PR’s Top Pros Talk… The Value of Podcasts
Christina Nicholson, Owner of Media Maven and Founder of Podcast Clout
What are the most important things to keep in mind when pitching to a podcast? Christina Nicholson, Owner of Media Maven and Founder of Podcast Clout, shares insights on how to make your pitch stand out and what mistakes to avoid. She also offers tips on how to identify relevant podcasts on national and local levels.
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About the Host:
HOST: DOUG SIMON
GUEST: CHRISTINA NICHOLSON
DOUG: Christina, what’s the one key thing people need to keep in mind when they’re trying to pitch themselves or a client to be on a podcast?
CHRISTINA: I think the one thing people should keep in mind is being super specific with what you can offer that podcast audience. Many times when I get pitches for my podcast, people want to talk about marketing or entrepreneurship, and they don’t go further than that. But I don’t get many pitches with people drilling down to a specific niche like saying drive more traffic to your blog using Pinterest ads. So, the more specific you can be, so a podcast host says, oh, I’ve never received a pitch like this, the better luck you have in booking that podcast appearance.
DOUG: Yeah, and that probably makes sense for all types of pitching to be specific, so it’s easy for them to understand what you want. Are there nuances to podcast pitching that might be different than pitching other media?
CHRISTINA: Yeah, I think when it comes to podcast pitching, I mean, relationships are important anywhere, anytime. But with podcasts, it’s different in the sense that the podcast host is making the decision, and that’s the podcast host platform. There’s not a lot of red tape, there’s not a lot of approval processes like traditional media. So, if you can build a relationship with a podcaster on Twitter, or Instagram, or LinkedIn, then your chances of getting a yes when you pitch are really going to increase.
DOUG: Yeah, and there is tremendous and growing value in awareness and the importance of pitching podcasts because their reach has increased so much. I should add this show is also available as a podcast on Spotify. So, thank you for participating in that. But given all of that, what are some mistakes PR people should avoid when trying to pitch podcasts?
CHRISTINA: I think one of the bigger mistakes is just making your pitch long, boring, and overpromotional, and we see this in traditional media as well. But short, sweet, to the point, and you also want to keep the audience in mind. Forget about whatever you’re trying to promote and almost really forget about the podcaster themselves, think about their audience. What are tangible takeaways that their audience can have after they listen to your episode? I always like to lay out three to five bullet points of either what the audience could take away or talking points, questions that the podcast host can ask me. And again, the more specific, the better.
DOUG: Yeah, and there’s also national nationwide podcasts that have a following as well as local. Can you first maybe take on nationwide, talk about approaching them and some of the value there, and then we can dive into the local?
CHRISTINA: Yeah, I mean, I’ve been on some pretty big national podcasts, and something that I do and pitching them is I do a little bit of homework to see how they like to be pitched. So, for example, one podcast that I was on, the host said either on another podcast or on his own platform that he gets hundreds of emails a day, but nobody sends him a pitch through a video. So, when I pitched him, I sent a video and that made me stand out. So, there are ways that you can get on competitive podcast, you just need to know how to pitch that specific person and how they prefer to be pitched.
DOUG: Those are some great insights into working with nationwide podcasts, how about local and niche? Obviously, the pitch needs to be specific, but what’s the importance, the value, and best approach for local podcasts?
CHRISTINA: I like local for people who want to build their personal brand. You’re more newsworthy where you are locally, so I think that’s very important to build your brand where you live. But also, a lot of people have businesses where they really rely on their local community. Maybe they have a brick-and-mortar store, maybe they only provide services locally. So, I know a lot of people they get distracted with the big names and the national publicity, but locally you could be getting a lot more bang for your buck or profit from your publicity by focusing on more niche podcasts and local podcasts.
DOUG: And how do you go about finding them? Obviously, you have a service that helps people identify good podcasts, relevant podcasts. What are some tips to identify some of the right podcasters that you should be going after?
CHRISTINA: Well, it’s really hard to just pick up your phone and scroll through the podcasts in the app because there are over two million of them and over half of them are inactive, meaning somebody started a podcast and they never updated it again. So, that’s why I created Podcast Clout just to make it easy to find those top podcasts. But I would suggest that you look at categories because the categories are going to tell you where your audience is, what they’re listening to, and then you can also search key words. So, for example, if you talk about sustainable goods, or recycling, or being green, then you’re going to want to search those key words, and that’ll help you find the podcast. Check out their ratings, check out their reviews. That’s also another suggestion and again, follow the podcast or on social media, build a relationship with them on social media.
DOUG: Yeah, and talking about video, you’ve got your start in the industry being on-air at News 12 in the Bronx, moved stations, eventually ended up as a reporter in Miami, I believe the NBC station before you launched your business. So, you have a great understanding of the importance of communicating by video. Do you think increasingly like this one, more podcasts will have a video component to them, not just for pitching, but for actually producing the actual content themselves?
CHRSTINA: I think so. I mean, like you’re doing here Doug, and something that I do on my own podcast is when I record a podcast interview, I tell the guests, let’s turn on the camera because I’m going to repurpose this for YouTube. I’m going to take some of this video and use it for teases to put on social media because repurposing content is huge, it gives you a lot to work with, and it doesn’t take a ton of extra time, and if it’s as easy as just turning on the camera and making a couple of different edits in post, then why not?
DOUG: Great, and you’re bringing such a unique combination of experience with your video background, managing an agency. We really appreciate your insights. It’s awesome stuff, and I appreciate the clarity of the insights as well, great stuff.
CHRSTINA: Well, thank you so much for having me, Doug. It’s great to chat with you.