Do you want to learn how to pitch podcasts so you can increase visibility and offer valuable insight?
Maybe even have a fun conversation about a topic you’re passionate about?
If podcasts are in your marketing plan for 2023, you’re on to something.
According to BuzzSprout, podcasts aren’t going away any time soon, with current estimates projecting an increase from 79.5 million to 100 million listeners in 2024 in the U.S. alone.
And while listenership is growing, so is ad revenue. The same article reports that podcast ad revenue is projected to exceed $2 billion by 2023, which means advertisers are seeing a return on their investment with their target audience.
With so many podcasts sprouting up and so many listeners eagerly tuning in, podcasts continue to be a viable way to market yourself in 2023, but it will take a standout pitch to cut through the inbox and make it on the shows.
In this post, I’ll share how to pitch podcasts so that you can leverage your appearances to support your business goals.
Let’s get into the details.
Want to Pitch a Podcast? Become a Fan First
Before you write your pitch, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the podcast. As a former lifestyle reporter, I received many pitches for stories that had nothing to do with my beat; it annoyed me.
So before you write your pitch, listen to at least 3-5 episodes of the podcast, or even better, pitch podcasts that you listen to often and appreciate.
When you listen, note what the host is really excited or passionate about. Listen to the questions they ask or the perspectives they share so you can tailor your pitch to them.
You’ll stand out from the pack when you use this information to write a tailored pitch, including specific details about the podcast and the episodes.
How to Pitch Podcasts – The Subject Line
Over the last two decades, I’ve written hundreds of pitches to journalists — cold pitches to people I didn’t know at all, and warm pitches to contacts with which I had relationships.
The constant for all pitches is to grasp the reader’s attention with the subject line and hook/introduction. The subject line is important because it will stand out in the inbox as A) relevant and B) interesting, especially to those who don’t recognize your name.
Your subject line should pique curiosity, solve a need, or offer something engaging or exclusive.
Here’s an example.
Let’s say you’re pitching a podcast host who recently mentioned they’d love to speak to someone with expertise on a certain topic. In the subject line, you could write: “[subject matter] expert available to talk about [specific thing they mentioned].”
By phrasing it that way, you’ve established:
- you’re an engaged listener
- you’re answering their call for an expert
- you’re making their life easier by offering up a guest
Now, let’s say it’s a cold pitch. In this case, I’d recommend a subject line that makes a statement or offers an interesting point.
For example, let’s say you have a qualified opinion on the Twitter or Meta layoffs of November 2022. You could send a podcast producer or a show host an email with the subject line: “Meta and Facebook -two drastically different approaches to laying off employees”
In this subject line, you establish that you have a strong opinion on a timely topic that can be delved into or spark a lively conversation.
As we move into the next section — the hook or the introduction — you’ll see how you can use the research I mentioned above to hold their attention.
The Hook or Introduction
When I started in public relations and marketing twenty years ago (arghhhh!), one of my first bosses taught me a golden rule I follow to this day: treat the media like a paying client.
Given that most media people have less job stability, work with fewer resources and deal with more public scrutiny and pressure than ever, you have the opportunity to become a trusted contact who they can rely on for good segment ideas and professionalism.
So, in the hook or introduction, I recommend demonstrating your appreciation and familiarity with their work by writing 3-5 sentences about a recent episode, a book they’ve written, or another relevant point.
Don’t make the mistake of templating this part because it’ll be obvious and suggest that you don’t really value their time. It may even harm your success of pitching them again in the future.
After you write a thoughtful, specific introduction, you’ll launch into the body of your pitch which is up next.
Want your own copy of warm and cold podcast pitch templates? Click here and I’ll send them to you. You’ll also receive bi-weekly emails from me with notifications about new blog posts and more thoughts on PR and marketing.
The Body of Your Podcast Pitch
By the time your reader has reached the meat of the pitch, they’re interested in what you have to say. The body of your pitch is your chance to convince them with benefit-driven, clear and concise language.
Use brief bullet points to increase readability, clearly stately what you have to offer and why their audience would be interested in it.
I recommend 2 sentences that establish your credibility and pitch idea, and then bullets to suggest angles or speaking points.
Drawing on the Twitter and Meta description above, this section may read:
“As a labor lawyer who specializes in self-advocacy in the workplace, I could add to the tech layoff conversation by discussing one of these topics:
- Twitter vs Meta lay offs: a disaster and the best case scenario
- reputational damage amongst a generation that demands more employers
- productivity can decline (Forbes)
As this is a fictional example, I’ve chosen bullet points that make the most sense based on the pressing angles of the news and the person’s expertise. The speaking notes should be tailored to the show’s focus as well.
Podcast producers and hosts are busy people, so it’s key to clearly state what you can speak about, as we did above, and close your email pitch with a call-to-action, like below:
“Please let me know if you’d like to have me on to talk about any of these points. I’m also open to other layoff-related topics and can make myself available.
Thank you for your time.
You’ll notice that I’ve said I’m open to discussing what they’d like to talk about and on their schedule. This is key because podcasts run on a recording and editing schedule, so working with their deadline – especially on timely topics – is essential.
Always remember that you’re approaching them with an ask, so being amenabl, responsive and cooperative will go a long way.
I don’t know about you, but it’s a constant challenge to get back to all my emails as quickly as I’d like. The same holds for most people in the world with competing obligations.
All to say that no response doesn’t necessarily mean rejection. I recommend clients follow up on pitches three days later and then five days after that.
Two follow-ups are sufficient, and the tone is the key.
Your follow-up messages shouldn’t read aggressively or as if you’re owed something. My golden PR rule holds – treat the producers and hosts as clients.
My Bonus Tip on How to Pitch Podcasts
When I started my career in PR, every pitch was cold because I had no relationships. I prioritized building meaningful relationships with media contacts and as a result, I still enjoy long-standing relationships to this day.
So while you should always be on the lookout for opportunities, it’s equally important to focus on building a nurturing relationships with those you want to work with.
You can do this in various ways, including following and commenting on their social media posts, sharing their articles, or sending emails with thoughtful remarks on their work.
When you can get to know people and what they’re looking for, you’ll have a far easier and more enjoyable time pitching them.
Wrapping Up – How to Pitch Podcasts
Going into 2023, podcasts will remain a great way to build visibility, establish credibility and create awareness for your products and services.
When you follow these proven practices on how to pitch podcasts, you’ll start to become a seasoned pitcher, and recognize opportunities to add to the conversation.
You’ll also see that your appearances will build upon each other, and you’ll gain credibility and a reputation as a worthwhile guest.
Download your own copy of warm and cold podcast pitch templates by clicking here. And, stay tuned for bi-weekly emails from me with notifications about new blog posts and more PR advice!
Hi, I’m Laura! I’ve worked in PR, Marketing and Communications for over 20 years, which is painful to type! Over the last two decades, I’ve worked in North America and the Middle East, representing some of the world’s leading brands and personalities. In my last corporate gig, I was the PR Director for Michael Kors Canada, handling product, brand and personality PR.