Building relationships with producers can land you more radio and podcast interviews.
Whether you’re a publicist or an aspiring source of news, building relationships with radio and podcast producers is critical to getting interviews. And getting interviews is important.
Becoming a guest on relevant podcasts can be a killer marketing strategy, and it can help you showcase your expertise in front of your target audience.
But that still begs the question of how to get interviewed on a podcast or radio show.
In my experience as a publicist who specializes in getting clients on the airwaves, once you’ve worked with a producer, it becomes much easier to work with them again.
If you provide producers with good radio and podcast guests, they will be more willing to work with you in the future. For instance, I have contacts from five years ago that I still work with today.
Consider these strategies to forge and maintain these crucial connections.
Identify the right shows
Every show has a specific niche, and if you want to be a potential guest, you should make sure the show you’re pitching is a good fit. Take the time to do a bit of background research and identify radio shows and podcasts that align with your target audience and cover subjects related to your expertise or industry.
Build a spreadsheet with these potential podcasts and radio outlets, listing the name of the show, contact information, and what type of show it is. This way, you can easily search for a possible match whenever you get a new pitch idea or client.
Connect on social media
Once you’ve identified the shows that would be the most natural fit, engage with their producers on social media. Don’t just follow them — take the time to interact with their posts on a regular basis by sharing valuable content and making insightful comments.
This will help you establish a connection and showcase your knowledge and expertise in the field. It will also get your name in front of them in an organic way. That way, when your pitch comes across their desk, they will already have heard of you.
Attend industry events
Attending industry events in person — such as conferences and seminars where radio and podcast producers are likely to be present — is another great way to network with them. Face-to-face interactions can be a powerful way to build relationships. Introduce yourself, exchange business cards, and follow up afterward with personalized emails to express your interest in collaborating.
While networking with radio and podcast producers, don’t be overly self-promotional. While it’s good to share your accomplishments, keep in mind that producers and hosts are looking for potential guests who provide value to their audience. If you come off as self-aggrandizing while trying to pitch to them or network with them at an event, then they will assume you’ll probably behave similarly on their show.
Instead of trying to perform or impress them, you’ll obtain better results just by connecting with them on an authentic human level.
When you are ready to send out a pitch, tailor your idea to the show’s particular audience. Focus on how you can provide value to its listeners, crafting a compelling pitch that highlights a unique angle that would be of interest to them. Show that you understand their show’s format and audience demographics, and explain how your expertise can benefit their listeners. Basically, you want to illustrate what’s in it for them, and why you would be an awesome guest.
That said, even if you’ve crafted a pitch that fits a given show’s audience, don’t expect an invitation to appear. The truth is that rejection is the norm in this business — acceptance is the exception.
Likewise, if you don’t hear back from a producer at all, take the hint. Don’t be overly persistent. Sending multiple emails to someone can have a negative impact, and they might start sending your emails into their spam folder.
Ready, set, hustle!
If a producer extends an offer for an appearance, accept it as soon as possible. If you take too long, it could disappear.
To understand why, consider how a radio show or podcast works. Producers and hosts have a limited number of spots to fill for their show. If you or your client take too long to respond, other guests will snatch up those opportunities. While there’s a chance the host might decide to give you some new dates further in the future, they could just say, “forget it.”
This is another reason why relationships are so important in this business. The chances of leniency are greater if you already have a positive working relationship with them.
Understanding breeds success
By understanding how a radio station or podcast operation works, as well as what producers are looking for in a pitch, you can give yourself or your client the best chances of landing radio and podcast appearances. Relationships with radio and podcast hosts and producers pay off over time, so invest in this strategy over the long term to ensure the most success.
Byline: Dave Purdy is a publicist at Otter PR. He was born in Massachusetts and grew up in the Tampa Bay area. Purdy is a proud veteran of the U.S. Navy and a graduate of the University of South Florida. He spent many years in radio broadcasting as a DJ, traffic reporter, news anchor, show host, producer, and sold radio and digital advertising for a couple of years. Purdy made the transition to public relations in 2018 and specializes in getting great radio and podcast interviews for his clients. His clients have been featured on ABC Radio, Westwood One, Bloomberg Radio, and many more. Purdy calls Tampa Bay home, and in his free time, he enjoys bike riding, kayaking, camping, stand-up comedy, and enjoying the great outdoors.