On a recent solo five hour drive across the flat, dry expanse that is West Texas, the only way I maintained my sanity was through my arsenal of podcasts I have saved up on my phone. There always comes a point where music gets to be too much, and the sound of humans talking about something interesting is the only way I can focus without veering off the road.
I embarked upon an internet quest to see how others felt about this choose-your-own-adventure radio, and I was not surprised to see that I was not alone. An article from Vanity Fair described it as “essentially radio on the installment plan, a return to the intimacy, wombed shadows, and pregnant implications of words, sounds, and silences in the theater of the mind.” Though my feelings about podcasts are not nearly as poetic, I do find that the lack of interruptive commercials and the frequent focus on longform storytelling to be refreshing.
It occurred to me that podcasts have the potential to be useful tools in public relations. I stumbled upon this interesting article from PR News Online that expounded upon the advantages of podcasts in public relations, which include branding and marketing, thought leadership, and relationship building. They can be relatively cheap to produce and adapted to whomever professionals want to reach. The article describes how the amount of freedom a podcast offers to an organization in terms of content creation makes it a great tool for distributing information in a well-developed, creative way.
The emergence of new technology and the growth in popularity of tools like podcasts makes this an amazing time to be entering into the public relations profession, or for that matter, any profession related to digital communications or marketing. Podcasts give us an opportunity to bring our words to life in a whole new way, and offer consumers a more interactive, holistic experience. As for me, I continue to listen to Nate Silver and FiveThirtyEight until I get the chance to use this in my own career.