An Introduction to Podcasting

December 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Marketing Communications 

By James Applebach, PR Associate

By now many people have heard the word podcast. However, what a podcast is, exactly, can prove to be a little confusing. The basic definition of a podcast, according to,is “a pre-recorded audio program that’s posted to a website and is made available for download so people can listen to them (sic) on personal computers or mobile devices.”

The word podcast comes from Apple’s portable music player – iPod – and broadcast. Podcasting is a medium that can provide any type of music, entertainment and news and information. You can browse a podcasting marketplace, such as iTunes, to find podcasts on business, gardening, sports, and many other topics.

It’s essential to point out that many podcasts are not professionally produced. Many podcasters are hobbyists or amateurs who simply enjoy speaking about a chosen topic and creating a community through their show. However, professional media companies such as National Public Radio and Fox News Radio share their syndicated shows using podcasts to provide listeners with an On Demand version of their favorite shows. 

Most can afford to podcast because it requires very little overhead. To create a bare-bones podcast you only need a computer and a microphone. Simply record your voice into a free audio software program, such as audacity, and post it on a website.

From a public relations and marketing perspective, podcasting can be an excellent way to communicate with your audiences. Organizations that utilize podcasting often develop content specifically tailored for their listeners about topics of interest to drive traffic to their website, buy a product or create buzz.

Stay tuned for my next installment on podcasting when I dive into the anatomy of a podcast and how your organization can make a podcast work for you.

Some of the podcasts I have enjoyed and recommend are Stuff You Should Know by, Fresh Air – an NPR talk show – and The Bugle a news program featuring John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman. These can be downloaded using iTunes.