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The Truth Behind Podcasting

All too often people make wrong assumptions. One of those wrong assumptions is that Podcasting is easy. All you have to do it hit play and start babbling (if only that were true).
Last week “I co-hosted Across The Sound”: (the highly listened to Podcast from Life After The 30-Second Spot author, “Joseph Jaffe”: and man, it is a lot of work.
Mid-week Joseph sent me his show notes which included a list of discussions topics, our “winners” and “losers” of the week, and more. I spent the better part of my nights staying in the loop on all of the developments related to the topics, as well as looking out for new emerging events that might be more relevant by the time we would record.
The final product sounds smooth, but I know that Joseph puts a bunch of production time (aside from the usual glitches that arise when a new technology is in play) towards each episode. To be honest, I don’t know how he manages to Blog, Podcast, speak, travel and still do client work (there must be two of him).
Why is this important to marketers?

Blogging is hard enough. You have to have the right voice, a vision for where your Blog is going and the flow of material to keep the conversation fresh. When you migrate to Podcasting, so many of the variables decrease your chances for success.
With Podcasting, you have to also have a great radio voice. You have to be able to deliver a high-quality performance and, for the most part, it’s live. You’re recording as you go and you better be topical. How many times do you change the dial when you’re listening to talk radio and there’s a lull?
Once you overcome that hurdle, you have to factor in production quality. I think Across The Sound is, by far and away, one of the best marketing Podcasts that I’ve heard (and I thought this long before I was asked to be a co-host), but even then, you can hear the dreaded “Skype”: echo and other regular anomalies that are par for the technology course.
As marketers, we’re always on the lookout for the latest and greatest. Our job is to ensure that with every marketing initiative we are adding value and conversation to the brand. The truth behind Podcasting is that it still may not be ready for your brand. But what about Joseph Jaffe? I think Podcasting has brought him into prime time and it helps him to constantly increase his brand positioning as one of marketing’s best thought leaders.
So, here are a few questions:
* Would a regular Podcast sincerely add value to your product or service?
* Do you have the talent and technological infrastructure to ensure its longevity and success?
* Do you have the time and resources to do it perfectly?
* Is a Podcast right for you?

One Comment

  1. Donna Papacosta
    Donna Papacosta May 10, 2006

    Mitch, you raise some excellent points. Podcasting DOES require a commitment. But you know what? So do most forms of communication! It’s true that it’s relatively quick and painless to dash off a blog post. I do it all the time;-)
    However, for myself and my clients, most other forms of communications take time AND care. Yes, every company has Word and some kind of layout software, but every company does not produce its own newsletter or marketing campaign.
    I think we will soon see more and more podcast consultants who will help clients get their podcasts off the ground — and keep the quality level high. I am working with a few clients already in this arena.
    Keep up the great work, Mitch. I love reading your stuff – and listening to you!

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