Awareness and consumption of podcasts has steadily increased for years. For insights and evidence about the growth in podcast popularity, look to these posts and fact sheets from Edison Research, Ad Age, Pew Research Center, and the always helpful Jay Baer. In fact, I am writing this post while listening to Pod Saves America and Think Again (from Big Think), two of my favorite podcasts.
But a podcast should not, dare I say cannot, be a tactic chasing a strategy. Yet a fear of missing out (FOMO) seems to drive some podcast advocates more than a clear set outcomes and success metrics for how this potentially resource-intensive media approach would serve their organization's mission, vision, and overall communication strategy.
Not wanting to burst others unbridled podcast enthusiasm in these conversations, I ask probing, yet relatively nonthreatening questions, including:
- How might a podcast further advance the current communication strategy?
- What new stakeholders groups might a podcast reach or for which existing stakeholders might a podcast better reach?
- Which issues or messages might a podcast amplify more powerfully than other media?
- What stories do we have to tell that might be best served in a podcast format?
- How might podcasting leverage the caring and capabilities of more volunteers or more partners in supporting our work?
It is human nature to see others experiencing success with something and want to copy it in our own efforts. But we must resist doing so without a strategic examination of whether or not doing so aligns with our mission, vision, values, and strategies for success. Having a set of questions and/or a more comprehensive process in place for doing so needs to be a part of every organization's culture.