The power of podcasts in earned media strategies

Clients can benefit from embracing podcast interviews, argues Paisley Haddad, Zeno senior account executive and host of The Queen of Comm podcast.

Half of U.S. adults have listened to a podcast in the past year and about one-in-five of those listeners tune into a podcast nearly every day, according to a recent study from the Pew Research Center. Of the surveyed listeners, 59% do not consume podcasts released by a traditional news source. So, what does this mean for our industry?

As we watch listeners increasingly rely on alternative media, it’s up to PR pros to convey to clients the importance of podcasting in an effective earned media strategy.

Being both a podcast host and a PR practitioner, I recognize the many benefits of podcast interviews. They offer an opportunity to strategically reach a targeted audience, serve as a media training exercise and allow brands to engage directly with their industry. 

Prioritize prep 

You never know when the right opportunity will come along. Always have spokespeople on deck to take podcast interviews and make sure they have their bio, headshot and other information about the brand ready to share.

To make the most of any podcast, it’s important to tailor messaging to fit the target audience. Vetting guests and preparing background research allows the host to decide if a client would organically be a fit for the show and build out the episode materials, such as interview questions and the overall theme.

Optimizing podcast content

A big misconception is that podcasts can be weighed on the same scale as a traditional editorial or broadcast option for clients. 

Podcasting is a niche medium, but can provide a way to reach potential stakeholders, prompting them to take action following an interview, whether that’s purchasing a product, booking a trip or simply giving a follow on social media. 

Additionally, podcast clips can be used to highlight a client’s expertise speaking about their brand and trending topics, potentially exemplifying to journalists and other industry professionals their unique perspective.

Create direct-to-consumer connection

While consumers mostly hear from clients through drafted statements, traditional interviews or press release quotes, podcasts can bring a human element to key messaging.

Rooted in a more casual conversation, they act as a tool to showcase a client’s personality and help improve their interview pacing and flow.

Audio-based shows such as Call Her Daddy or Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard demonstrate that listeners want authenticity and to hear from unique personalities. Encourage your clients to use podcasts to position themselves as a distinct voice within their industry, taking listeners behind-the-scenes of the brand and offering an “exclusive” perspective.

Podcasts deserve a seat at the table — let’s pull out a chair.

Paisley Haddad is a senior account executive at Zeno Group and host of The Queen of Comm podcast. 

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