AB Thinks  →  2nd November 2016

The power of podcasts

Amy Hegarty

Lately, I’ve become obsessed with podcasts. Rather than struggling to turn the page of a newspaper when crammed between fellow commuters on the tube, I can pop in my headphones and barely notice the strange looks I get when I laugh much louder than is generally considered acceptable in public.

The popularity of podcasts has really taken off in the last few years, with a recent study in the States showing 21% of people over 12 had listened to a podcast the previous month – 4% more than in 2015. To put that in context, 21% represents the same number of Americans who are active users of Twitter. People are listening to an average of five podcasts each week, with 64% of these being on a phone or tablet.

Clearly, this is a channel not to be ignored. But while we put all our focus into creating content that is visually beautiful on a page or screen, the power of audio is too often forgotten. Podcasts can be readily available on any device, accessed with or without wi-fi and can be produced on even the smallest budget.

It seems crazy not to tap into this arena for internal communications. It’s a crowded market – with more than 180,000 podcasts available to download on iTunes at the last count – but with the right content, podcasts could be a great way of cutting through the constant barrage of emails undoubtedly received by many of your employees.

Recently, our MD Katie Macaulay was asked to be a guest on a podcast by the internal communications team at Transport for London. It‰’s an eclectic mix of news and views, targeted for communicators across the organisation. The podcast is the brainchild of host James Mountford. You can listen to the first episode here.

  • Do you use podcasts to engage with your employees? We’d love to hear your stories @abthinks.