Coined in 2004 – the term ‘podcasting’ has been used to describe the idea of audio and video blogging. The technology simply allows a user to upload a media clip to the internet to be streamed to the masses. The benefits of podcasting allow a receiver to catch the media at anytime as opposed to a specific time slot (as in the case of traditional media). The receiver can also store the podcast on their computer or portable media device to watch whenever and however many times they like. What’s more – a person with an internet connection can actually subscribe to a podcast channel or organization and receive the latest and greatest podcasts whenever they become available.
Okay – so that’s great – but – how does this apply to the realm of public relations? It’s simple. By creating podcasts companies and organizations can tailor media messages to specific audiences and publics. Too theoretical? Alright – let’s take a look at an organization which almost everyone should be able to instantly relate to – the Jim Henson Company.
That’s right – the same Jim Henson which brought us the Muppets, Fraggle Rock, and a whole slew of unforgettable characters and moments in television history currently utilizes podcasting technology. Rock on. A quick Google search for ‘Henson Podcast’ should lead you in the right direction – if not – just check out Henson.com and search for ‘podcasts’.
The Henson podcasts provide an excellent example of public relations relevant media. For example, I listened to two podcasts prior to writing this post – one from Comic Con 2008 and the most recent from November 17.
Let’s start with the Comic Con one… This one was all about Fraggle Rock – it starts with information about the (then) upcoming DVD releases of the show – leads into a sing-a-long (oh yeah, you read that right) with the red Fraggle – and concludes with an interview with a cast member of the Henson Company. We end up with information, entertainment and an interview – awesome. The podcast for November 17 describes an upcoming show called “Pajanimals”. Roughly following the same protocol – it also offers information and a few interviews from Henson cast members.
What I love about podcasting is how non-intrusive it is. Like, you can get all the information you want while continuing to do whatever the heck it is – you do on the computer. For example, I worked on an illustration in Adobe while listening to the two mentioned podcasts – I got all the information and didn’t slow down. That’s great – obviously this is a technique to provide for information to those who simply don’t have time to read through an entire article or press release. Think about it.
What’s more, is in the podcasts they urge listeners to send any questions they may have (to email@example.com) to be answered on the next podcast – sweet! So, should glance a typical press release or be totally entertained by the media -enriched podcast… Sorry, typical press release!
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