Can Hosting a Podcast Be Good for Your Business?

Heidi Otway, APR, CPRC, President + Partner
There are more than 1.7 million podcasts, and over 43 million episodes in play across the globe. If you’re considering a podcast for your business or organization, I encourage you to go for it. But ask yourself a few questions first because the field is crowded and producing a quality podcast to keep listeners isn’t as easy as it seems.

Creating Our Podcast

Fifty percent of all U.S. homes are podcast fans, and companies, brands, nonprofits, media and even individuals, are producing programs to inform and engage these listeners. Our firm started its podcast in 2017 to introduce and elevate our new brand. The Fluent in Floridian podcast features in-depth conversations with influential leaders across the state. Listeners tune in to hear the state’s movers and shakers talk about issues that Floridians care about, what inspires them to lead, and where they see our state headed.

Podcasting has a low barrier to entry, yet listeners want great content. Before launching our podcast, we spent months forming a strategy, defining our target audience, developing a production plan, creating a microsite to host episodes, and building a list of notable Florida leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors to interview. We also identified key performance indicators to track audience engagement so we could secure the right guests and grow our listener base.

How to Produce a Podcast

We purchased equipment to produce the podcast in-house, and learned how to record, edit, and post the podcast on Apple iTunes, Spotify and other popular audio platforms. Our earlier guest interviews were done in person using a portable recorder and microphone. As our guest list grew, we switched to newer tools to interview guests remotely and improve production quality. Since the pandemic, our podcast interviews are produced virtually using to record both high-quality audio and video of the conversations.

Why do you want to do a Podcast?

If you’re considering podcasting as a PR tool, the first thing you should do is determine why you want to do it. When people call me asking for tips and insights, I first ask them why they want to do a podcast. While there are tons of “how-tos” on the internet, most of the people I spoke to hadn’t considered the planning, production and promotions needed to create and sustain a quality podcast that attracts listeners. Producing a podcast with high-value content takes work.

Keys to Success

We’ve produced nearly 90 podcast episodes. Here are some keys to our success that you should consider:

  • Make the podcast an integral part of your brand 
  • Hire a college student to be an associate producer/producer (shout out to Florida State University grads Jacob Freid and Claudia Craig!) 
  • Invest in quality equipment and/or an online recording platform for remote interviews
  • Promote each new podcast on social media
  • Invest in paid digital and social media advertising to build an audience and increase subscribers 
  • Send a link to newly released podcasts to the media 
  • Use the podcast for blog posts and/or e-newsletter content 

The Future of Podcasting

Clubhouse, the invite-only live audio streaming app, is growing and generating a lot of buzz. I’ve been listening to programs on the audio social network and believe it has the potential to pull audiences away from recorded podcasts or alter the way podcasts are currently produced. The potential downside to Clubhouse — the programs are not recorded. Listeners have to hear them as they happen. 

Another shift I’m seeing are newly launched podcasts that are more niche and getting shorter in length — less than 15 minutes long. With new platforms, trends, and format changes, podcasting has greater potential as a PR tool for companies and organizations.   

Subscribe and listen to the Fluent in Floridian podcast on iTunes and Spotify.

Podcast History and Fast Facts
  • Comedy is the most popular podcast genre, followed by education and news 
  • The number one podcast in the U.S. is The Apology Line by Wondery 
  • New York Times “The Daily” is the second most popular podcast in the U.S. 
  • Ninety percent of podcast listening is done at home
  • Eighty-two percent of podcast listeners spend more than seven hours a week listening to podcasts 
  • September 30 is recognized as International Podcast Day

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