Once the decision for your own podcast has been made, it's all about the right concept. In the corporate world, the formats and specialisations are diverse. Part 2 of our Mini-Special by Jasmin Lörchner shows you some successful productions from which you can learn.
In part 1 of our Mini-Special on Corporate Podcasting, we explained what you should consider when deciding on your own podcast: What kind of company is worthwhile having its own production and what needs to be taken into consideration when planning? In the second part of our Special we discuss some examples and explain why they are effective. Let yourself be inspired!
Researching podcatchers quickly reveals that the subject areas for business podcasts are very diverse:
Brand awareness: Many companies use podcasts as a marketing tool for external communication to increase brand awareness and to find and retain potential customers. One example is the American company General Electric. Under the slogan “Go Big or Go Home”, the Americans hired a screenwriter in 2015 to write their eight-part podcast “The Message”. The science fiction format à la Orson Welles even reached number 1 in the American iTunes charts for a while. Andy Goldberg, Chief Creative Officer at GE, comments on the project:“It’s a science fiction story that connects listeners to what GE is all about, without explicitly promoting the GE brand.” A very similar and completely successful example from Germany: “Backup” from Lufthansa.
Product launch: Planned as a relay, a podcast about the launch of a new product on the market can cause excitement among customers and employees. The American makeup company Sephora launched a podcast with the same name especially for the launch of the new lipstick brand #Lipstories. In each of the episodes, women from all walks of life talk about moments when they felt beautiful, confident and strong. The stories offer additional value and associate the product with a positive message.
Topic specialist and customer loyalty: Some companies position themselves with their audio productions as experts for certain topics. The AOK health insurance company provides information on health topics in „Morphium und Ingwer“ and encourages customer loyalty in this way.
The Hornbach store proves that this also works for do-it-yourselfers: „Werkstattgespräche“ provides a forum for creators to talk about their projects in an authentic dialect and with a local touch. Great for increasing customer loyalty, but also internally: the episodes show in an entertaining way how DIY enthusiasts pursue their passion with products from the DIY store - a source of pride for Hornbach employees as well. This is how modern content marketing works with storytelling!
For employees: The latest internal information, company events and topics that everyone is talking about in the break area, can be specially prepared for employees. In addition to its e-mobility podcast, Audi also runs a production especially for its employees in which the latest news from Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm are discussed. Professional radio presenters, who are especially committed to the project, discuss current topics and promote the involvement of the workforce, for example, by announcing a competition of ideas for the start of the production after the Corona crisis.
Corporate policy: Management decisions and workplace codes of conduct can be communicated in writing - but much more entertaining than the thousands of emails from management is an audio format that explains briefly and clearly why the company is doing what it does. American Airlines’ “Tell me why” podcast works according to this concept: From feedback on the new uniform for flight attendants to rules of carriage in the cabin, all employees’ questions are answered in short episodes (five to ten minutes maximum). Moderator Ron DeFeo is the airline’s Vice President of Global Communications and makes his performance so impressive that not only employees but also fans of the airline regularly tune in.
Education/further training: For companies with numerous branches, the question that needs to be answered is how they regularly train their staff. Instead of visiting every sales location individually, Opel is using an internal training podcast to cover topics such as the launch of new models, new legislation on emission control and advertising campaigns. (Unfortunately, the podcast is not public, there is no link to it)
Conversations with the CEO: Decisions and experiences of success of the company are prepared for the employees in small appetizers and make the management closer. Listening directly from the head of the company to the issues that concern management gives the workforce the feeling of being more involved. Before Mark King became CEO of the fast food chain Taco Bell in 2019, he was the North American head of Adidas. In the podcast “Extraordinary happens” he discussed what can be learned from professional athletes in terms of willpower and leadership - an entertaining format for motivating employees.
Research and science: From engineering to higher education: research never rests. Depending on the industry, some companies may find it useful to present the latest scientific findings in an entertaining podcast. The two Physicists Nicolas Wöhrl and Reinhard Remford prove how entertaining this can be, even for more complex topics, with “Methodically Incorrect” - an extraordinarily successful example of modern science communication.
Also four American historians are arousing curiosity for historical research with their podcast “BackStory” and connect current events in America with events in history.
Our list of examples could be endless - here are some more ideas for formats that might be right for you and your company: For new employees and for those who have been promoted, onboarding and knowledge sharing can be bundled in the podcast and make it easier to start their new job. An offboarding podcast when an employee leaves the company could gain expert knowledge for the company. Speech podcasts are an easy way to make presentations made at an event or conference accessible to a larger audience on a long-term basis. At the end of a major project, the knowledge and training could be summarised in an audio report. Even more complex internal campaigns can be accompanied by a podcast production from planning to rollout and evaluation to keep the workforce up to date.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless. With good preparation and comparatively little production effort, you can put together an exciting format in a short period of time that will find a loyal audience internally and externally.