to be on their show or who already have an intro in process for a future episode, some podcasts do not allow guest speakers.
This is because podcasts are often more one-sided and tend to focus on the host's interview style.
Podcasts also often have a set number of episodes planned for total, whereas traditional media outlets may change their episode count depending on the schedule.
If you want to get on a podcast, it is important to find a way to demonstrate clearly up front that you listen to the podcast or have an understanding of what it’s about. Start by listening to at least one episode and then, if possible, try to pitch an idea for your own show.
Tips for Pitching Podcasts: Start with a professional email that includes the following information:
- Topic of proposed podcast (include just enough so they can understand it)
- Short description of what content will be in the podcast
- Number of episodes planned for total (they may want to know this)
- Start Date and when you would like the first episode released
- Length of individual episodes in minutes or number of questions asked, if applicable. If you can't provide that information then tell them how often it will come out: weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc.
- Start with a "sales pitch" for your podcast. This is like an elevator pitch but shorter--30 seconds or less should do it! It's all about the content and why people will love it
- Include what topics you plan to cover in each episode
- Offer some different options on how you think the show could be used in that podcast's lineup
- Start by telling them what you're pitching and then give a brief summary of the content. Be sure to include information on how often episodes will come out and topics covered (like if there are any special guests scheduled).
Should You Pitch Podcasts?
Podcasts have become a dominant form of media, and you can promote your company as a guest on one. Here is the guide to tapping into this marketing channel.
In a year when many people took on side projects and new hobbies, podcasting gained traction. Nonetheless, building an audience in this way is challenging and time-consuming. Start by listening to at least one episode and then, if possible, try to pitch an idea for your own show.
Understanding the number of listeners to a particular podcast shows how many connections are made among those who listen, but currently there's no system that can show listenership in an accurate way.
Different types of podcasts:
1. In-depth or informative
A podcast that covers a specific topic in more detail, or provides an overview of the topic.
2. Interviews with experts
A podcast where someone interviews people who have been successful at what they do and ask them to share their tips.
3. Chatty/conversational podcasts:
A podcast that is more like a conversation between two people. These tend to be shorter and focus on topics related to pop culture, entertainment, lifestyle, and many other interests.
Podcasts in which the host interviews one person or group of people.
Podcasts in which the host reads a manuscript over an audio recording, usually for educational purposes.
6. News and public affairs:
A podcast that covers important events with discussion about how these events might impact listeners' lives. This is often done in the form of interviews.
7. Political talk:
Podcasts that cover politics and current events, often with a focus on what listeners can do to keep these issues at the forefront. These mostly have an agenda or opinion about how they feel listeners should act.
Podcasts that entertain listeners with humor. Usually they are unscripted and have a loose format, but some comedians will also release scripted comedy podcasts to benefit from high-quality production quality.
A podcast in which people discuss the latest songs or albums while listening to them. Often these are played by a host, but some shows have an in-studio guest or cohost who also provides their own commentary.
Podcasts that talk to children about topics they might be interested in. These may include stories, songs, interviews with people from different professions, and other material designed to be age-appropriate.
A podcast on which the host provides information about a topic, such as science or psychology.
Podcasts that tell fictional stories in an audio format. Some may have a narrator and others will be completely unscripted.
Podcasts where a single person tells stories in their own way, often over the course of several episodes. These may use sound effects and music to make them feel more like an audiobook than just someone telling a story.
Is It Worth Pitching Podcasts?
Podcasting has grown to a significant community in the past decade, with over 50% of American homes now subscribing. With hours-long time frames for listeners each week, podcast growth is worth considering for public relations professionals.
Pitching podcasts is a great public relations strategy for some companies, but it isn't right for everyone. Here are some of the ways your company can use podcasting to push its goals forward:
A. Increasing Reach
If you want to increase your company's reach during a launch or just generally talk about it with more people, podcasting can be a good option. However, know that when trying to track how many listeners your show has, you'll have an idea but won’t know the exact number.
B. Increasing Engagement
Podcasting is a great way to engage with your current customers in an intimate setting, which can be especially helpful for B-to-C brands that rely on customer loyalty. Podcasts are also perfect for any industry where the end product isn't tangible like consulting or finance services.
C. Building Relationships
Podcasting can be a great way to build relationships with other individuals or brands and create mutually beneficial partnerships. Start by reaching out to people you've been following on social media, your favorite influencer, or someone in your industry who has large followings so that they will want to come back for another interview soon.
D. Promoting Content
Podcasting is a great way to promote content, especially if your brand wants to be seen as an expert in the field. Start by creating episodes that talk about different aspects of your product or service and link back to other resources for more information.
E. Raising Your Profile
For companies focused on raising their profile, podcasting can be a great way to reach more people and promote your brand. Start by reaching out to other companies or individuals you admire so that they will want to come on your show, which is especially good for PR professionals who need influencers in their space.
F. Increasing Thought Leadership
Podcasting provides an opportunity for thought leadership that other marketing channels might not. Start by interviewing others in your industry like experts or influencers who will be a good fit for your show's format and then promote the interview on social media to generate interest.
How to Pitch Podcasts in 2021?
1. Do your research
In order to effectively create your pitch, it’s important to do your research.
Pull together a list of podcasts that would be beneficial to review and start researching which are on-topic for the genre or topic you’re pitching.
Once you have a list of podcasts, Google can provide helpful resources in finding more information about them.
For example, if you’re pitching podcasts about business and success, try typing “top ten successful podcasts” into Google to see where they rank in search results.
This will also give you an idea of the topics each podcast covers (for instance, a marketing podcast might talk more about social media than customer service) and how you can make your pitch more relevant to the podcast’s needs.
You will also need to start researching about the hosts of each show, pulling their social media feeds into your research so that you know what type of content they post on a regular basis and who may be interested in hearing from them. Start by looking for any posts they have about the topics you’re pitching and reach out to them with your pitch.
This should also let you know if this is someone that would be a good fit for what you're suggesting or not-for example, podcasts focused on feminism might not be interested in an episode about tech devices, even though it's relevant content.
If you're still not sure if someone is a good fit, just reach out to the host and ask. Chances are they'll be happy to help!
The more research you do ahead of time, the easier your pitch will be when it's needed.
2. Keep it concise
Making your pitch short and sweet is no small feat, which is why it’s time to get creative. This starts with crafting a subject line that cuts straight to the truth while including keywords that capture what you want us--the publisher--to know about your podcast episode.
Next, introduce who you are with a sentence that shows you've done your research. Start with “I’m a podcaster and I'd like to come on your show. Here's why…”
Then, make sure you explain the value that you can provide for us as hosts in just one sentence (i.e., "We want our listeners to learn more about XYZ").
Finally, include your contact information so that the podcast's host can reach out if they're interested.
3. Position your potential podcast guest as an expert
In most cases, your pitch is going to be the first time this podcast host has heard of your proposed guest.
Make it easier on the host to decide if they want to have them as a guest by including a comprehensive bio that speaks to their experience and ability.
Has this person been on podcasts or broadcast before? That’s important to mention, as it will help the podcaster decide if they’re a good fit.
If you're pitching for someone else, do your research and make sure their credentials are up-to-date--nothing's worse than thinking of an amazing guest only to find out that they've been doing this for four years!
Finally, include any links that the podcast host can click on to learn more about your guest.
4. Don’t forget to follow up
After you’ve sent your pitch, don’t stop pitching.
Many podcast hosts are busy with other tasks and may not have time to respond right away. Start following up with a few days and then once every week or two, just to make sure your pitch is still on their radar.
Receiving an email from you reminding them of what they’ve been reading can be the extra push they need to respond!
Don't forget that podcast hosts are people too - they may have been swamped with work or traveling, and those things tend to take a backseat when they're not the only responsibility in their life.
In addition to following up with them on email, follow-up by sending your pitch again through social media if you have that contact information!
Don't stop pitching until you hear from someone - even if it's a no.