By Arthur Perkins
The podcast first burst onto the scene in the 1980s, but enjoyed a huge boom at the turn of the Millennium as personal audio devices became more readily available. Podcasts started out as their own entity, with recordings and downloads often seen as being mutually exclusive to radio. Radio has always been the first port of call for listeners, but the rise of the podcast has come about as a result of today’s fast paced lifestyle and the increasing demand for here and now technology.
Today the podcast has become much more aligned with radio; many stations produce their own podcasts, ranging from feature podcasts, to whole show recordings; some even use podcasts (including PR generated ones) as part of a show. Podcasts are available anytime, anywhere! This has led to the podcast becoming an increasingly useful tool for Broadcast PR and an essential tool in modern PR strategy. This blog documents the key requirements for getting your podcast used on-air by broadcasters to really boost your radio campaign and secure maximum coverage.
In order for your podcast to be used on air it has to be catchy and interesting. Length is paramount to this. The optimum time for a podcast for a Broadcast PR Campaign is around 2 minutes; this keeps it flowing but also better maintains the listener’s interest and therefore is a better tool in conveying key messages for the PR campaign. Within your radio day, it’s advisable to take time to record longer versions and edit them down – this is particularly useful for the spokespeople as it can be hard to be concise and informative at the same time.
One of the biggest components of a successful podcast is the spokespeople. A key to making an engaging podcast is to have two voices, as this helps focus the listener and to keep it appealing and entertaining. It often helps to have an expert on the subject talking alongside a third party commentator who can offer a more listener related point of view. Greater coverage can be achieved with celebrity spokespeople, and all spokespeople need to be able to convey key messages across to the listener as well as providing insightful and interesting content. For a great example, here’s a podcast from a campaign we did for Jaffa, featuring double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington and Head of Research for the Children’s Food Trust Jo Nicholas: https://instaud.io/YSX
Content is critical, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be pegged to a particular news story. In fact if you make your PR podcast more general it’s more useful to radio stations, because it doesn’t have to be used on a particular day. That gives the best chance of having the podcast used on-air, as a station has a flexible piece of audio that could go out at any time, any day.
The content of the podcast needs to be informative and engaging, with a tone to match. Answers need to be punchy and to the point. Many stations won’t take the whole podcast, but will use the clips as soundbites for news, so messaging needs to be well embedded.
Once the podcast is done, you need to identify relevant stations who are most likely to be interested – not every station will take PR generated material, but many will. Most stations will just take the audio file over email and MP3, others may like it WeTransferred. It is vital though to communicate with broadcasters and make sure they have all the relevant information such as: duration, in words, out words, a brief of the spokespeople, a press release including any other relevant information to the podcast and story, and a broadcast cue to help broadcasters picture how they can use the podcast in show.
All of these tips can help to devise a podcast that can best support your radio campaign, used well it can be a brilliant aid to your PR Strategy and help to secure increased coverage.
At Shout! Communications we produce podcasts for a wide variety of clients – we also include a free podcast with every radio day campaign. We pride ourselves on our production value – here’s a showcase podcast on our recent work with the Big Tick Project for MSD Animal Health: https://instaud.io/YSP. For more information or to discuss an upcoming campaign, please give us a shout on 0207 240 7373, or drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.