Set Your Team on Fire: Podcasting for Business Communication
“What can you do to set people on fire?” It’s a question posed in the article, “Storytelling that Moves People,” from the Harvard Business Review website (hbr.org) on the subject of persuasion and motivation. The authors of the article, McKee and Fryer, suggest storytelling as a means to a more personal, emotional, and engaging method for connecting with people in the business world.
The goal of this article is to help you gain an understanding as to the potential of high-caliber audio storytelling to deliver internal business messaging. First, why is this relevant? In a March 2013 article on DailyDot.com, the author quotes a popular podcast producer who said, “There’s something like 31 million people that are downloading at least one podcast a month in the United States.” This illustrates the popularity of podcasts in general. So why should a business think about podcasting when communicating to employees?
One reason is to cut through the noise. Employees are bombarded with emails, snail mail, presentations, and texts. It’s easy for an important message to be missed, lost or ignored. Tone and emphasis can be difficult to gauge from an email, which can lead to confusion or misunderstanding. Podcasts, as opposed to written messages, can lend sincerity, personality, and also humanize the experience.
Another reason for businesses to consider podcasting is the variety in creativity they offer. Content can be developed a number of ways: Create messaging stories by interviewing and recording senior company leaders, marketing, HR, or sales leaders on topics such as best selling practices, new hire training, new company initiatives, core values or industry trends. The only caveats are as follows: 1) ensure the topic is vital to your company and 2) interview someone both knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the topic you wish to cover.
Reach and convenience are further reasons a company would choose podcasting for their messaging. Podcasts can be listened to in the car, while waiting in line, at the gym, at the desk, and often while doing many other tasks. If it’s a place you normally use a tablet, MP3 player, smartphone, laptop, or desktop, you can listen to a podcast.