One way to do that is to ask the editor of a trade publication if they'd publish an article based on your interviews with a few industry heavy hitters on a topic du jour that's of interest to you. One editor will likely agree.
Even bigwigs like to be interviewed for a publication, so you'll likely get one-on-one time with a handful of high-level people you'd otherwise have a hard time accessing. And at the end of the interview, you can ask for some career advice or even if there might be a job opportunity working for him. At minimum, the interview will give you valuable information you can use to enhance your career, for example, in job application cover letters and interviews.
I just learned of another way to get to interview bigshots, indeed anyone, without needing to convince an editor of a publication to publish it. It's an internet radio show.
According to Michael Surkan, it's easy to set it up. Lest I be accused of not practicing what I'm preaching, I haven't done it because I have terrestrial radio shows on KGO-AM (ABC-San Francisco) and KALW-FM (NPR-San Francisco.)
Here's how Surkan recommends you do it:
1. Pick someone you want to interview. Maybe it's a target employer you found on LinkedIn. Or someone you met at a party: "Hey, would you like me to interview you for my Internet radio show? I'll email you the link, afterwards." And it probably couldn't hurt to ask your boss if s/he'd like to be interviewed.
2. Download the free Skype software. Then click Tools, then Extras, then Pamela to download the free plug-in that enables you to record your interviews. You'll need a USB headset microphone. Here are reviews of them.
3. Use freeware such as RecordForAll or the more sophisticated Audacity to delete any flubs or weak parts and/or add a music bed: that's music that plays underneath your intro and outro.
4. Post the interview on your website or blog. You can easily set up a blog for free in just a few minutes on Blogger (this blog's platform) or on the more sophisticated WordPress.
5. Email your interviewee the link to the interview. You might ask if s/he'd like you to write a recommendation on their LinkedIn profile.
Whether it's a print or radio interview, it's a potent and fun way to create a relationship.
For more on how to create an Internet interview , here's an interview with Michael Surkan. Ironically or perhaps as indicator that podcasting isn't quite that easy, it's in text, not audio!