Do you listen to podcasts? Apparently 58 million people around the world do. And according to the speakers at the LDNpod event I attended last week, podcasting is a growing trend and a tactic that PR agencies can use to reach new audiences.
So what exactly are podcasts? The formal definition is “a series of digital media files (either audio or video) that are released episodically and often downloaded through web syndication”. To the uninitiated a podcast is a little like a radio show you download every week to enjoy at your leisure (note however that these days podcasts can just as easily be video as audio).
The speakers at the event included several successful podcasters such as Kelvin Newman who runs the UK’s most popular internet marketing podcast. Creative director at SEO and digital marketing agency, Site Visibility, Kelvin is also a well known blogger and pointed out that few of the subscribers to his blogs also listen to his podcasts – they’re different people, so podcasting really does extend your reach to totally new targets.
Browse through iTunes’ podcast library and you’ll see that the breadth of topics for podcasts is now enormous; from established media brands such as national newspapers and radio stations getting in on the act, to organisations such as the British Museum, VisitBath and a host of language learning companies, most of whom are trying to increase the uptake of their services and products by reaching out to new people. Although there are also plenty of podcasters, such as Gary Andrews who runs football podcast, TwoFootedTackle (also one of the event speakers), who appear to be in it just for the sheer love of it.
Another speaker – regular podcaster and freelance PR and social media consultant, Chris Lee (who I have the pleasure of working with) – pointed out in his presentation that PR agencies who already focus on building relationships with journalists and bloggers shouldn’t forget podcasters; try to identify and reach out to relevant podcasters and suggest clients they can interview – or develop sponsorship opportunities.
And if you feel that creating your own regular podcast might help you to further your or your clients’ businesses, then experts such as Andy White of podcast production company WireWorldMedia (another speaker) can help you. But provided you put in the time in planning and research and use the right kit (which you can probably buy for under £200, according to the event speakers), it’s not too difficult to producing podcasts yourself.
Image courtesy of topgold on Flickr creative commons.