Thursday, August 22, 2013

Are podcasts returning as an association communications tool?

The other day, I was the featured expert on a professional speaker’s internet radio program. The topic was cause marketing

I was more interested, however, in the technology and process. And, whether podcasting is still a viable communications vehicle.

I wondered how many associations use podcasting as part of their content delivery tools.

The following day, USA Today featured a page 1 story titled “Remember Podcasting? It’s Back and Booming.”
  • “The rise in smartphones and the ability to access podcasts without wires has changed that, and greatly expanded the audience. Additionally, new apps to listen to podcasts directly beyond iTunes — including TuneIn Radio, SoundCloud, Stitcher and iHeartRadio — "gave podcasts an entirely new audience," says Allen Weiner, an analyst with Gartner.
  • Many new cars have Bluetooth connections, which play audio from a smartphone directly through car speakers without having to be plugged in.
  • Podcasting is still a "small portion of overall listening, but we need to invest in it," says Brian Lakamp, Clear Channel's president of digital. "We need to be wherever consumers are."
  • Start-up BlogTalkRadio has a similar feature, offering free Web tools to let anyone record a show, using their telephones as microphones, and a Web platform to bring on guests and callers.

Have you thought about how your association might employ podcasts as part of your overall content (knowledge) strategy?

Here are potential topics/sources for your podcasts:
  • Interview speakers for your upcoming conference.
  • Interview experts within your professional or industry on “hot topics.”
  • Interview your board chair or president on key issues facing the industry or professional and what your association is doing about them.
  • Convert printed blogs into podcasts.
  • Interview “heroes” within your industry or profession and let them share their stories about their work (along with how membership in your association made the difference).
And, like other forms of communications today, you could/should share the content from podcasts in multiple other vehicles:
  • Post to your website
  • Provide excerpts in your newsletters or magazines
  • Produce a news release about the interview and provide a link
PS. Here is one set of equipment/software my host uses for his show:
  •  phone product is To edit the audio, I use Sound Forge. The startmeeting requires all sound to be as wav files so I use an online product called to convert the files and the last product is Freemake Audio Converter. Freemake allows me to grab things like the audio from a YouTube video.

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