July 10, 2007

"Podcasting" for all the right reasons

Podcasting is a powerful tool. The verbal translation of our words is much stronger than written text.

Point in case: I was having a discussion over IM the other day with an old friend and we were trying to have a deep, opinion based conversation. Through text, my words came off as harsh and pessimistic. All meaning was lost because the person on the receiving end had to rely on their interpretation of how I would say what I was typing. Translation was skewed, and the text was read and processed differently than how it would have been conveyed if spoken.

Keep in mind that this was a friend that I was speaking too who got it wrong. Just imagine if I was having a similar conversation with someone I barely knew, let us say through email or by responding to a comment on a favorite blog. They would not have only got it wrong, but they would have probably ended the conversation and not spoken to me again.

The above personal case study helps illustrate how podcasting can be applied to business communication for better management of the "whole" message. I use the word "whole" because you can better convey the meaning of your message when it's spoken. Text allows for the message to read, but not necessarily translated the way it is intended to be interpreted.

The power of podcasting breaks down that barrier of miscommunication that can happen if your reader misinterprets what they have read.

In business communications organizations can utilize podcasting for customer relations, employee communications, and shareholder relations (to name a few) for types of communications that would have traditionally used the written word in the form of a report or memo.

Our busy lives inhibit us from being able to read through the many memos and reports we may have emailed to us on a daily or weekly basis. If those same messages came in the form of a podcast, we would then (as information consumers) have the ability to listen and consume key information while in our car, at the gym or during our lunch break. Listening to a podcast is less time consuming and offers greater flexibility in consumption of messages delivered.

It just makes sense in many business communication situations. It will also help develop loyal customers, employees and shareholders by providing them with the information they need to feel informed, respected and valued.

That’s it for now, if you have a comment about this posting feel free to offer your observations and thoughtful comments about podcasting and its use in business communications. Check back soon to see what other observations I will have on podcasting.


- John