Every once in a while consultants are challenged to put their ideas into practice. Such was my experience this week. Colleague Shel Holtz, ABC and a co-host Neville Hobson, ABC, host a podcast “For Immediate Release” twice a week. This week, Shel invited me to join another measurement guru, Angela Sinickas, ABC as the featured guests on their regular podcast.
For the past year, I have been advocating that communication and management leaders need to include blogs, wikis and podcasts in their arsenal of communication channels. Blogs have been a relatively easy sell. They have increased in visibility, value and usage. Wikis are still a bit of a mystery but there is a small awakening there. Podcasts, on the other hand, are still in the incubator. The innovators and the early adopters of new ideas are just beginning to warm up to the concept.
Podcasting evolved with the birth of Apple’s iPod and the ability to publish audio files on the internet. A podcast is simply and audio blog. The audio files can be accessed on the internet and aspiring broadcasters can self-publish or ‘broadcast’ radio style programming using the internet as the distribution channel. Unlike regular radio, the podcasts can be accessed, downloaded and played by anyone, anytime, anywhere.
Podcasting began in the fall of 2003 and really became a growth phenomenon in late 2004. Shel and Neville launched “For Immediate Release”(FIR) in January 2005. Their listening audience has been growing in leaps and bounds. Their focus is on issues and innovations in communication and public relations. Shel brings a North American perspective from California and Neville from Amsterdam.
Each podcast is accompanied by a detailed guide to the content of the podcast – about one hour in length. Each topic has a time code so that you can select pieces of the broadcast rather than listening to it all in one sitting. Every person, topic and organization mentioned in the podcast is listed in the notes with links to relevant web sites. “For Immediate Release” is a model for others considering getting into the field.
It will only be a short time before enlightened organizations start using this new channel for communicating with customers, suppliers and employees. It has huge potential with its advantages of immediacy, convenience and consumability. It is the ultimate commuter’s communication channel as you sit in the bus, train or traffic jam listening to a podcast that you have downloaded in to your iPod before leaving home or the office.
So how did Angela and I do on our podcast? Well hear for yourself. The podcast was published in the June 22, 2005 edition of “For Immediate Release”. You can find the podcast at http://www.forimmediaterelease.biz with the detailed podcast notes. So you can listen to it all, select the parts that interest you or just see what this new communication channel is all about.
There is a link for comments at the end of the notes just like a blog. Give us your feedback and let us know what you thought of the issues we discussed.