Podcasts have proven to be an emerging trend in the public relations industry. The public relations industry is constantly changing and adapting to keep up with technology and the public. Podcasting consists of recording a digital file that can be distributed over the net using syndication feeds to be able to be played over the computer, MP3, or via IPod ( Faulhaber). Especially when related to public relations, the importance of podcasts is to reach an audience. When it comes to public relations and reaching a specific target audience, the more people that are introduced to the product or service the more successful that product or service is. PodGarden, an innovator of online marketing, states that it is projected that by 2013, 37.6 million people will be downloading podcasts each month (Podcast Importance.) This proves that podcasts are an outlet that if used correctly, can reach the masses.
Those who receive a podcasts are called subscribers and the podcast receiver is the technology that allows the subscriber to receive the podcast content. The receiver produces technology that has a way of narrowing down the subscribers specific podcast interests. This allows podcasts to be targeted by individual interest.
Podcast websites have even targeted the public relations profession, to provide a tool to the individuals in the public relations industry. Podcast websites such as PRWebPodcast provides an aid for public relations professionals by featuring interviews about press releases, producing the ability to bring news releases to life, and once again connect with the public.
Eric Schwartzman, founder and chairman of public relations services provider, iPressroom, states that “Public Relations podcasting initiatives can whisper in the ear of an influential, outspoken audience of brand ambassadors and compelling listeners to serve as word-of-mouth agents, repeating what they hear to friends and family” (Schwartzman.) Podcasts can be an extremely valid public relations tool for organizations. Podcasts provide a way for companies and organizations to develop and emotional bond with their customers (101publicrelations.)
Podcasts can give companies more of a personality and hence make the company and the services it provides more relatable to the customer. Multiple companies including BMW and General Motors have podcasts linked to their company website to create more of an integrated relationship with their customers. The messages these companies send out via podcasts include messages for the CEO, new product launches, service use information, and technology briefs (Faulhaber.)
Apart from providing public relations for products and services, as well as being able to appeal to specific audiences, podcasting can also produce a public relations campaign for individuals. California Governor Arnold Swarzenegger used podcasts to package and distribute political speeches (Fernado.)
Communication is the core of public relations. A global study by Universal McCann found that the number of podcast listeners in the United States has doubled in the last year and a half (Schwartzman). With its availability on the internet, podcasts can be reached throughout the global marketplace and can provide a public relations tool for a variety of different outlets. Podcasts are one of the latest communication tools used by all generations and most target groups, and will continue to be a successful public relations practice.
Faulhaber, P. (2008). Podcasts and public relations. Suite 101, Retrieved from http://marketingpr.suite101.com/article.cfm/podcasting_perfect_tool_for_public_relations
Fernado, A. (2005). Podcasting, anyone?. Communication World, 22. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=3&hid=112&sid=98683033-0c5c-4fb6-88e5-d9d7f1c35465%40sessionmgr111&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d
(n.d.). Podcast importance. Retrieved from http://podgarden.oneupweb.com/podcast_importance.htm
Shwartzman, E. (2008). Study suggests corporate podcasting is a growth opportunity for communicators. Comprehnsion, Retrieved from http://comprehension.prsa.org/?p=141
(n.d.). The Value of podcasting. 101 Public Relations, Retrieved from http://101publicrelations.com/blog/the_value_of_podcasting_001792.html