A few weeks ago my roommate was packing her things in a duffle bag as she was about to road trip home from Milwaukee to Mankato, Minnesota. She could not contain her excitement: “I will have six hours to catch up on all my podcasts!”
This is the new medium – the new way to pass the time. When is the last time you heard someone say, “I just love the radio right now?” I know that at least for me, I get bored of radio listening by the time I hear the same song for the third time in a day – and we all know that that is not a rare occurrence.
Podcasts allow the listener to seek out shows that discuss topics within their interest. The newest trend in public relations is to get your brand on a podcast. What better way for an athletic shoe company to build a better relationship with athletes than through a podcast that discusses athletics?
Communicating with consumers as listeners of a podcast that they already trust is a very effective way to increase brand authenticity. According to Aristotle’s method of persuasion, ethos, or trust, is the first factor that must be established. If a podcaster is already established in a certain field, and he or she takes the time to get to know your brand, and then also go on to rave about your brand, their listeners will be more likely to trust them than if the brand had communicated to that unknown consumer directly. The listener already knows that the podcast host shares some aspect of a common field of experience and most likely assumes that the host also has his or her listeners’ best interests in mind.
Public relations is about building relationships; it’s about a trusted friendship between a brand and consumer. Communicating through a podcast, a friendly and known environment to the listener or consumer already, is a great way to start that relationship. It is like becoming friends with someone because you already have a mutual friend.
Podcasts are arguably the most popular pastime after binge-watching a series on Netflix and the old-time pastime of reading a good book. Just as public relations professionals took the world of social media by storm, they need to jump on the podcast bandwagon.
Maybe, just maybe, my roommate will discover a new brand as mutual friend on her next road trip home.