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Oleh Tim Anchor
Earned media can be incredibly impactful for introducing your podcast to new audiences. A recommendation from a trusted reporter or publication goes a long way in getting people interested in listening to a new show, and an increasing number of news outlets are covering podcasts.
But pitching your show to reporters and editors can be tricky to get right, and requires a little knowledge of how media operates. To set yourself up for success, here are some steps and best practices for pitching your podcast to media.
The big picture
It’s helpful to think about earned media simply as information-sharing. Your goal is to introduce new information — i.e. your podcast — to reporters and editors who could find it relevant to share with their audience. When you’re reaching out to a media contact, keep in mind that they’re thinking about what their audience is interested in, so by extension, that’s what you should be thinking about too.
To that end, it’s extremely important to be thoughtful in your outreach. Always research the person and the publication you’re reaching out to first, with a close eye on what stories they write and how they structure them. Your level of care will show when you send that pitch.
Be really, really specific
When deciding which publications to pitch, think about what your goals are and who your audience is — and get as specific as possible. Is your podcast about ballet? Awesome, there are tons of magazines, blogs and news sources covering the ballet world that are engaged with audiences who are likely already interested in what you’re talking about.
Relevance will always be the most impactful element not only in getting a reporter’s attention, but also for reaching new, engaged listeners. A good rule of thumb is to first consider the publications you turn to when you’re researching topics for your show.
For publications that cover broader subject areas, look for a reporter who consistently covers the most relevant topics to your podcast. Seriously, the more detailed you can get, the better.
Tell them what makes your show unique
In order to get the attention of a reporter or editor, it’s important to identify what really makes your show stand out, both in the context of the topics they cover, and in relation to other podcasts. Maybe you’re sharing a fresh take on a topic they write about, or your show has a format you’ve never heard before, or you’re engaging a previously underserved audience, or you’re telling a local story. You can also tell a story about your listeners: for example, highlighting the community your podcast has built, or calling out a spike in listenership after a particularly interesting episode.
Writing a pitch is an exercise in storytelling, and it’s helpful to remember that often, the media contact you’re reaching out to has to sell the story themselves to their editors or team. Put yourself in their shoes! And always, always, always remember you’re writing to a real person with unique thoughts and perspective. If you’re reaching out to multiple contacts, treat each note individually — never send the same pitch to more than one person.
Timing is everything
News runs on timeliness. If you send a pitch about your show that launched today, you have a much greater chance at grabbing someone’s attention than if you’re telling them about something that happened last week. Even for seemingly evergreen roundups and listicles of top podcasts, you’ll often find that they focus on new shows or recently-published episodes. Think about your show’s points of interest, like season or episode launches, and use them to your advantage by pitching in a timely manner.
Have a press kit on hand
Be prepared to share everything there is to know about your show, and then some. A rundown of relevant links (like your Anchor profile, transcribed videos, and social media information), plus high-resolution copies of your podcast cover art or headshots of the hosts and guests, can go a long way in quickly providing a publication with everything they might need.
There are endless ways to tell the story of your podcast. And as more and more publications are now covering podcasts, the opportunities to connect with reporters and editors who might be interested in your show are growing constantly. These best practices are just a jumping-off point — we’ll leave the storytelling to you!
Haven’t start your podcast yet? Try making something awesome with Anchor, the easiest way to make a podcast, for free. And as always, we’d love to hear your feedback, via email, Twitter, or Instagram.