Insights & Ideas

Listen Up: Try Podcasts in your Internal Communication Mix

Looking for a new way to reach your employees without blowing your entire budget?  Try podcasts. If you think it’s a niche channel, take a look at these numbers:

  • 4 in 10 Americans listen to podcasts on a regular basis
  • Podcast listening was up 23% between 2015 and 2016
  • 85% of listeners complete the entire episode*

Americans are falling in love with podcasts in numbers that increase every year. Recent podcast phenoms like Serial and S-Town attracted legions of new listeners. Guess what? Many of your employees are among them.

Internal communication pros are paying attention. Disney, IBM and Microsoft have added podcasts to their internal mix.  Perhaps it’s time for your business to do the same.

Consider these three things when developing a podcast strategy (or selling the idea to your boss).

  1.   Accessible everywhere.  What’s the one item most people can’t do without?  Their phones.  A podcast will allow you to connect with team members as they multitask: at the gym, on a walk, in the car. With the average daily commutes now at around 26 minutes each way, podcasts provide alternative listening content.  Smart speakers (think Alexa, Google Home, or Siri) are now in 20 million Americans in live in homes, providing another channel for podcasts.
  2.   Builds community. Engaging employees who work at remote locations or in non-desk roles is always a challenge. So is communicating across global time zones.  Podcasts are a viable alternative. It’s like being in a conversation, as if the speaker is talking directly to you.  There’s an intimacy that can’t be delivered in a company newsletter.
  3.   Shows your company leaders are human. Your CEO may be smart, but would you like to have a beer with him or her?  Effective leaders know the value of storytelling and conversation.  A series of podcasts with the senior leadership team will give employees insight into the personalities that lead the business and where the company is going.  It can help align people around  your business priorities.

* Source:  2017 Infinite Dial Study, Edison Research