How to score a podcast interview for your exec

With exploding audience numbers, the digital audio format offers big upsides for organizations eager for thought leadership clout and earned media hits.

Podcast interviews for execs

Podcasts open up a whole new world of business opportunities.

In addition to getting in front of a niche target audience, you also welcome cross-promotion from hosts, multi-platform publication and the chance for new media opportunities that come from a guest appearance. I had a client join a podcast and it resulted in not only a 41-minute episode, but an unexpected Forbes piece, too.

Even if media relations hasn’t traditionally been a main part of your purview, here are four tips for securing (and making the most of) a podcast interview for your exec:

1. Find the right targets.

There are over 850,000 active podcasts available for listening, comprising over 30 million episodes. There is no shortage of hosts to pitch. Narrow it down to 10-12 that make sense for your exec, and start there. Podcast hosts are almost always looking for new guests, so it’s not uncommon for them to respond on the first email.

Many shows don’t share listenership, so a few things to keep in mind while searching for targets are the number and quality of ratings, social media following and whether the show has its own website containing individual pages with backlinks for each episode.

2. Nail the pitch.

Throw the rules of pitching out the window. In this case, being self-promotional is the way to go, because pitching a podcast gives you the opportunity to brag about your exec’s accomplishments and bona fides. Unlike most reporters, podcasts hosts are looking for leaders who can talk about their industry successes.

Did your leader help champion a new diversity and inclusion or CSR initiative? Does she have a niche area of expertise? Perhaps he created a brand-new technology that’s shaking up a certain industry? Say that! It might just score a slot.

3. Overprepare your leader.

An important first step is to listen to a few episodes of the show and recommend your exec do the same. This helps you understand how the podcast is structured and get a feel for how the host interacts with guests.

Most of the time, you can dictate what will be discussed by sending over talking points, but always be sure to ask for questions from the host or the host’s PR rep. It’s often a good idea to set up a mock interview with your CEO ahead of the podcast interview to work out any kinks. While you don’t want them to sound scripted, you also want to nail down talking points to eliminate rambling or awkward pauses, so make sure your client is prepared for the interview.

Another tip: Give your client a fun fact about the host. Did the host tweet about their love for Manchester United? Have your client bring up soccer. Commonalities often lead to early rapport and a more seamless interview.

4. Make the most of your podcast appearance.

The wait is finally over and the podcast is live. Now what?

It’s important to treat this like you would a regular media placement. Encourage your exec to add the podcast link to your intranet and share it on social media. Make sure they also connect with the host on LinkedIn, follow them on Twitter, tag them in social posts and engage with any posts the host shares regarding the episode. Hosts will often provide you shorter clips of the interview, which you can use as promotion to extend the longevity of the episode.

With more than 144 million Americans listening to podcasts on a consistent basis, the medium is here to stay. Scoring a podcast interview for your internal influencers will enhance your company’s thought leader and open the door for new media opportunities.

Courtney Baumann is media relations coordinator at SSPR.

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