Delivering messages directly into a persons ear has to be the most intimate and direct methods of communication. I know I would rather hear someone explain something than read it in a memo or email. I would rather have something technical shown to me than read a complicated instruction manual and, I would rather take a walk through a hotel via a video podcast than wait for the highly 'staged' glossy brochure arrive through the post.
By listening to someone you can hear the emotion and the passion they have for their product or service. Having been in design for over 20 years I can certainly say that it is very difficult to portray the company owners passion on the printed page, podcasting makes it easy.
Having discovered this means of communication I have dug deeper to see what it's being used for. When you do this you quickly realize that the opportunities are limitless and I haven't found a single company in my client portfolio who couldn't take advantage of podcasting.
Here are some of the ways that organisations are using podcasts:
A certain airline company has offered free pre-loaded Mp3 players as an incentive to use their premium services. Passengers received a corporate branded MP3 player preloaded with an audio magazine about other destinations served the airline.
A luxury car manufacturer offered MP3 players to encourage customers to take test drives. The players were preloaded with an audio infomercial with customer testimonials and interviews with engineers and designers.
A financial institution gave away MP3 players to new customers as an incentive. The players were loaded with an audio magazine giving valuable advice on investment and money management strategies.
Perhaps the most significant use I have come across is the move by National Semi Conductor to issue 8500 staff with video iPods. National Semi Conductor has identified podcasting as the most effective way to communicate and train their staff.
Having been 100% convinced about the effectiveness of podcasting I have now set up a podcast production company in Glasgow, Scotland. The site http://www.podcastmatters.co.uk gives more examples of how organisations are using this exciting tool. The site also gives detailed explanations about how it all works and all the different aspects of podcasting.