Adding Podcasts to Your PR Strategy

If you’ve spent any time in PR, you’ve heard an executive vice president or two reminisce about the days of writing releases on typewriters and clipping media hits by hand. Those anecdotes, better than anything else, showcase just how much the discipline has evolved over the last few decades. My point is that things are constantly changing. But one thing that has remained the same is the need to get high-quality coverage for clients. You’ve distributed releases and secured articles, but have you thought about podcasts?

An intro to podcasts
Since their rise to popularity in the early 2000s, podcasts have been on the up and up. According to insights from Nielsen, the podcast audience in the United States is projected to double by 2023. This portable, on-demand option is becoming the preferred method of entertainment and catching up on current events during long commutes to and from the workplace. Although many have moved to working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the data shows that smart speakers are also being widely used for listening.

Leveraging podcasts for PR
The beauty of podcasts is that they can be used in a variety of ways. PR practitioners can help secure guest spots or even create a client-branded show.

Before trying to create a podcast, consider setting up interviews on industry-leading shows. Because existing channels are likely to already have their set target audience, you can focus on the topic at hand and building awareness for your brand, not for the podcast itself. Capitalize on the already curated audience as well as the trusted host, while also getting your message out there. Here, the emphasis is credibility. Unlike a press release which might be viewed as bias, an interview or article featuring your company gives weight to your brand by having a trusted authority figure provide validation. The same concept applies with podcasts.

Creating your own podcast and building an audience can help establish your company as a thought leader in your desired industry. This takes the opportunity from earned to owned. In this case, you have all the power when it comes to creating and attracting an audience, selecting topics for each episode and discussing details specific to your company. This also puts the company, specifically the host, in a position to be a thought leader and feature other well-known thought leaders on the show.

After the interview
After securing an interview on a podcast, or even starting your own, don’t just leave it at that. Leverage it wherever possible. Share the link on your own social channels or reshare posts from the podcast’s pages and encourage followers to take a listen. This way, you’re cross-promoting and reaching a wider audience. If it makes sense, link to the podcast on your website so potential customers can feel confident in your expertise.

Lastly, use it as part of your next podcast pitch. Mentioning another podcast in a pitch and providing a link to listen helps the host understand what you’ve discussed before, your interview style and what your area of expertise is.

Yes, PR has come a long way, and is still changing, so don’t get left behind. Stay ahead of the curve. Seek out new and relevant opportunities for your company, understand where your audience is and how they can be reached, and partner with a skilled agency to ensure you’re not neglecting your target audience.