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By Ellie Kuhen

Public relations (PR) strategies are constantly evolving according to the changing media landscape. Over the past several years, podcasts have grown in popularity and have become a core outlet from which many receive their news. This audio-only channel presents a strong opportunity for brands to establish and nurture creditability and awareness.

The evolution of podcasts started with the introduction of the iPod in 2001, which allowed new home recordings that could be made by the general public. Coined in 2004 and accelerated by the popularization of the iPod, podcasts have entered into people’s routines, with the average American listening to eight podcast episodes per week. Today, there are over 5 million podcasts worldwide, surpassing 500 million listeners. One of these 5 million is The Pollack Group’s own imPRessions podcast.  

One feature that makes podcasts so widespread and attractive to consumers is the range of topics they cover. There are podcasts focusing on almost any topic nowadays, meaning your brand’s target audience is almost surely out there listening.

Here are three reasons to include podcasts in your PR strategy.

Increases brand awareness

First and foremost, podcast appearances boost brand awareness. Podcasting is a unique medium that promotes storytelling and discussion differently than other platforms. Podcast appearances are audio-focused and are easy listening. It also offers listeners a natural inflection, tone, and emotions in the speaker’s voice. Compared to written storytelling, this can be a faster route to gaining an audience’s trust and support. This trust can be strengthened by the relationship the podcast host has already established with its listeners.

Podcasts also help with search engine optimization (SEO), given the exposure across various podcast platforms such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and more. Podcast transcripts can often be found on its host websites, which further benefits SEO. Once a podcast episode goes live, there are many external ways to promote the episode and extend its reach, such as social media promotion, newsletter inclusion, and blog posts.

Establishes creditability and thought leaders

Appearing on podcasts relevant to target audiences is a great way to establish and affirm a leader’s credibility and knowledge of the industry. Demonstrating leadership and familiarity with topics in a conversational tone, further elevates the knowledge of the expert. Podcasts give you the opportunity to control the narrative in a way you normally can’t in media interviews.  Podcasts give you more freedom to drive the conversation and touch on prioritized talking points.  

When appearing on podcasts, you can showcase customer-focused challenges, industry problems and solutions, and provide professional insights on trends, underscoring your expertise. You can then share your podcast appearance on your social media, expanding the podcast’s impact. If positioned and promoted correctly, one podcast appearance can have a snowball effect and lead to future podcast appearances.

Reaching broad and niche audiences

As previously mentioned, there are a lot of podcasts offering a vast range of topics, from everyday news and comedy to educational issues. This is a key component of why podcasts should be in your PR plan. Podcasts allow you to reach experts in your field and discuss niche topics with your target audience. This opens a more direct line of access to a more targeted audience base.

Your strategy can combine large and small podcasts that target different audiences to maximize your reach and personalize your message appropriately. The sheer number of podcasts in the marketplace makes it an ideal format for building closer connections with your audience.

When incorporating podcasts into your overall plan, it is essential to research your opportunities to find podcasts that align with your goals and personalize outreach to demonstrate knowledgeable and sincere interest.