Celebrity guests can drastically boost the appeal and influence of your podcast, and attract a larger audience. In this short article, we briefly explain how you can successfully contact and convince a celebrity to appear on your podcast. For podcasters who are just starting out, the idea of landing a celebrity guest for an interview might seem like a long shot. However, knowing who to contact and how to reach out to a celebrity can drastically improve the likelihood of successfully booking a celebrity. It’s worth mentioning at the outset that booking a celebrity for a podcast interview is generally a bit easier than trying to book a celebrity for a guest appearance at a live event.
Who to Contact
Celebrities are always looking for opportunities to promote themselves, their brand, and other projects that they may be involved with. In many cases, a podcast with a decently sized audience might be a minimum time commitment, allowing them to successfully promote themselves and generate positive publicity.
You should never attempt to directly contact or communicate with a celebrity. Rather, the publicist that works for a given celebrity will be your primary point of contact. If, by chance, a celebrity doesn’t have a publicist, you can attempt to open lines of communication with the celebrity manager about a potential podcast appearance.
Publicists however, are in charge of generating as much positive media coverage and exposure as possible for their celebrity clients. They also are involved in “damage control or mitigation” when negative stories about celebrities are made public. In both cases, a podcast interview might be seen as an opportunity to generate positive appeal and exposure for their client.
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to find the contact information for celebrity publicists and managers is through Booking Agent Info. This website offers accurate and up to date celebrity contact information to help you avoid making hours of phone calls or fruitless internet searches.
How to Contact the Celebrity Publicist
Email is generally considered to be the most respectful and safest form of initial communication with a celebrity publicist. Unsolicited phone calls might seem invasive, especially for celebrity publicists that manage the publicity concerns of several clients.
In an initial email, you will need to succinctly summarize who you are, the subject or focus of your podcast, previous high profile guests who have participated in interviews, and numbers or statistics regarding the size of your audience or viewership.
In a recent interview with Booking Agent Info, celebrity publicist Hunter Frederick says:
When we get an email from a brand that wants to partner with one of our clients, even based on how we get the information kind of depends on whether or not they’re a good match for our client. Really what’s important are the numbers, how many people listen or read per month, things like that.
Make sure to avoid long, rambling emails that will take up too much time of a celebrity publicist who probably has an endless list of people contacting him or her. Keep the email short and to the point, but make sure to include all of the relevant information including when the interview would take place, how long it would take, the proposed subject or theme of the interview, and all other relevant information.
Also, it might be a good idea to let the publicist know why you think that the celebrity he or she represents is a good fit for the brand of your podcast. For example, let’s say you operate a podcast that focuses on the human rights of children around the world. If you were attempting to contact the celebrity publicist who represents Taylor Swift, you might mention the fact that the theme of many of your podcast interviews coincides with the interests of their client. In the past, Swift has launched campaigns to protect children from online predators, and has also worked with local governments to protect the rights of children.
Similarly, if you are trying to set up an interview on your podcast with Chrissy Teigen, you would do well to mention to her publicist any efforts your podcast has been involved in supporting racial justice and the “Black Lives Matter” Movement. Teigen was one of the first celebrities to donate money to help protesters pay their bail when arrested for protesting the murder of George Floyd. Finding areas of similarity between your podcast and the celebrity you are trying to interview will certainly help improve your chance of landing a celebrity appearance on your show.
What to Know Before Reaching Out
Before you reach out to a celebrity publicist, it’s important to know what the publicist will most likely be looking for. This will allow you to make sure that all of you cover all the bases before making first contact. Among the things you’ll want to include in the introductory email, be sure to include:
- Place of Interview: The celebrity publicist will certainly want to know whether or not their client will need to physically travel to the studio, whether the interview will take place in some other setting, or whether the celebrity can be interviewed remotely. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, most celebrities will most likely prefer remote interviews for podcasts. When things get back to normal, however, make sure to include details regarding the place and timing of the expected interview.
- Use of Video: While some podcasts are purely audio, others also include video to use via Facebook Live and other streaming channels. The celebrity publicist you plan to contact will certainly want to know whether the interview will be recorded with video or just audio.
- Call Back Number: When ending your email to the celebrity publicist, be sure to include a call back phone number, should the celebrity publicist want to further discuss the opportunity. If you do get a response, it is important to understand that many publicists will want to exert a certain degree of control over how the podcast interview is set up and conducted.
- Scheduling Concerns: You will most likely have to adapt your schedule around the previous time commitments of the celebrity you are trying to interview.
- The Issues of Fees or Costs for the Interview: Most interviews with celebrities on podcasts are done for free as they are basically a promotional tool for the celebrity. When writing the celebrity publicist, be sure to include in the initial email information regarding your total audience/viewership. The larger your audience, the more publicity and exposure the celebrity will benefit from. As mentioned above, it is also important to state why you think the celebrity is a good “fit” for your audience. Make sure to clearly define who your audience is, and how a celebrity might benefit from the increased visibility and exposure generated by the interview. In some cases, media outlets (like large podcasts) might offer to pay for the interview. This might be an option if you are on a short time frame and really want to get the interview done quickly. While this can increase the chances of the interview being accepted, it is an added expense. However, you should know that a celebrity interview will quickly boost the popularity and exposure of your podcast. If a fee is involved, you might also negotiate with the publicist a social media mention on the celebrity’s social media profiles linking back to the podcast interview. Lastly, big stories or exclusive interviews that will reveal important celebrity information might also be in high demand. In these cases, a celebrity publicist might shop the interview. However, in most cases, interviews for podcasts are for free.
- Screening the Questions for the Podcast Interview: Also, you should also willingly provide the publicist with a list of the questions you are thinking of asking the celebrity. Most publicists will require a pre-screening of the questions, and might also suggest some changes or variations depending on the content. Because publicists are tasked with keeping track of projects and causes that their clients are involved with, they ultimately have the final word on which questions get asked.