Podcasting and your PR strategy. Part 1: Is it right for you?

With the plethora of digital media available as uses of the internet continue to expand, many influencers, business leaders, entrepreneurs and newsmakers have contemplated the idea of creating and hosting a podcast.

What makes podcasting rather intriguing from a public relations and brand-building standpoint is that it is a balance between earned and paid media. You employ your own media outlet and control the content mixing information, entertainment and promotion all with the goals of elevating your image and brand. Unlike purchasing airtime on local radio and TV stations, you would not be buying a set block of time, you can record or go live on your own schedule, audiences can listen to your show at their convenience and the reach would be expanded. The “paid” end of podcasting would merely fall toward equipment and hosting services (the latter if needed).

Some of today’s top influencers in their fields built their status through podcasting and you can also. Business people and entrepreneurs can promote their products, services and ideas; experts and thought leaders would expand their audiences while sharing their knowledge with listeners; non-profit organizations are able to reach out to potential donors and entertainers may broadcast their talents as a few examples of the power of the podcast.

Podcasting has become virtually essential to those entrepreneurs, thinkers and entertainers looking to reach a specialized or niche market. While advertising or broadcasting on one outlet may only reach some people in certain areas and time frames, the flexibility and potential reach of the podcast allows the host and organization to reach out to more people in an array of different markets (national or worldwide) who would be interested in what they have to offer. This is a direct example of star pollster Michael Penn’s philosophy of microtrending: reaching more people in more areas interested in a niche product, service or idea instead of hitting a mass audience in a small area at one time. In addition, the above-mentioned attraction for the listener to be able to hear your program at their own convenience.

There are also other positives to running your own podcast as it can open the doors to conversations with people you might like to do business with and to expand your network. Podcasters of all types have built several mutually beneficial relationships with guests they had invited on to their programs. Some have found a guest appearance can become a deal-maker as well.

Still, there are things to consider before starting a podcast as part of your public relations plan:

  • You need to make a little bit of time to create content and tape the show
  • Compelling subject matter and performance is key
  • You need equipment
  • You will need to have the podcast hosted: either on your own site or a syndication service.
  • You need to promote the podcast (or have your PR firm do so)

You do not, however, need to be a technical genius to set up and host a podcast. While good production values are important and there is process to building an audience, we will address efficient ways to run a productive DIY podcast and reveal efficient resources to help you on all ends of such a venture during future posts in our series on the subject.