Listen up: why podcasts should be a key part of your PR strategy
21st September 2021
With 16 million regular listeners in the UK alone, podcasts have never been more popular. Their proliferation proves that bite-sized TikToks and Reels haven’t yet killed off demand for quality long-form audio content. Some of the most popular shows rake in millions of pounds every year from sponsorship and advertising deals.
From a PR standpoint, podcasts are incredibly valuable. They offer the perfect opportunity for your client to practice talking about their business in a broadcast context. If you start with smaller podcasts (where the stakes are lower and they can practice their media voice) they’ll be a dab hand when it comes to securing bigger podcast or broadcast opportunities further down the line.
Usually podcast recordings don’t last longer than forty-five minutes and can be done remotely. If you can support your clients to shake off the nerves, they could reap the benefits.
Showcasing founder expertise
One of the main reasons that people listen to podcasts is to learn and be informed. That’s why podcast hosts are always on the lookout for ‘experts’ to shed light on particular topics – from startup success to new scientific innovations. Having your client feature as an expert on a podcast is an excellent way to raise their credibility and demonstrate the breadth of their sector experience and knowledge.
Don’t worry if your client doesn’t have a professorship or decades of industry experience. Often, any kind of first-hand experience, higher-level degree or strong professional background is enough to qualify. As long as they can speak confidently on the proposed topic, they should come across well on air.
Reaching new audiences
If your client is keen to gain exposure across new audiences – which might include potential customers, employees or investors – a podcast is an excellent avenue. Podcast audiences tend to be of a different demographic to other media audiences, with the majority of listeners being professionals aged between 26 and 35. They’re also typically loyal, following the same shows week after week and displaying a high degree of trust in the content.
Because podcasts are so convenient, they offer a fantastic opportunity to reach people who are too busy to watch TV or to read newspapers and blogs. They’re also much more ‘evergreen’ than other media content, as listeners can easily scroll back on podcast platforms to find episodes from past series. This means that, once recorded, a podcast appearance can continue to be an asset to your client for years to come.
Making valuable connections
It’s not just the podcast’s listeners who could turn into excellent connections for your client. The podcast host is likely to be an influential person in their sector, with a wide network of past guests that they could introduce your client to. Often, one podcast episode might have several guests, all of whom could prove useful contacts in the future.
Remind your client to make the most of this opportunity to grow their personal and professional network. You can help them by sharing their contact information, a brief bio and social media handles with the podcast’s production team so these details can be added to the episode listing.
How to get your client on a podcast
So your client is keen to secure some air-time, but how should you go about getting them a slot on the right show? Well, first you need to identify their topic areas of expertise: the subjects and spaces they can confidently and knowledgeably speak on. Then start your research to find suitable podcasts in relevant sectors, using platforms like Chartable to check the reach and listen to past episodes.
Once you’ve established that the podcast welcomes external guests, head over to the official website to find contact details for the host or production team. If you can’t find them, try DMing the hosts or producers on social media; or listen to the start and end of an episode to see if contact details are shared.
After finding the best contact route, send a short message that proves that you’ve listened to past episodes, and succinctly explains why your client would be an excellent fit as a guest. Perhaps they have a particular experience to share, an opinion to air, or insights to offer on a topical issue. It’s a good idea to share links to the nominated person’s previous podcasts, radio or TV appearances (if there are any) to show that they’ll be a great guest.
Before you reach out, don’t forget to check that the hosts are still recording new episodes. The podcast world is fast-moving, and often shows will halt indefinitely after just one season. Do your research so you don’t waste your pitching time.
Our top picks
Stuck for inspiration? Here are some of our favourite podcasts that welcome pitches for external guests.
- Startups Magazine: The Cereal Entrepreneur
- BBC Science Focus: Instant Genius
- The Parent Hood
- Disruptive CEO
- This Week In Digital Health
- The HealthTech Podcast
Which of your top podcast picks have we missed off the list? Get in touch to share your ideas. Happy pitching!