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This Podcasting Dope is Addictive

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News of what two big companies in entirely different industries are doing with audio as part of their communication is a great example of imaginative ways to use this communication medium.

First up is health care products manufacturer Johnson & Johnson who is using podcasts as part of a campaign to promote its Acuvue contact lenses to the US youth market with the Download With Heather and Jonelle show.

If you’re over the age of about 25, it’s very unlikely you’ll identify with this show, the presenters or the content. A mix of teen gossip, chat (with plenty of use of the word ‘like’) and music interspersed with some serious messaging.

From listening to the first episode, it seems to me that J&J are doing a good job in addressing an important social issue (eye care) in promoting their product in a way that’s unlikely to attract criticism for its approach, and in a way that’s likely to appeal to the audience it’s aimed at. It’s probably a great example of well-targeted communication.

(Thanks to Alex Bellinger for the news.)

Next, mutual fund company Fidelity Investments offers a one-hour programme with comprehensive advice on how to become a registered investment adviser in the US.

The audio programme complements written and other material available on the website. Not only that, it’s also offered in broken-out segments of between nine and twenty minutes each so you can listen to just the parts that you’re interested in, or listen to all the content in easily-manageable separate sections.

That, though, is where the similarity to a podcast ends. Fidelity’s offering isn’t a podcast at all – unlike the J&J one, there is no RSS feed to subscribe to, for instance. As you have to register first in order to access the audio pages, it’s hard to tell how you listen. It looks like all you can do is listen to audio streams. Fidelity doesn’t describe their audio offerings as podcasts – they call them an ‘audio programme.’

Still, I’ve included the details here in a post that talks about business podcasting because whatever they’re called – and if I were Fidelity, I’d call them ‘podcasts’ if they’re available as files rather than just streaming audio – this is a good example from a company in a closely-regulated industry (financial services) who isn’t letting fear of regulation stand in its way of using new media as part of effective communication.

(Hat tip: Steve Rubel.)

Finally, at the other end of the spectrum, we have two business journalists who are also now smoking that podcasting dope.

Financial journalist Dennis Howlett started his CitySlickrs podcast (how Flickr influences syntax!) at the beginning of December, and has a great 26-minute new episode with interviews with interesting people at Les Blogs 2.0 last week. And, no, I’m not mentioning this purely because I’m one of Dennis’ interviewees ;)

Then, tech journalist David Tebbutt says he’s now been persuaded of the error of his ways, here and here, and has changed his previous negative opinions on the value of podcasting:

[...] I accept that podcasting has the power to move people. Far more than words on pages or screens. And, before long, if you can stomach the bandwidth and storage requirements, videologging will be upon us.

Ah, the next steps! That will be most interesting…

Neville Hobson is the author of the popular NevilleHobson.com blog which focuses on business communication and technology.

Neville is currentlly the VP of New Marketing at Crayon. Visit Neville Hobson’s blog: NevilleHobson.com.

This Podcasting Dope is Addictive
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