Podcast PR vs. Traditional PR

PR isn’t dead. But traditional PR has changed forever. This article will walk you through how brands can leverage more niche and targeted forms of PR, including a deep dive into podcast PR and how you can use it to get in front of your ideal customers.


How has PR changed over the years?

There's more opportunity than ever before to get your brand in front of customers, and the brands that win are the ones that understand that PR is anything but traditional these days. It all stems back to how people consume content.

Legacy media placements––a mention in the Wall Street Journal or an interview on the Today Show––are still incredibly powerful but very tough to land. In the past, these media conglomerates controlled the distribution and consumption of content. But now, that control is in the hands of individual creators and brands who share content in places where people typically consume (i.e. social media, podcasts, YouTube, newsletters, etc.)

So while traditional earned media has its place, there are many new and more targeted ways to get in front of your ideal customers.

Which type of PR is best for your brand?

The right answer really depends on where your customers hang out and consume content. Is it on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, email, podcasts, industry publications, or the news? Figure out where that is, and find earned opportunities within those channels to expose and raise awareness of your brand.

Earned placements = mentions/interviews you don’t pay for.

Keep in mind, people like to buy from people (not brands). Hence why influencer/creator partnerships have blown up so much in the past 5 years. As a brand, it’s important you find influential voices within your space and figure out ways you can work together to gain exposure.

This could be a mention on their socials, a newsletter deep dive, or a review on YouTube. You want to leverage the authority and trust the creator has built with their audience to set the tone for the relationship you want to have with potential customers who follow them.

While socials, emails, and videos are great takes on digital PR, we think podcast interviews are the most effective because they give you the opportunity to talk directly to the listeners for 30+ minutes versus fighting for their attention with a 60-second social post. It’s also more likely that these interviews are “earned” (a.k.a. free) rather than having to sponsor a creator on social.

What is podcast PR?

Podcast PR is the strategy of landing guest interviews on podcasts your customers regularly listen to. You may also see this referred to as “podcast guesting” or a “podcast tour”.

As a podcast guest, you have 30+ minutes of dedicated attention to raise awareness of you and your brand, build trust with your ideal customers, and move them to action. It’s very different from, say, a feature on Bloomberg or Forbes. While those placements do reach a large audience, those readers/followers cover a wide breadth of demos, meaning your placement could be wasted on an audience that isn’t ideal for your business.

With podcast PR, you’re able to identify the right shows for your brand, which helps to ensure you don’t waste time talking to the wrong audience. It’s much more focused so the effort you put into a 30-minute interview has a higher probability of meeting your awareness goals.

The more interviews you land within a short period of time, the more likely your ideal listeners are to see your name in their podcast feeds. And the more they see your name, the more they’ll perceive you and your brand as leaders in your space.

This is why so many brands are taking advantage of the powers of a podcast tour.

What results can you expect from a podcast PR tour?

Building awareness and trust

Being a guest on a podcast helps you raise attention and awareness of your brand (top-of-funnel) while also providing you with content that helps you close a sale (bottom-of-funnel).

The reason for that is you’re going on shows that already have built-in, loyal audiences. So rather than starting from scratch or reaching a very wide audience base who may or may not be interested, you’re speaking to an engaged group of listeners who inherently trust you due to their trust in the host.

So it’s much easier for you to build awareness of your brand, rather quickly, and nourish your TOF strategy by exposing your brand to thousands (if not millions) of people in your niche.

The interviews also feed your bottom-of-funnel because they act as social proof and can be used for sales enablement. By sharing the episodes with prospective leads, they’re able to learn from you and get to know your story better on their own terms.

Raising the profiles of the leaders on your team

A podcast tour also helps you close the gap between how your company perceives itself, and how your audience perceives you. By sharing your story and that of the leaders on your team, you’re able to shine a light on the people behind the brand.

Unlike with traditional media where shorter placements are the norm, your leaders will have time to tell their whole origin story, share unique points of view and expertise, and ultimately build a deep connection and affinity with listeners.

Positioning your brand as an expert/leader

Because you’re the guest, you’re immediately positioned as the expert. As long as you approach the interview from a value-driven perspective (meaning you’re there to teach, not sell), the audience will quickly gain trust in you and perceive you as someone they can learn from.

By bringing value and education to the audience, you’ll build brand recognition and trust, and position yourself as the thought leader in your space. 

Being the expert in your space can be your differentiator.

Can you use a traditional PR agency to get booked on podcasts?

The simple answer is yes. But if you really want to own the podcast guesting space in your industry, then we recommend working with an agency that focuses solely on podcast PR or, at the very least, digital PR.

Some traditional PR agencies will charge you a fortune to get you featured in 1 "big" article, while others are focused on the outdated press release cycle. If you've worked with agencies like this in the past and feel it was a waste, we understand your skepticism.

That’s why we think it’s important to find an agency that focuses solely on podcasts, particularly because podcasters are a unique community. Going on long-form interviews isn’t the same as traditional PR, so they require a unique and specialized approach. 

What to look for in a podcast PR agency:

  1. A proven track record – Find an agency that has worked with companies like yours in the past or has gotten results for similar clients. You want to make sure they’re familiar with your industry.
  1. Testimonials, reviews, or case studies from past clients – They should be able to point to the work they did, and how it benefited their clients.
  1. Positive feedback from hosts – Bad outreach hurts your brand, not theirs. If a company is sending poorly executed cold emails (and a lot of them are), it’s ultimately hurting your brand reputation. You want to work with an agency that approaches hosts with thought and care.

For example, we have a page of 50+ unsolicited emails podcast hosts have sent us, thanking us for the quality and thoughtfulness of our outreach.

Can you get booked on podcasts without an agency?

Again, the answer is yes. But with the caveat that the highly-personalized level of outreach needed for this strategy takes a lot of time and effort from your team.

We typically recommend you gather a list of at least 100 podcasts to pitch, and then research the heck out of each show so you know how to personally reach out to the hosts. What we’re trying to say here is that templated outreach won’t do the trick.

If you really want to take this strategy in-house, you’re going to need to commit to creating a well-thought-out outreach campaign with an equally thought-out follow-up strategy. The last thing you want to do is burn through your list of top 50 podcasts with low-quality templated outreach because you’ll have a hard time gaining their attention again.

Check out this complete guide to podcast guesting for a more in-depth outline of what it takes to execute a podcast PR strategy in-house.

Learn more

Podcast Tour Strategies: A 40-minute rundown of what it takes to create a successful podcast guesting tour.

Hiring the Right Podcast Booking Agency: Everything you need to know about working with a podcast PR company.

Everything You Need to Know to Get Booked on Shows: The ultimate guide to podcast guesting.

Podcast Tours vs. Podcast Production: An in-depth comparison between guesting and producing your own branded podcast.

Talk to future customers, on podcasts they love.