Tuesday, 5 October 2010

A Passion for Podcasting

by Katie Anderson 

Ever since I could talk, I loved an audience. I didn’t speak for a rather long time when I was small but once I started there was no stopping me. 

I used to host radio shows from my bedroom with a tape recorder and BT telephone and invite listeners to participate in my programmes. I don’t remember much about this now of course but some old school friends I was recently reunited with on Facebook reminded me how coming to my house to play after school inevitably involved an appearance on my radio show before tea. 

I love narration and am fascinated by the use of storytelling in history as a means of sharing and teaching the next generation. Just as you or I will remember priceless information about things we have learned aurally since we were young, there’s a place in business for this too. What better way of spreading the word and sharing information? A professional podcast is a fantastic way of engaging your customers and putting yourself out there in the big pool of podcasters on the web. It’s only natural we should teach in this way after all. Think about it, it’s the way we’ve always learned about new things; from listening to Granny showing you how to make a most fabulous apple pie, reading aloud at bedtime or tuning in to your favourite radio show. The key is finding a performance that holds your attention long enough to teach you about things, people, culture and places we have yet to understand in our everyday lives. Our attention span isn’t long either, a good broadcaster has only a few seconds before their listener starts fiddling with the dial. 

The fantastic thing about modern broadcasting is that you don’t have to have a job within a large broadcasting corporation to write, produce and air your programmes. Podcasting is fast becoming a respected means of broadcasting factual and fictional information by drawing in listeners over the web from a far wider reach than a local radio station can. In fact, businesses are using podcasting to bring customers to their websites for an entertaining experience, offering them more than just shopping. Think about all the added benefits of SEO content a podcast can bring to your website. It is a great way to show off your expertise, specialist skills, interact and keep clients coming back time and time again. Make your business an interesting place to be and watch and see how your relationship with your customer grows. From a journalistic point of view it’s a much more challenging way of shouting about what you do than churning out press releases and adds fun and value to your ever growing business.

So, in essence, think of podcasting like a game of tag. Social media like facebook and twitter give us an instant online presence and you can even track your followers and statistics on the number of people driven back to your homepage. Take blogs, where like here , you can read and learn about what a business or organisation is planning or doing right now, or a podcast that you can listen to again and again and the possibilities are endless. With a podcast you can instantly stream your broadcast via specialist websites to reach potential new clients all over the world. 

From complicated marketing campaigns, charts, spreadsheets and pointless information overload, we’ve come full circle and are using aural communication like never before to get our message across. Marketing your business today is about humanising what you do, making yourself accessible and speaking in plain English. As is true in everyday life, the simplest way to spread the word is by telling someone face to face, or ear to ear as it were, about what you know and inviting them to listen and pass the information on.

1 comment:

Sarah Lamballe said...

Great comment from Heather Gorringe of Wiggly Wigglers at Ecmod yesterday. She started podcasting because she wanted a radio show but couldn't because she was a commercial organisation. She wanted a show like a fabulous piece on Radio 4 that was so compelling, it had you sitting on the drive because you can't get out of the car to hear the end. She noticed podcasts on iTunes and that was her lightbulb moment. If you haven't heard a podcast from the Wiggly sofa you really must!


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