Pitching podcasts

I was watching NFL highlights on YouTube on Monday and there was an ad right in the middle. Except it wasn’t really an ad. It just started playing a podcast hosted by the corporate communications director at Goldman Sachs.

Think about how much PR has changed in just the last few years, where previously that PR guy would have had to try to book his experts on “Marketplace” or something, and now he can just interview them himself and amplify via YouTube.

Podcasts continue to grow in popularity: 37% of the U.S. population (over age 12) listened to a podcast in the last month, and that number is rising about five percentage points each year. Spotify shelled out more than $100 million earlier this year to lock up exclusive rights to Joe Rogan’s show. Numbers like that mean PR pros can’t ignore this channel.

Don’t be distracted by me mentioning Rogan – we have as much shot at booking a client on his show as we did at landing the mythical “Oprah” hit back in the day.

But for all the rest of the 1 million-plus podcasts, there’s really good news: You now have a way to reach audiences that were previously too small to support their own national radio shows.

It doesn’t matter if the reach is small if the podcast’s audience matches up with your organization’s target audience. And if they listen, your audience will develop a much deeper connection with your brand than through other media, where you’re usually relegated to a few soundbites.

If you have a spokesperson who is a decent talker, it’s worth it to book a few podcast appearances, even if only to test out the medium and practice that great media training you’ve given them.

Yes, the metrics associated with podcasts are tough to come by. But there are some workarounds while we wait for this industry to mature. Shelby Janner, publicity director at Zilker Media and longtime member of my Inner Circle, has deep experience in the podcast pitching world. Earlier this month she joined me for a presentation to the Inner Circle where we covered:

  • Tools to identify the best podcasts for your audience
  • How to compare podcasts to each other in terms of audience impact
  • How to move forward with pitching a podcast, and whether money should be involved

The training is only available to Inner Circle members, but you can join our Wait List to find out when we’re opening up next.

This article was originally published on September 23, 2020

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