This is part two in our podcasting series. If you haven’t read Podcasting 101, we suggest starting there before diving into this lesson on podcast targets.
Nail the pitch
At this point, you should be well on your way to developing a robust list of podcast targets for your client. Before you begin any outreach, I recommend developing a detailed bio for your client that touches on their current role, explains why they’re a relevant and compelling authority to speak to the particular topic, and highlights any pertinent past speaking engagements. Podcast hosts like to know their guests will be polished and engaging. If your client maintains a Sessionize profile or similar page that lists past and upcoming speaking roles, sharing this in the pitch can demonstrate their experience and expertise on the topic.
When it comes to pitching podcast producers and hosts, I like to use a subject line such as, “New Guest for [insert podcast name here]?” or “Podcast topic idea: [insert catchy podcast topic here].” As with journalist pitches, I always encourage A/B testing a few different subject lines to see what resonates with a particular show or host.
For the body of the email pitch, I like to mention the proposed guest’s name and credentials in the first or second sentence of the pitch. When it comes to suggesting a podcast guest, the subject matter expert’s experience is considerably more important when compared with positioning them to share more details about a new product announcement for a journalist.
I like to close my pitches with more details about why my client would make for a great guest on their podcast. This is a perfect place to insert links to relevant speaking engagements. You might also consider closing your pitch with a few alternate topic ideas for the podcast to consider, in case the primary topic you’re proposing doesn’t capture their interest or is too similar to something already in their program pipeline. With this advice in mind, you should be ready to start pitching your podcast targets!
Prep the client
Your work has paid off and you’ve secured interest in having your client join one of your podcast targets as a guest. Nice work! But now your client is asking you how they should prepare for the interview. My recommendation is to start by asking the producer or host if they’d like to schedule a prep call. Not every show will want to speak with the guest in advance, as some prefer the natural flow that comes with not sounding overly rehearsed. However, most will welcome – perhaps even request – a prep session to discuss the topic, interview flow, requirements for the recording, etc.
When it comes to preparing clients for podcast interviews, detailed background briefing documents are more important than ever. First, come to grips with the fact that it’s going to take more time and effort than your typical interview briefing book to do it right. Rather than just scanning a dozen recent or relevant articles from a reporter, you’re going to need to listen to numerous episodes to understand the interview and episode flow, the types of questions the host(s) like to ask, what interview interactions are like, and so on.
To that end, I usually include as much detail as I can find on the hosts to include in a podcast interview briefing document. In particular, I will look for any shared interests that can serve as icebreakers to start the interview. Has the host previously discussed any topics to which your client can relate or expand upon? Did the host share any photos or details about recent vacation spots on social media? Maybe they live in or grew up near a location that your client once lived. Any shared affinities, sports team rivalries, or other similar types of details that you can dig up are significantly more important for a podcast interview than a traditional journalist interview.
Share the episode
So, you’ve found the perfect podcast for your client. You went above and beyond in preparing them for the interview, and the absolutely nailed it. Congrats! But to ensure your client gets the biggest bang for the buck out of that podcast episode, your work as a PR pro isn’t done yet. While we all like to share client coverage on social media – and many clients will do the same on their corporate channels – podcast hosts love it when we promote their podcasts. Don’t skip this step! When you’re preparing to alert your client that the podcast has published, provide them with a few sample social posts they can use to share across their channels (and maybe consider doing the same for your agency colleagues as well).
The number of podcasts and episodes continues to grow each year, providing new opportunities to expand your clients’ PR program and extend their brands. If you’re a PR pro interested in learning more about how to secure podcast interviews for your clients, then be sure to check out this blog post from our Senior Program Executive, Danielle Capers, on five best practices for leveraging podcasts in your PR strategy. If you’re a brand looking to create a podcast outreach program or perhaps need help launching one of your own, contact Voxus or visit our website to start a conversation.