Despite the increasing prevalence of online video content in the B2B market, people are still podcasting.
To find out more about the whys and what-fors I interviewed Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich, an outstanding online communicator, PR-expert and blogger at SpinSucks.com (the Fight Against Destructive Spin). She also recently joined the mic alongside Joseph Thornley and Martin Waxman for InsidePR, a brilliant North American podcast, that takes up industry issues related to PR and communications once a week.
Jon: As a business owner yourself why are you so involved in podcasting?
Gini: I began podcasting for two reasons:
a) My philosophy is that we never recommend something to a client we havenâ€™t tried ourselves, and have seen some success and return-on-investment. We have a lot of clients who want to provide rich content to their customers and prospects, but have no patience or skill when it comes to writing. Itâ€™s important that I understand how podcasting works in that realm in order to best advise them. I also have a need to understand the technical pieces of everything we do so I can explain it to another business owner in a meeting.
b) My podcast co-hosts are two of my favorite Canadians and weâ€™ve been trying to find a reason for a couple of years to work together. The InsidePR opportunity arose, they needed a U.S. contingent, and it took off. I really love it because it allows us to create markets internationally that, as boutique firms, have never had access to before.
Jon: In the last year or so the rush has been to video. After all, YouTube is the second biggest search engine on the planet. So why should businesses persist with podcasting, especially given that fewer people subscribe to podcasts than watch online video? (i.e. the Is Podcasting Dead-question!).
Gini: Iâ€™m not sure if the podcast is dead, but our traffic numbers speak volumes. Youâ€™re right that everyone is rushing to video and our traffic quadruples on videos, so I definitely see the value (though I fought doing them for Arment Dietrich for a long time). BUT! Our podcasts are almost triple our written blog traffic so that tells me podcasting, at least for us, is not dead. We donâ€™t yet have any clients podcasting so this is a small focus group of one.
Jon: You work in PR. Is podcasting an effective tool for brand or crisis management?
Gini: I am of the huge belief that, especially in crisis, you should be as transparent as possible and that you should use all forms of communication to do that. People all learn differently, and now you have the ability to reach everyone in a way that each of them learn â€“ writing, video, and podcasts. Wouldnâ€™t you rather over-communicate so you reach every target audience instead of choosing one and not being able to communicate with all?
Jon: Podcasting isn’t like a slick, overly produced radio show. Should businesses be concerned about showing a different, less “managed” side of their company?
Gini: Just like the Flip and phone cameras have changed the way we view video, people have begun to distrust anything that is slick and overly produced. The more â€œhomemade,â€ the more authentic and transparent it feels. Podcasting is straight from the heart, it shows passion, and it provides access to people, such as the CEO, that customers/clients really appreciate. The more human you can make your senior leaders, the more your brand ambassadors will promote you.
Jon: Just how difficult is it to get into or produce a podcast? (i.e. do businesses need to hire external content creators or can they do it in-house?)
Gini: It is SUPER easy! Some people buy little hand-held microphones, like a Zoom. I just use Skype, my Mac, and QuickTime. You do have to buy QuickTime Pro (itâ€™s all of $20) and it lets you record audio and video straight from your computer. We use Skype to record our podcasts because weâ€™re in three different locations. Super easy, super affordable, and it can all be done in-house in less than an hour a week.
Bonus Question: What podcasts do you listen to ? (and why!)
Well, letâ€™s see:
- Geek Girls because Nancy Lyons is a dear, dear friend and I love listening to her and her co-host, Meghan Wilker, talk about technology and women in a very playful and, sometimes, cynical way.
- Carol Roth because she looks at owning a business much differently than most people. She calls people out when theyâ€™re not being honest and she is hilarious and wicked smart.
- Les McKeown because he has a way of looking at business growth, called Predictable Success, that really speaks to me and the way I lead my companyâ€¦ and because he has an amazing Irish accent.
- And you, of course! Because I love your thinking, the tips and tools you provideâ€¦and because you also have a super cool accent!