Leveraging Podcasts to Enhance Public Relations
Podcasts offer a unique opportunity for PR professionals.
In the public relations (PR) profession, we are forever on the lookout for new ways to spread the word on behalf of our clients. Cue podcasts, which have become an invaluable tool for building and sustaining relationships with target audiences. With approximately 3 million podcasts worldwide and a growing listener base – 64% of U.S. listeners have tuned into a podcast, with 42% listening monthly and 31% weekly – podcasts present a unique channel for enhancing your PR performance.
Copyright 2024 concept and image by J. Alexander Greenwood using OpenAI's DALL-E.
Scott Galloway, known as "Prof G," aptly sums up the convenience of podcasts.
“Podcasting is more convenient than any visual format. It doesn’t require our full attention, making it more accessible than video. We may be in a golden age of television, but a podcast is always just a few clicks away, facilitating the proliferation of new voices.”
As a veteran public relations professional and an early adopter of podcasting, I offer insights on leveraging podcasting effectively in your PR strategy. This is by no means comprehensive, but I hope it gets you thinking about ways to leverage this unique channel to improve your PR performance.
Establishing Thought Leadership
Podcasts are an excellent platform for showcasing expertise. Regularly participating in discussions on industry trends, challenges, and insights positions you as a thought leader, enhancing your credibility and making your brand a trusted information source.
My podcast, PR After Hours, has become a platform for guests to share their knowledge and establish themselves as industry authorities. It has paid many benefits to guests, listeners, and myself—including increased brand awareness, new clients, and friendships.
Expanding Reach and Engagement
Podcasts allow you to reach audiences beyond traditional media. They are consumed by people who prefer audio content and appreciate the convenience of listening while on the move. Ask people who listen to podcasts—chances are they will tell you they do so while exercising, washing dishes, mowing the lawn, or running errands. This is a significant attention capture! This wider reach, combined with the engaging nature of podcasts, can significantly boost your brand's visibility.
Building Personal Connections
By sharing stories, experiences, and expertise in a conversational tone, you can develop a more personal relationship with your audience, which is invaluable in PR. I can’t tell you how many times I have been told by listeners that they feel like they know me just by hearing me on the show. That’s a powerful connection.
The content from your podcast can be repurposed across various platforms. Transcribing episodes into blog posts, creating social media snippets, or developing newsletters from your podcast discussions helps reinforce your message and maximize content reach. It’s also a great way to make the content work for you weeks, months, or even years after you initially post it.
Direct Audience Insights
Podcast platforms provide analytics offering insights into audience preferences and behaviors. While I think podcast data in general could stand some improvement, this data is nevertheless becoming instrumental in aligning future PR strategies with audience interests.
Networking and Collaborative Opportunities
Podcasts open doors to networking by inviting guests from your industry to share what they know with your audience. This not only enriches your podcast’s content but also helps in building relationships with other thought leaders, which can lead to collaborative opportunities.
I have made strategic partners and some clients in the PR world by producing the aforementioned PR After Hours and was even hired to write a screenplay for a major motion picture! It started from a relationship established with a guest on my book/lit show, Mysterious Goings On.
Starting and maintaining a podcast is budget-friendly, making it an accessible PR tool for businesses of all sizes. Starting for free is possible (see Spotify for Podcasters for hosting, Zoom to record shows, Audacity for sound editing, etc.,) with affordable options for equipment upgrades as your podcast grows and you feel comfortable continuing.
Podcasts excel in reaching niche audiences. Tailoring content to specific interests or industries allows for deeper engagement with specific segments. You may never garner millions of downloads, but if you stick with it and provide quality, consistent content, you can curate hundreds, and maybe even thousands of quality listeners who care about your subject matter. I’ll take quality over quantity every time!
In crises, podcasts offer a direct and transparent communication channel with your audience, essential for managing your brand’s reputation. No filter—just you and your message.
The growing popularity of podcasts offers a unique opportunity for PR professionals. By effectively leveraging this medium, you can enhance your brand’s visibility, establish thought leadership, and build stronger relationships with your audience. In the digital age, content reigns supreme, and podcasts can be a crucial part of your PR strategy.
Want to learn more about podcasting? Read my book, The Podcast Option, available as an eBook. softcover, and audiobook.
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