September 30th marked International Podcast Day – an annual celebration highlighting the power of podcasting!
In recent years, we have become a nation of podcast enthusiasts, and why wouldn’t we be? Whether you’re a techie, a fitness fanatic, a business mogul or simply seeking some light entertainment, you can guarantee that you will easily discover your perfect podcast.
If you drop the word ‘podcast’ into general conversation, more often than not you will find yourself enthusiastically bombarded with recommendations from fellow podcast fans. But why have they gained so much popularity in recent years? After all, the podcast has been around for over a decade.
- They fit into our busy schedules – On the bus? In the bath? Cooking? No problem! One of the reasons podcasts have become so well loved is because they perfectly complement our hectic lives and can easily be listened to whilst doing other activities. They also vary greatly in length- no matter how little or how much time you have, there will always be something to fit your schedule.
- They help form communities – In the age of social media, the world has never been more connected but often lacks that vital element of personal interaction. Podcasts provide the perfect solution to this as listeners can gain an insight into real conversations which allows them to become more invested in certain topics and identify with the podcast hosts as real people. All listeners are like-minded individuals which in turn creates a positive feedback loop where listeners can end up generating future content for the podcast.
- There’s something for everyone – As previously discussed, with podcasts there are endless topics to choose from. So much so that you’re often left struggling to decide what to listen to!
- They’re easily accessible – Most people now own a smartphone and are plugged into them everywhere they go. Not so long ago, it would have taken a significant amount of effort to find and access a podcast or, dare I say it, listen to it live. Now they’re available on demand so it’s significantly easier to listen to episodes in your spare time.
How do they complement our new world of communications?
Podcasts essentially tell stories. Even if the podcast is factual, you are still being told information in an interesting and conversational manner designed to draw you in and make you think or react in different ways. The modern world has been built on stories being passed down from generation to generation, as humans thrive on emotional connection and shared sentiment. It is for this reason that podcasts are so useful in the world of communications, because PR is all about forming human relationships to promote a common sentiment.
Many brands now have their own extremely successful podcasts precisely for this reason – if listeners already know and love the brand, they will want to listen to the podcast. This is advantageous for both the listener and the company as both can learn how to identify with the other on a more emotional level. Podcasts allow us to see each other as people, as opposed to abstract figures. This, in my opinion, is what makes them so effective and so well loved.
Here’s some of the team’s favourites:
- Hannah Pollak – Rough Translation
A National Public Radio podcast from the States, this show sees reporters take stories from around the world ranging from perceptions of failure, racial conflict and ideas of citizenship and explore the human, personal voice behind them. Storytelling at its best.
- Marcus Lange – Secret Leaders
This podcast interviews business men/women about their story of how they built business. Featuring guests like Jo Malone and businesses like lastminute, Uber and even Candy Crush
- Alexandra Taylor – Seriously…
A BBC Radio Four podcast aimed at curious minds. The Seriously series discusses a range of weird, wonderful and serious topics from superheroes to modern slavery.
- Abi Hanson – Happy Place
The Happy Place podcast sees Fearne Cotton have inspiring conversations with incredible individuals about how to stay happy in our hectic modern world.
- Charlie Souster – That Peter Crouch Podcast
The podcast where Peter Crouch, Tom Fordyce and Chris Stark bring you their guide to being a professional footballer.