This week Mark Sweney, media business correspondent for The Guardian, signalled to his readers that podcasts are currently having what he called “a Netflix moment”.
He writes...”Global hits – from the ground-breaking Serial to Up and Vanished, and TV crossovers such as Dirty John – and Spotify’s plan to spend up to $500m on leading producers have made podcasts a hot media property”.
Podcasts are typically defined as a digital audio file, which can be downloaded or streamed, usually as a series, to a community of subscribers. The fast growing size of these online “communities” is why podcasts are now making their way onto the mainstream media’s agenda.
This means that there is yet another new media area for businesses and organisations to take into account when developing their communications strategies to raise their online profile, and the growing influence of podcasts on audiences is not to be underestimated.
Just in the same way that social media’s constant updates now dictate and make up so much of traditional mainstream media’s news stories, podcasts are now also making their impact felt. Indeed, recent Netflix global hit series Dirty John, was itself the result of a highly successful podcast looking at this case and produced by the Los Angeles Times.
It is no surprise that media outlets from the BBC to the FT have launched their own, popular podcasts. They recognise that this type of content is attractive to listeners as they appeal to busy professionals who can listen whilst on the move, however unlike traditional radio shows, listeners tap into themes and topics that they are specifically interested in. Podcasts such as ‘Keeping It Candid’ allow aspiring influencers to tap into the tips and tricks of social media and Adam Grant’s TED inspired Worklife podcast are now beginning to wield just as much influence as traditional stalwarts such as Radio 4’s Today Programme.
But what does this mean for businesses and organisations trying to make impact with podcast producers? How should they approach this new medium?
The simple answer is that the same old media training principles will apply, from knowing the editorial style of the producer before going in for an interview, to making sure that you actually answer the question, with jargon free, succinct and personable responses. It would also be wise to listen to the podcast before going in and invest in an in-depth chat with the podcast producer or presenter, to find out what they think constitutes a good interview.
But perhaps the most important factor to take into account is the global nature of the podcast. Unlike with other more traditional broadcast interviews the podcast is truly global in its reach.
Make sure when you are preparing for a podcast appearance that you have considered how your messages will translate to audiences, from the UK to right across the globe. You may be sitting in a small room in Soho, having what feels like an intimate chat with the presenter, but the power and reach of the podcast is that this conversation will be delivered potentially across many continents. So it is important that your messages are as accessible, relevant and comprehensive to as wide an audience as possible.