When it comes to filling our strategic reservoirs of goodwill, there are few ways better than building a community. While it may not, at first glance, seem like an obvious component in your company’s counter-crisis strategy, podcasts are an increasingly effective way for executives to build credibility and trust with key stakeholders, as well as shareholders.
But, it cannot just be any kind of conversation. Your podcast needs to do much more than promote; it has to connect and be compelling enough for people to want to keep listening. That has often proven to be a much tougher task for corporate communications teams.
Creating a Podcast that Connects
First, it is critical to avoid the tendency to center the content around your company. Instead, look at where the target audience lives and listens. How can you create a compelling conversation there? Especially from a crisis preparedness perspective, are there potentially concerned or critical voices that you can establish a dialogue with ahead of the storm?
From those focused on sustainability to social issues, political groups to local leaders, those you need to know when threats emerge are often different from the individuals and institutions your communications team reach on a daily basis.
Second, podcasts can provide a unique platform for pulling together powerful exchanges with powerful people, on your topics and on your terms. Few other communications channels afford companies the chance to create such impactful engagements.
Gone are the days of superficial thought leadership. Invite the leading figures in a field, top journalists, academics, as well as celebrities. Even bringing in those who may be skeptical or potentially critical of the company in crisis can help to educate and make progress, while creating a more constructive framework for difficult discussions in the future.
At a time when earned media moments are becoming fewer and farther between, podcasts can provide businesses with the means to have the kind of interviews and influence that seems so elusive. They offer a far more personal and authentic way of connecting, along with finding common ground with key groups.
Last, they can help to put in place the kind of informational infrastructure from which will put you in a stronger and more strategic position in responding the next time problems start percolating.
Brett Bruen teaches crisis at Georgetown University and served as President Barack Obama’s director of global engagement. He is president of the Global Situation Room.
Editor's Note: Some podcasts the author recommends includes: AmEx: Business Hours, which spotlights what innovative leaders are doing to navigate today’s business environment; Coinbase: Around the Block - by Coinbase, which lifts the hood on the crypto economy—one conversation at a time; and
Why We Eat and What We Eat - Blue Apron , which investigates the unseen forces that shape our eating habits.