Podcasting – the forgotten medium (and Friday’s media moves)

Reaching your audience the old-fashioned way - podcasting 
Today is…Friday! And, while we rejoice about the upcoming weekend, we thought we would also bring you some editorial-moves news. So here we go with a totally non-engineering related piece of media intelligence… which is, at the same time, food for thought if you do work in technical communications.

Stafford FM, the county’s favourite digital radio station is to be re-launched on September 5. Former Signal Radio presenters Stu Haycock and Ray Crowther will head the station as programme controller and station manager respectively. Stafford FM will air music, local news and sport and information.

So, what’s the relevance to engineering and technical PR?

Well, it made me think about the rise and fall of podcasting, and how it could and should still be used in PR campaigns in 2011. Although hugely popular until the mid noughties, podcasting has fallen out of favour with most marketing managers.

The podcasts’ decrease in popularity started back in June 2005, when Apple released iTunes 4.9 with native support for podcasts. While this made receiving podcasts more convenient, it effectively ended advancement of the podcast medium by independent developers. To add to the cooling factor, Apple issued Cease and Desist orders to many podcast application developers and service providers for using the term "iPod" or "Pod" in the name of their product.

Irrespective of new technology and media trends, podcasting remains a very effective tool for reaching an audience, even though it isn’t as fashionable as other social media outlets. They are incredibly easy to produce and, in order to listen to a podcast, users have to sign up and download them to their iPods or mobile handsets. This means that unlike some other channels for PR and marketing campaigns, podcasts are actually welcomed by individuals who have chosen to receive the respective communication. They are entirely non-interruptive. Podcasting audiences are receptive because they have a keen interest in the subject.

Furthermore, while marketing managers have lost interest in podcasting, listeners haven’t. Audiences have been slowly growing in the last five years. There are plenty of B2B Podcasts out there with audiences as high as most trade magazines. So, why ignore them?

So, if you are interested in exploring podcasting in your campaign, get in touch and find out how Stone Junction can help.

PS - In other news, Jonathan Morris, formerly Editor of What Mobile, has been appointed as senior editor for Steel Media. Morris will be working across a number of titles including Pocket Gamer and PocketPicks, as well as reviewing mobile phones, tablets, accessories and other gadgets.

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Oana Baetica - Technical PR consultant

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.


Alltorque1 said...

This is quite timely.  I have just ordered a basic podcasting kit and have written our first three episodes!

Plenty to write about in Australia, with a new carbon tax, an astronomical currency, a mining boom and the wholsesale shutdown decisions of many manufacturers. 

Richard Stone said...

That sounds interesting - let us know when you are publishing the Podcast and we'll subscribe. 

We are thinking of maybe producing a top ten industrial podcasts list as well (like the top ten industrial/engineering Blogs list we did last year). So, we'll be sure to consider you for that!

Dave Thackeray said...

Valid points, all.

I've had many clients come by me in the past three months talking nanocasting - which is essential podcasting in differently-perceived clothes.

While you're right that iTunes has made it easier for big brands to build awareness within the realms of podcasting I think it's also democratised the production and promotion of podcasting.

Podcasting is still a baby; it's still a new frontier for content creators. And crucially, it's a way to express your personality and expertise in a way you couldn't dream of using blogging, or the print medium.

Thanks for writing this piece. I definitely found it insightful.