Pod Save the PR Professional

October 20, 2017

When I first began planning my move to Seattle from California I asked everyone I talked to from the area, “What is the one thing I have to know before moving to Seattle?” and nine times out of ten the answer was, “the Seattle Freeze.” They weren’t talking about the weather – although damn it’s cold – or the cornerstore’s newest icy flavor. They were talking about how Seattle folks take some extra warming up before they’ll show you their nice side.

One of the easiest ways to spot the Seattle Freeze is watching the hordes of people walking to and from work every day, headphones on, deep in a book, playlist, podcast…you name it. Just anything to avoid talking to each other. It didn’t take me long to join in on this daily ritual, plugging in my headphones before running out the door and starting my day with NPR’s Up First podcast. This the first of a handful of podcasts I listen to on a daily basis, not to mention the New York Times’ The Daily, and the more I talked with my fellow Barokas cohorts, the more I realized they all listened to podcasts, too.

This got me thinking – if a whole office of PR professionals is listening to podcasts, how can podcasts impact out PR roles and what opportunity is there to share our clients’ stories through this medium? After a little digging, here’s what I found.

 

Podcasts can help you play or pause

When I asked my coworkers why they like listening to podcasts, I gathered a split consensus with two answers: learning more or taking a break. Some folks were looking for an easy way to stay up to date on relevant topics with business or political podcasts, saying it was a great way to get a fresh, personal and more easily digestible perspective on the news. Others listened to podcasts simply to destress and think about anything but work.

While there was variety in what types of podcasts we all listen to, everyone agreed that podcasts are a great way to be entertained while multitasking. This is especially true when I feel like I have been sitting and staring at my screen all day and the thought of watching TV feels like more of the same. Podcasts tend to get me up and moving, especially when I listen on my walk home, while cooking and occasionally, at the gym.

 

Time to get podcasts to start listening to you

According to the Pew Research Center, one-third of adults listen to podcasts and the medium is growing. So, how can we get our clients in front of this hungry audience? Turns out it isn’t all that tricky. Based on our in-house experience pitching podcasts for our clients, the initial process starts out the same – understand your story, identify target media and craft concise, personal pitches for each of those decision makers. For a little extra PR tender loving care, make sure you understand the dynamics of the podcast and refresh your spokesperson on media dos and don’ts before the recording starts.

Just like you would read up on a reporters most recent and relevant work before a briefing, it is important to listen to a few podcasts prior to the recording to grasp the nuances of the show and the host. When you understand that, you can coach your client’s spokesperson on what to say and what not to say and how to cut through the noise of the interview to impress the show’s producer, who ultimately holds the power to invite the client back for future opportunities.

So, what do you think – are you all in on podcasts? Get started researching podcasts as an outlet for your clients here, or check out some of Barokas Communications’s favorite podcasts:

Binge Mode

Crimetown

Dear Sugars

Freakonomics Radio

Hidden Brain

Is this Podcast Paleo?

Lore

Mogul: the Life and Death of Chris Lightly

NPR’s How I Built This

NPR’s Up First

Off the Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe

Pod Save America

S-Town

Serial

Stranglers

Stuff You Missed in History Class

TED Radio Hour

The Daily

The Splendid Table

This American Life

Up and Vanished

Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me

– Sydney

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