I’ve taken the csuite podcast to Cannes Lions since 2016 and in that time have had the pleasure of chatting to 49 of the most inspiring speakers, judges and award winners who were at the event. My guests have come to the festival from as far and wide as South America and India to Canada and Australia and have included agency leaders, brand owners, a social roboticist, a music producer, a spoken word artist and a body architect, with their ages ranging from Young Lions Award winners to an 86-year-old terminally-ill patient.
But what’s been consistent in all those interviews is that every single guest has had a fascinating story to tell … in their own words.
And therein lies the power of podcasting.
With no cameras filming the guests, coupled with the fact that we’re not broadcasting live, and perhaps thanks to the odd glass of rosé too, each interviewee immediately relaxes, resulting in an informal chat that allows them to be themselves, delivering authentic and engaging stories, whilst educating and hopefully entertaining the listeners at the same time.
Global podcast listenership has exploded since my first trip to Cannes. Podcasts are easy to access and subscribe to on a mobile device and there are topic areas for everyone. People listen in the car, in the gym, on the commute, out walking or running, as well as at home or at their desks of course. And with radio stations now podcasting their programming, or creating exclusive content as a podcast, plus popular celebrities hosting their own shows too, podcasting is forming an increasing part of our daily media diet.
This has opened up a huge potential for brands to be using podcasts as a credible medium and so this year I’ll be presenting at Cannes myself alongside Zuleika Burnett, Executive Director, Creative and Innovation, Havas Life Medicom. We’ll be looking at how the most difficult narratives can be harnessed to deliver healthcare stories as podcasts and how brands can rise above the noise of the other 500,000+ active podcasts to reach their audiences.
Russell Goldsmith & Zuleika Burnett are presenting on the Healthcare Insights Stage, Palais II on Monday 17th June, 12:45-13:15
We were thrilled to have gone one step further than last year’s awards and progress from a Silver to Gold at the 2019 Communicate magazine Corporate Content Awards, that recognise excellence in creative content, corporate storytelling and communications.
The Corporate Content Awards benchmarks the use of narrative to call corporate audiences, across owned, earned and bought media. Held at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms, in central London, the 2019 event welcomed attendees from a variety of companies and agencies, all vying for the coveted prizes on offer.
Audere Communications took home the Gold for Best Use of Audio, presented to us by the evening’s host, Comedian, Suzie Ruffell, for our Arable Aware podcast series that we produce on farms around the UK for Adama Agricultural Solutions, and so thanks must go to the team at Adama for all their support in making the shows happen – Abbie Bieny, Alison Bosher, Andy Bailey and David Roberts. Taking Silver in our category was The Church of England and the Bronze went to AstraZeneca
You can listen to all the previous shows of the series on Adama’s website.
Andrew Thomas, publishing editor of Communicate magazine and founder of the Corporate Content Awards, said, “the Corporate Content Awards has been a fantastic celebration of corporate storytelling. It’s been a celebration of the stories companies have told, of the ways they’ve told them, and the methods they’ve used to get their audience’s attention. The second year of the Corporate Content Awards has been a massive success, and those who won certainly have much to be proud of.”
Following the awards night, we produced an episode of the csuite podcast with Communicate’s Publishing Editor, Britany Golob and two of the other Gold winning campaigns.
Originally written for the PRCA to help promote the course we’re running with them on The Power of Podcasting … written on 29th December 2018 …
I’ve just returned home from driving my daughter, Tara, back to Surrey University in Guildford (such a good dad) after Christmas in time for her to prepare for her New Year’s Eve party.
The journey time on a Saturday morning was around an hour each way – perfect for listening to two episodes of ‘That Peter Crouch Podcast’, my new favourite podcast. The only issue being that my daughter is not the biggest football fan. England Summer World Cup fever aside, as well as being dragged along with me to Spurs a few times when she was younger, I think it’s fair to say that the thought of spending an hour in the car with me listening to a podcast that features three blokes chatting about footie for an hour wouldn’t be that appealing.
But here’s the thing. Whilst the podcast features Peter Crouch, a player who will go down in Tottenham folklore as the man who headed us into the Champions League back in 2010, and of course centres around him being a footballer, the show is about everything around football, not necessarily the game itself, and it’s funny, very funny. With episode titles such as ‘That Nights Out Episode’, ‘That Team Bus Episode’ or ‘That Fashion Episode’, the show is set up for Crouchy to share anecdotes about things that went on away from the pitch that, at times, are hilarious.
Tara enjoyed it.
The car is in fact one of the most popular places to listen to podcasts – stats range from 22% of podcast listening in the US (Edison Research, March 2018) to 35% whilst driving/travelling in the UK (RAJARLtd’s MIDAS Autumn 2018) to as much as 41% of the 52% of adults that said they listen to podcasts (Audere Communications, January 2018), although I wonder how much is a shared listening experience.
So why bring up Peter Crouch?
Well, back in June 2018, Techcrunch reported that Apple Podcasts now hosted over 550,000 active podcasts, and a quick search for ‘Football’ on iTunes, as you can imagine, results in loads of podcasts to choose from. But the reason why the ‘That Peter Crouch Podcast’ works so well, and I take on board the fact that it has BBC 5 Live to help it in terms of reach, is because it’s original.
And therein lies the challenge for any brand wanting to take advantage of the incredible opportunity that the growing popularity of podcast listening brings. How do you come up with something new and different and then rise above the noise of all those other shows that are already out there with loyal subscribers?
It’s why I try and encourage the organisations that we partner with on our csuite podcast to be as original as our format will allow us, be that in where we record the show, from busy conferences with the background noise of the exhibition area providing atmosphere, to ICCO’s House of PR in one of the cabanas on the beachfront at Cannes Lions, or simply in the diversity of guests we have in the studio or range of topics we cover that impact businesses. Those topics have, in the last year, moved from just focussing on Communications and Innovation to cover key areas such as Social Mobility, Financial Inclusion, Diversity and Mental Health & Wellbeing.
Similarly, when we were brought on board by Adama Agricultural Solutions to produce ‘ArableAware’, a niche podcast aimed at farmers and agronomists, we of course researched what was already out there, but decided to create a magazine style show that, despite it being audio, we record on farms around the UK. Doing so enabled us to chat to farmers whilst walking through their crop fields, that sparked conversations that we simply wouldn’t have thought of having had we stuck to a script in a studio. It’s also allowed the specialists from Adama to visit their customers around the UK and we’ve built a community of listeners who now email us inviting us to come and record the show on their farms too. It’s been a huge success beyond just creating some content for their target audience to listen to.
So, whether you are just setting out on your podcast journey or looking to adapt your existing show with new ideas and formats, try to think about how you can offer something a little unique, that will encourage listeners them to hit that subscribe link and hopefully give you a decent rating and review to help you up the podcast charts too.
Book a place at Russell’s Power of Podcasting Workshop that he is running with fellow PRCA Trainer, Jayne Constantinis on Wednesday 20th March