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 Be our guest: participating in podcasts

Be our guest: participating in podcasts

According to Nielsen, at least 16 million people in the US consider themselves avid podcast fans. And Edison Research notes that approximately 80 million Americans are now weekly podcast listeners, a 17% increase over 2020. 

With both the number of podcasts and podcast listeners growing, opportunity abounds to connect with an interested audience. 

But if you aren’t ready to commit to producing your own podcast, being a guest on someone else’s show is a great way to wade into the medium. 

Here are a few tips and tricks we use at Sterling to pursue podcast participation opportunities for our clients:

Podcast characteristics list 

Figuring out what types of shows might be a good fit for a guest appearance can be tricky in the overpopulated podcast space. Being a practiced podcast listener makes this process easier — it helps that our team at Sterling is loaded with podcast lovers.

A great first step is to list your ideal podcast’s characteristics. This list should include the topic, whether you prefer one-on-one or group conversation, any audience demographics of note, and the overall tone of the podcast — how you want the conversation conveyed to listeners. For example, if you have a very serious spokesperson and message, you probably shouldn’t aim for a guest appearance on a podcast with a comedic tone and irreverent host. 

Your list will help you narrow the search with a clear vision of what you are looking for in a podcast. 

Where to search for shows

After you complete your list of ideal characteristics, you have to find the podcasts that check all your boxes. The best search venues include Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. 

There’s a bit of an art to learning how and where to search, and it begins with familiarizing yourself with the tagging conventions for categorizing podcasts across various platforms. Examples include Business, Technology, Science, News, Society & Culture, etc. You can also browse Channels to check whether a favored publication or production company hosts podcasts that align with your area of expertise. Format is also important. If you find the perfect podcast, but it doesn’t feature guests or interviews, there’s no point in pursuing participation.

Pitching podcast participation 

After finding a few promising podcasts that meet your criteria, it’s time to reach out. Tracking down contact information to pitch guest participation is the next — and sometimes most difficult — step. Even with niche podcasts, show hosts don’t always book their own guests. Determining how to get in touch with the appropriate contact can take some legwork. 

There are media relations tools that can help in this regard. At Sterling, we use Muck Rack, an active and comprehensive media database that added a large and ever-growing podcast category in 2020. The podcasts listed in Muck Rack tend to include up-to-date contact information and outreach preferences, as well as some listener statistics, domain authority scores, airing frequency details, and links to previous episode recordings that are helpful for vetting.

Once you have the right contact information, briefly introducing yourself, conveying your interest/relevance, and proposing a guest appearance come next. With success, you’re on to scheduling, conversation scoping, recording conventions and protocols, … 

Don’t be daunted

As you can gather, the podcast space can seem overwhelming because it’s become so popular and there are so many different options and venues. But that’s also precisely why it presents a great avenue for building brand awareness and demonstrating subject matter expertise to target audiences. 

With the help and guidance of a public relations professional, finding the perfect podcasts and securing guest participation opportunities can be painless — and even fun! 

Reach out to us at go@sterlingpr.com if you’d like to learn more about guesting on podcasts to complement your communications goals.

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