Podcasts create an open conversation with companies

Agencies and clients have used podcasts for years as another way to generate interest and promote their brands. However, despite a familiarity with the technology, subject choice, client comfort, and timing remain the major parts of a successful podcast.

Agencies and clients have used podcasts for years as another way to generate interest and promote their brands. However, despite a familiarity with the technology, subject choice, client comfort, and timing remain the major parts of a successful podcast.

John Moran, director at Schwartz Communications, creates three podcasts a month for his agency's site, partially to set an example for hesitant or future clients of what a podcast can do. Formats range from roundtables to one-on-one interviews. His podcasts also feature agency executives, reporters, and analysts, he adds.

"They're more inclined to give it a shot themselves," Moran says. "When they get more comfortable, the [number of episodes] will increase."

Choosing the podcast's subject, number of episodes, and their length are important, Moran adds.

"Just because someone has a C-level title doesn't make them interesting," he says.

The team at Screengrab, Weber Shandwick's interactive media practice, works with clients to demonstrate how easy producing and consuming podcasts are. The fact that many podcasts are unmonitored makes them a harder sell for some clients, says EVP Bonin Bough, but executives are learning to adjust.

By talking about a brand and dialogue, companies can use podcasts to create thought leadership. With low production costs, the audio and visual elements can also be used to complement written communications, Bough adds.

Moran and Bough agree that podcasts are not limited to specific industries. The medium is also a sign that companies and their executives are becoming comfortable with the idea of an open conversation.

Key points:
Interesting interviews can feature top executives or lower-level staffers

The number of podcast episodes is vital to keep users returning to the site

Episode length should depend on the topic

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