How to Pitch a Podcast in 2023 [+Real Examples]

Intelligent Relations
By Intelligent Relations Team

Podcasts have hit the mainstream. Studies estimate that 424 million people globally were listening to podcasts by the end of 2022 (with 100 million being in the US alone). 

And while not every podcast has the reach of the Joe Rogan Experience, there are countless podcasts within every industry and niche. What’s more, many of these podcasts have enormous influence among their highly engaged audiences.

It’s little surprise, therefore, that podcast guest appearances have become a key aspect of many brands’ and businesses’ PR strategies. 

But how do you pitch a podcast and get noticed above everyone else? 

Well, there’s a simple answer to that. Simply copy what works and adjust it to fit your circumstances.

This is exactly what we’ll show you in this guide. Here’s what we’ll cover:

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How to Pitch a Podcast – The Approach

You’ve decide that you want to pitch a podcast. Fantastic! But what’s next?

Podcast pitching isn’t all that different from other types of media pitching, but there are some nuances.

So, knowing how to pitch a podcast is the important next step after deciding that your brand or business would benefit from being on a podcast.

Here are the key elements to keep in mind when deciding how to pitch a podcast:

  1. Define Your Objectives – What are you trying to achieve?
  2. Do Your Research – Who are you going to pitch and why?
  3. Don’t Write a Sales Pitch – How can I turn my product into a narrative?
  4. Set Realistic Goals – Which podcasts are low hanging fruit and which are aspirational?

Now that you know the basics of how to pitch a podcast, let’s go into more detail.

1. Define Your Objectives

What are you trying to achieve by getting yourself or others to appear as guests on podcasts?

This often falls into one or more of the following categories: 

  • Promote a Product 
  • Build Thought Leadership 
  • Develop an Industry Narrative
  • Increase Exposure 
  • Earn Backlinks   
  • Build Relationships with the Media

Let’s use Intelligent Relations as an example. Let’s say the Chief Marketing Officer wants to build the CEO’s thought leadership credentials within the PR industry.

That’s a clear objective, enabling IR’s PR experts to write appropriate pitches and target the right types of podcasts. For instance, we could write a pitch in which the CEO wants to discuss the impact of AI on the PR industry and how this will impact traditional PR agencies.

2. Do Your Research  

Before you start writing and emailing pitches to podcast hosts, research the podcasts.

You’ll want to go by topic or industry.

Referring to our previous example, we would look for podcasts aimed at the PR industry.

This research serves several purposes. It’ll enable you to build a list of target podcasts, as well as give you an idea of the types of topics that these podcasts discuss, just by looking at the show notes.

Pro tip – Look out for podcasts that frequently mention guest names in their show notes, as opposed to those that rarely, if ever, mention guests.

Streaming platforms such as Spotify and iTunes are a good place to start.

Even better are specialist podcast search engines, such as Podchaser and Listen Notes.

3. Don’t Write a Sales Pitch

It’s not the job of a podcast to promote your product. Unless you’re paying for it. Therefore, you don’t want to straight-up pitch your product, like you would a target customer. 

Knowing how to pitch a podcast is about knowing to create a broader narrative and talking points that the podcast’s audience will find interesting and entertaining. 

The key thing here is the concept of storytelling.

For example, let’s say you do want to talk about your product. Then a good choice is to unpack the origin story of how your product or company came to be. Next, think about the hurdles or adversities you overcame. Think of what might be inspiring to other business owners or consumers.

Another great way to come at this is to reference something that’s in the news and offer yourself or the person you’re pitching as an expert source on the subject. It’s even better if this person can provide a fresh perspective on the story. 

Referring again to our IR example, AI language models such as ChatGPT have generated huge amounts of media coverage. Therefore, we could use that as the basis for a podcast pitch, and offer our CEO as an expert who can discuss how this will impact the PR industry.

4. Set Realistic Goals

Getting onto a top-tier podcast with millions of listeners is just as hard as getting featured in a top-tier newspaper or TV show. Therefore set realistic goals for yourself, your client, or your boss.

If you don’t have much media coverage, then smaller podcasts that focus on your specific industry are a good place to start.

And while these may have small audiences compared to other podcasts, you’ll often find that these audiences are highly engaged. 

How to Write a Podcast Pitch

When writing a podcast pitch, aim for about 150 to 175 words. Think of it as the trailer rather than the movie. Let’s start with the subject line.

Make it crystal clear in the email subject line that you’re pitching for someone to appear as a guest on the podcast.

Then include a short summary of what the person plans to talk about. We use this podcast pitch template at Intelligent Relations:

“Guest Rec: [Pitch title]”

Open the email with a short introduction saying how much you enjoy their podcast. If you’re only pitching to a small number of podcasts you could go one step further and personalize each email by calling out some recent episodes. 

Next, introduce the person you are pitching. Link to their LinkedIn profile and explain in one or two sentences why they would make a great guest.

Focus on their experience and expertise and how this relates to the podcast’s audience. 

Pro tip: Podcasts hosts and producers will want to hear what you or the person you’re pitching sounds like. So, include links to any previous podcasts, webinars, YouTube videos, or any other relevant recordings you have.   

After the introduction, provide a list of the talking points you or the person you’re pitching can discuss on the podcast. These can be evergreen topics or things that are topical and currently in the news. 

Finally, provide social proof of the person you’re pitching.

This is a fancy PR term that basically means providing proof of an individual’s expertise. This can be achieved by providing links to previous media coverage, calling out some highlights of an impressive resume, or detailing their social media following.

Successful Podcast Pitch Examples

Podcast Pitch Example 1

Here’s a podcast pitch we wrote and sent to cybersecurity podcasts on behalf of a client. We honed in on a timely topic that generated a lot of news and offered our client up as an expert on the subject. 

podcast guest pitch example

Podcast Pitch Example 2

In this podcast pitch example, we pitched an evergreen topic to institutional investor podcasts, offering our client up to discuss a topic that’s of interest to many people in the industry. 

podcast guest pitch example

Podcast Pitch Template

Hi {first name},

I’ve recently come across the {{podcast name}} podcast and really enjoyed listening to your insights on [subject]. 

If interested, I have a guest suggestion for your podcast who I thought could be a really good fit. His/her/their name is [name] and [1 to 2 sentence bio]. 

[Name] would love to discuss [summary of overall topic]. Specifically, [name] can unpack the following talking points on your podcast:

  • [Talking point 1]
  • [Talking point 2]
  • [Talking point 3]
  • [Talking point 4]
  • [Etc]

[Name] is an expert on [topic] and has recently been featured in [link to media coverage] and [link to media coverage]. Also, here’s a link to a recent podcast he/she/they appeared on so you can hear [name]’s presentation style. 

Let me know what you think. I’ll be happy to make an intro to [name] if you would like to have an informal chat.

Thanks for your time.


Managing Podcast Outreach – The Final Steps of How to Pitch a Podcast

Once you’ve written your pitch, you need to start sending it to target podcasts. The size of your target list will vary depending on the industry and objectives.

However, a useful yardstick to work by is our podcast pitching success rate at Intelligent Relations, which is roughly one successful pitch out of every 15-20 pitch emails.

In terms of what email addresses you should use, check each podcast website. Some will provide you with a specific email address to send pitches to, while others will just have a generic email address.

Pro tip: Always send a follow-up email if you don’t get a response to your original email. Send the follow-up email five to seven days later. But leave it at that and don’t send any further follow-ups.

Once you start receiving positive replies, the usual next step is to have a discovery call with the podcast host. This isn’t the actual podcast recording, it’s just an informal chat so the host can get to know you and discuss your talking points.

If they like what they hear, then the final step will be to set up a date to record the episode.

Key Takeaways 

The most important thing to remember when thinking about how to pitch a podcast is that you need to focus on telling a story in your pitches. Don’t just pitch your product. Think about how you can educate, entertain, or inform a podcast’s audience. 

Be sure to demonstrate how you’ll do this in your podcast pitch, and you’ll be one step closer to securing guest appearances on your desired podcasts.