Podcasts: Conversations with employees

To lead the citizens of this country through the harrowing times of the Great Depression and the subsequent World War, President Franklin D. Roosevelt took to the intimate medium of radio. A great orator in his own right, adept at public speaking, FDR instead chose to deliver the country’s news in what became known as the “fireside chats.” It gives insight into what kind of leader he was, and why he was the only president to be elected into office an unprecedented three times. People loved him and this is in great part because of the trust instilled by hearing his voice throughout that trying era.

Like a phone call from a long-distance relative, a lone, familiar voice brings a certain type of comfort. People aren’t preoccupied by visual appearance, which puts both the listener and the speaker at ease. It’s less of an official address and more of a one-on-one feel. It’s relaxing, but it also puts your mind to work, sparking the listeners’ imaginations by allowing them to create their own visualizations of the subject matter.

Employees respond to this more conversational approach. In Tribe’s research and recent client work, we’ve seen that employees prefer to have things laid out in plain language; they like when companies level with them, and they like hearing information straight from the folks at the top.

Since you can’t have a company radio station, Podcasts are the next best thing. Think of Podcasts as radio for the on-demand generation of technology. Employees can download them or stream them whenever and wherever they want. On the production side, the speaker can record the podcast any time, any place. They can do it in their bathrobe over their Sunday morning coffee if they want.

And Podcast numbers are jumping way upThey’re becoming familiar technology, they’re easier to stream or download, and now you can use a number of platforms outside of iTunes, like SoundCloud, on almost any device to listen to them. Podcasts are really resonating with the general populous, and this increased accessibility makes it an even more viable communication channel.

They’re also incredibly cost-effective. Due to this rise in Podcasters, a number of audio manufacturers, like Audio-Technica and Blue Microphones are creating affordable, high-quality microphones designed to plug directly into your USB port. This eliminates the need for expensive outboard interfaces and mixers without sacrificing recording quality.

Encourage the leaders of your company to record a Podcast. At Tribe, we see this boom in listener numbers as an opportunity to take advantage of this engaging and easy-to-produce communication tactic. Check back on the Good Company blog next Friday, where we’ll be discussing best practices to get the most out of your company Podcast.

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