Home Blog Uncategorized The one big rule for pitching podcast guests

The one big rule for pitching podcast guests


Kevin Hunt and I have been publishing our Talking Points Podcast now for five years. We just recorded our 117th episode a couple weeks ago. Because we’ve been around a while now, and there’s surprisingly not a lot of social media/comms podcasts that have consistently posted every month for the last five years, we’re getting pitched from time to time.

Not surprising, right? PR people pitching podcasts is a big thing now. It’s a great way to get thought leaders and execs in front of a digitally-savvy and lucrative audience. And, if done right, it can be fairly painless and easy.

Except, I see a lot of pitches that are the exact opposite.

They’re out of left field (I rarely know the person, and they’ve done nothing to even try to build a relationship with me or Kevin, which would be pretty easy, by the way!). And, they’re rarely even on point with our show! In essence, 99% of them kinda suck.

Because they’re missing the key component when it comes to pitching most podcasts.

They’re not making it all about me/us.

I know, I know, that sounds pretty conceited. But, bear with me as I explain.

To be clear, I’m not talking about pitching media-based podcasts here like NPR’s Fresh Air. I’m talking about the rest of the podcasts (the majority), which are run by regular old joes and joettes talking about a specific topic or industry.

And that leads me to the mistake most make. They treat the pitch like they’re pitching a media member when they most certainly are not in most cases.

Often, they’re pitching someone who:

1) Has a full-time job and it’s not in the media

2) Is trying to build a business for themselves

3) Is trying to build a name for themselves as an influencer or thought leader in that specific niche.

In those cases, the pitch needs to change–it needs to be all about the host you’re pitching.

The angle or guest you’re pitching almost becomes table stakes. I assume you’re going to pitch me a guest who works in the comms or social world if you want to be on the Talking Points Podcast. But, what does your guest do for ME and Kevin? How are you going to help us?

Because, at the end of the day, that’s what most hosts are after.

Specifically, they’re after:

  • Guests who can help extend their reach for the show (i.e., guests with larger followings on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Insta or guests with a large enewsletter distribution list who will share the show with their networks)
  • Guests who could potentially be a client–or referral source
  • Guests who are already influencers who can help provide credibility to on-the-rise or newer shows

They might not say it, but this is what podcasters are looking for.

What they don’t want is:

  • Guests who are pushing their latest book (we don’t care, and you’re usually not that interesting–sorry)
  • Guests who I haven’t heard of or work for companies or agencies I’ve never heard of (unless the guest is REALLY interesting and engaging)
  • Guests who work for a freaking competitor! (this has happened to me)

I just refuse to think this is hard. All you have to do is ask one simple question when pitching most podcasters: “What can I do to help the host?”

That’s it. Do that, and you’ll see more guest placements. I can almost guarantee it.



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