The Power of Podcasts in PR: Five Reasons Why

Podcasts. Podcasts. Podcasts. There is no escaping the mention of this ever-growing revolutionary media. When I joined the Health Team at Hager Sharp, I brought with me nearly a decade of public health experience. While I knew my professional background would be beneficial to support communications campaigns committed to improving health, I also had an inkling that the hobby I picked up during the pandemic may be just as useful.

As of December 2021, there were more than 2 million active podcasts and 48 million episodes, according to Podcasting Insights. Podcasts offer a unique and strategic way of communicating. In the PR industry, there is a blooming realization of just how powerful this platform can be. Whether using podcasts as a tool to support our client’s campaigns or listening to podcasts to stay up to date on news and trends in our profession, podcasts have a dominating power.

Let’s dive into five reasons why PR professionals should take advantage of this fast-growing platform.

  1. Ease of consumption. Every great communications campaign has an effective messaging strategy that utilizes a variety of marketing channels to reach key audiences. Podcasting is a unique marketing channel because of its ease of consumption. At Hager Sharp, we work with mission-driven organizations whose messaging can be life-changing and lifesaving. It’s of utmost importance to reach our audiences where they are and in the most convenient of ways. Podcasts are accessible across all media devices and keep up with society’s busy, ‘always-on-the-go’ lifestyle. Consumers can listen to podcasts during their commute, in the gym, while tackling household chores, or even at the grocery store. The versatility of this platform is like no other.
  2. Reach key audiences in niche markets. Understanding an audience is the critical first step to having ideas that motivate, encourage, and inspire. Podcasting Insights reports that 50% of all US homes are podcast fans; that’s over 60 million homes. Podcasts allow you to reach key audiences in niche markets because of the large listenership and vast variety of podcast sectors and topics. Podcasts can also lead to building deeper connections with audiences. Have you heard someone say they feel like they’re friends with the host? This could be because voices carry emotion and personality, creating a feeling of connection.
  3. Support thought leadership. Podcast databases like Podchaser can identify podcasts where listeners likely want to learn and tune in to deepen their knowledge about a specific topic, cause, or skill. This creates a perfect thought leadership opportunity to position clients as credible experts. Even better, podcasts can transform a dry or heavy topic into a captivating, meaningful discussion, leaving the audience wanting to know more about our clients and their mission. To add another layer of exposure, show notes typically accompany a podcast episode, and can include contact information for the guest as well as website links.
  4. Marketing and brand assets. Podcasts don’t have to only live on podcasting platforms. Our client’s podcast or successful interview is a brand asset and marketing tool that can be leveraged by sharing through other marketing channels. We can create clips for social media, post a link to the show or episode on their website, share it in a newsletter, and even send it directly to strategic prospects and potential partners. By taking full advantage of the versatility of podcast content, we can amplify our client’s brand awareness and campaign impact.
  5. Shape the narrative. With podcasting, there is more control over the story told. Rather than a brief highlight like in news coverage, podcasting can allow a deeper dive and the ability to contextualize campaign messaging. It’s also an excellent channel for storytelling because content can be much longer in duration than other channels. Much of PR and communications involves sharing our client’s brand stories or incorporating storytelling as a campaign strategy. Podcasts offer the platform, key audience, time, and narrative control to bring stories to life.

Hager Sharp has been building podcast strategies for clients over the past two years and has developed deep expertise in developing content, pitching ideas and experts, and even hosting episodes for popular shows. As a co-founder and host of The Ground Up Podcast, I can attest that starting a podcast is a true commitment. To reach the masses, you have to grow an audience and that takes being consistent, adding value, and building trust. While it can be done, it’s important to keep in mind that you don’t have to start a podcast to benefit from podcasting. In a recent LinkedIn article, the Founder of EASTWEST Public Relations wrote, The cheapest, easiest, and least-commitment route into podcasting could be sponsoring, participating, or being interviewed by an established podcast that has the audience you wish to target.” The opportunities are there. Whether it’s through sponsorships, advertisements, participating as guest hosts, or being interviewed, podcasts can offer our clients some unique advantages. And with close to half of the US population interacting with podcasts monthly1, it makes sense to consider how to utilize this booming media channel to our advantage in PR.

Keisha Rock
Account Supervisor

[1] Podcast Statistics for 2021 – Charts and Data