Podcasting Power: Opportunities in Modern Public Relations Strategy

In the ever-evolving landscape of public relations, keeping up-to-date on the latest media is necessary for success. As communication channels continue to progress, podcasting has emerged as a powerful tool for agencies to reach their clients’ target audiences using modern public relations strategy. And with more than 42% of Americans 12+ listening to podcasts at least monthly – up more than 5% in only three years* – podcasting offers a growing audience that companies can tap into.

Similar to traditional forms of media with some notable advantages, podcasts offer their audiences a new-age way to engage with news, entertainment and education. Businesses that understand how to leverage a podcast’s already-dedicated audience can reap unique benefits that may not be available with other forms of media. At JDPR, we have leveraged podcasts for our clients to amplify their message, build brand credibility and establish meaningful, authentic connections.

  1. Amplify a Message: In recent years, podcasting has surged in popularity with a substantial increase in the number of listeners, proving there has been a shift in how people consume content. According to Pew Research Center, nearly half of all Americans have listened to podcasts in the last 12 months. Podcasts offer a convenient avenue for audiences to absorb information and businesses to spread their message. With easily digestible long-form content, podcast hosts can dig into product and brand messaging in-depth, which isn’t always possible with static or even short-form social content. Aside from ad reads, which is one way to reach potential customers, mid- to long-form podcast interviews are a great way to leverage a podcast’s audience for increased brand awareness and visibility. Even more, some companies have explored hosting their own podcasts to share their brand story and invite additional voices for relevant testimonials.
  2. Build Brand Credibility: Podcasts not only allow for amplification of a message, they also allow companies to foster trust among listeners. Companies and their spokespersons can do so by showcasing their expertise and positioning themselves as leaders in their industry. In doing so, they humanize the brand by elevating their employees. Businesses can show relatability and establish a more personal connection when they go voice-to-voice with hosts and their audience, a crucial element in fostering credibility, which in turn can cultivate trust and loyalty. This humanization not only strengthens brand perception but also helps maintain a positive brand image. When coming from a brand spokesperson, especially in long form, the information is less likely to get misinterpreted or misquoted.
  3. Establish a Meaningful Connection with an Audience: In a landscape saturated with information, consumers crave personalized content. Podcasts typically align with niche audience segments, which creates a deep sense of community among listeners. Some scholars refer to podcasts as “modern-day radio,” noting the similarities in intimacy, sociality and flexibility**. Even more than with radio hosts, empirical evidence shows that podcast listeners develop strong parasocial relationships – or one-sided relationships formed with a media figure or celebrity – with podcast hosts. Stronger parasocial relationships are developed when hosts show an interest in their listeners, share personal information and are seen as both competent and authentic**. This means that when brands partner with podcast hosts, especially on an earned basis, their target audience is more likely to trust what the host has to say about the brand and will be more receptive to the brand’s spokesperson(s), seeing them more as relatable humans than salespeople.

Podcasting serves as a powerful PR tool, providing a convenient, personalized and engaging platform for connecting with audiences. As the medium continues to grow, the capabilities and opportunities will as well. As new opportunities emerge and evolve in the media landscape, JDPR aims to evolve in step.

To learn more about JDPR and how we can develop a strategic communication plan with innovative initiatives tailored to your specific needs, reach out to us at jdpr.com or give us a call at (864) 233-3776.

*According to a 2023 “The Infinite Dial” report by Edison Research.
**According to “Why people listen: Motivations and outcomes of podcast listening” by Tobin and Guadagno (2022).