The popularity of podcasts is growing by leaps and bounds. Podcast consumption on smartphones, for instance, has increased more than 150 percent in the last five years with consumers tuning in to a wide range of topics—health, personal finance, business, sports, and so on. More than half the U.S. population has now listened to a podcast, according to the 2019 Infinite Dial study by Edison Research.
Surprisingly, business leaders have been slow to catch on to this hot trend. They have been lethargic in recognizing that podcasting is a medium that has enormous appeal to the workforce, especially Millennials and Gen Z. However, that’s beginning to change—so, if you’re looking to persuade senior management that podcasts should be part of your company’s future here are four vital reasons to help you make the case.
Introducing internal company podcasts shows that your organization is keeping up with the times. Audio is today’s medium of choice. It’s the way that Millennials and Gen Z prefer to be entertained and informed. It makes sense, therefore, to make audio—in the form of podcasts—an essential part of your corporate communications strategy. Email is history. We’re all suffering from email overload, often cc’d on a seemingly never-ending chain of correspondence. Sorting out what is relevant from what is totally irrelevant is a time-consuming and aggravating chore. And more than 20 percent go unopened!
Audio, on the other hand, is more selective, more targeted. It’s the new technology that younger members of the workforce want and a forward-looking company not only needs to adopt but also wholeheartedly embrace. If you don’t have podcasts in your communications mix right now—you’re already falling behind.
Podcasts are extremely intimate. They foster a one-to-one atmosphere. Plug those pods into your ears and you block out the rest of the world. “There’s nothing more intimate than someone whispering in your ear,” says veteran podcast producer, Ted Canova. “There’s something very special about the intimacy of audio communication. It’s very close, very personal. You have the sensation that the host is speaking directly to you.” As a form of corporate communication, podcasts give company leaders the opportunity to speak directly to the workforce in a genuine and authentic manner. They hear you, really hear what you are saying and how you are saying it.
“There’s such a busy ecosystem of information deluging everyone but a podcast cuts through the clutter and noise, it cuts through the busy-ness of information and targets people in the heart,” says Canova, Executive Director for Podcasts at Canova Communications.
People absorb the content of a podcast more intently than other forms of communication; they feel more involved, more connected. Podcasts are of great benefit for companies with widely distributed sales networks assuring that remote workers don’t feel disconnected from the mother ship.
With podcasts you can take your message to your workforce in a consistent, coherent manner and they can listen whenever they want, wherever they happen to be. Podcasts can be downloaded and played on smartphones, computers, TVs, personal mp3 players and even newer model cars. You can listen while you’re working out at the gym, going for a walk, doing the gardening or driving the car. Perfect for today’s active multi-taskers.
“Podcasts connect with people, respecting their valuable time and giving them a value proposition when it’s convenient for them,” says Canova. “Or members of your sales force can be on the road meeting clients and making effective use of their drive time by listening to the company podcasts. They can’t be watching a video or a webinar or getting caught up with emails while they’re driving!”
You can create professional podcasts that don’t break the bank. You must give your employees a good reason to listen to your podcast. It must be a quality production—engaging and entertaining, and fun (maybe even humorous) as well as being informative and educational. You don’t just talk into a microphone off-the-cuff and hope for the nest. You plan for the best.
If you can put it together in-house, good for you. But the chances are that an outside team of experienced podcasters can develop truly polished shows that resonate with your audience. A podcast production company like FieldCast offers a variety of services. You can opt for a full-service program which delivers everything from concept through scripting to the production of an entire series of podcasts. Or you can have their team of experts train your team to produce podcasts. There’s even an Uber-like podcast plan where you choose the level of assistance you need calling on professional producers to help create your finished product.
Remember, your employees have lots of choices. Respect them and don’t take them for granted. They can spend their valuable time any number of ways other than listening to your podcast. So, get the help you need to make sure your podcast is one they can’t wait to listen to.
Gary Reynolds is CEO of FieldCast, a company that produces podcasts for corporations with large distributed networks of employees. He founded experiential marketing agency GMR, which represented hundreds of global brands over his 40 years at the helm. Contact Gary at email@example.com or 312.626.3620.