Beyond the Press Release: Executives from IBM, Audible and Podshow Reveal Podcast Marketing and PR Strategies

(LOS ANGELES - Sept. 20, 2005) Entertainment, marketing and public relations executives can learn how forward thinking companies are integrating podcasting into their communications programs by downloading or subscribing to a new podcast by Eric Schwartzman.

The podcast, created exclusively for Global PR Blog Week 2.0, an online symposium happening this week, includes interviews with Dave Joseph, VP Corporate Communications & Strategy, Audible Inc., Ethan McCarty, Writer, Editor and Technologist, IBM and Aaron Burcell, Director, Marketing and Communications, Podshow Inc.

In recent years, public relations has become largely synonymous with media relations, but a spate of emerging technologies -- which give business communicators a cost-effective and efficient way to make information available on demand - are empowering individuals and organizations to build their own audiences, circumventing mainstream media filtration.

Podcasting presents us with the opportunity to refocus our efforts on relating directly with the public. But just as we choose the right media format through which to communicate based on our message, we must also be aware that unleashing the power of Podcasting requires an understanding and acknowledgement of the fact that oral renditions of press releases, media advisories and executive biographies are not necessarily appropriate content for podcasting.

In the exercise of media relations, we accept that we ultimately must relinquish control to the editorial staff of the news outlet through which we are seeking to have our clients story told. This awareness impacts the choice of words we use in our press materials, in an effort to highlight whatever it is about the news that we feel:
  • Accurately represents the newsworthy occurrence.
  • Reflects positively on our client's contributions.
  • Would make a good story for the outlets audience.
The rise of the blog, which has given non-technical personnel the ability to experiment with rudimentary, inexpensive content management software that can be easily syndicated, was the first step toward empowering public relations professionals to start communicating directly with the public, by participating in ongoing conversations already underway on the blogosphere about their brands, products and services.

The introduction of RSS 2.0, which makes it easy for anyone to distribute an enclosure over an XML news feed, made it possible for the first time, for public relations professionals to distribute electronic media without relying on more cost prohibitive, conventional electronic media distribution channels. Furthermore, the emergence of this new distribution channel brings with it a number of benefits over satellite and terrestrial broadcast. These are:
  • Ability to talk directly to a disparate audience motivated enough to opt-in and defined largely by its area of interest.
  • Ability of the communicator to gather an audience over time, since the content is available on demand.
  • No geographical boundaries limiting reach, since anyone with internet access can subscribe.
  • Ability of the audience to listen to programs any place, like during commutes or exercise.
While the mainstream media appears to be taking advantage of podcasting as an alternate means of distribution, original programs being created by public relations professionals on the client and agency side that appear to be gathering the largest audiences go well beyond the format of traditional press materials. Communicators are developing compelling, informative and entertaining programs designed to appeal to their key audiences, and reinforce their organization's key messages.

In this podcast, online PR expert Eric Schwartzman talks to three public relations executives currently podcasting original programs, or publicizing themselves through other podcasts, about how they are applying the benefits of this new technology to communicate beyond the press release, with interviews on the three different categories:

Act One - Beyond the press release; how companies can protect reputations through podcasting

Dave Joseph, VP Communications and Strategy, Audible, Inc.
Prior to joining Audible, David was Director of Investor Relations and New Business Ventures at eBay. From 1998 to 2003, David was at Morgan Stanley, where he was an equity research analyst, covering the Internet and PC software sectors, and a member of the top-ranked technology research team on Wall Street. David also worked in the advertising industry, culminating with his last position as Account Supervisor on the International business-to-business launch of LIPITOR for the healthcare arm of Young & Rubicam. Other experience includes work for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Jakarta, Indonesia, where he completed a study on the impact of foreign direct investment on the development of the automotive industry in Thailand. David holds a B.A. from New York University and a Master of International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

Act Two - Beyond the earnings release; how IBM is driving trading volume through podcasting

Ethan McCarty, IBM Strategic Communications
Writer, editor and technologist, Ethan McCarty, is part of the IBM Strategic Communications team which produces IBM's award winning annual report to shareholders as well as IBM's Investor Relations podcast series, "IBM and the future of." Ethan contributed to the development of IBM's blogging guidelines and is doing similar work on wikis and podcasts.

Act Three - Bringing down the walls between the media and marketer; podcast promos as content

Aaron Burcell, Director of Marketing and Communications, PodShow Inc.
Aaron is responsible for the marketing and communications at PodShow, including the company's associated family of directories, communities, content and software. Most recently the Director of Marketing at Stata Labs (acquired by Yahoo!), Aaron launched Bloomba (now Corel's WordPerfect Mail), the critically acclaimed search-based email client in 2002. Aaron's prior experience includes Alterlayer Venture Services, Microsoft, WebTV (acquired by Microsoft), and Nabisco.

About the podcaster

Eric Schwartzman, Managing Director, Schwartzman & Associates Public Relations, Los Angeles, CA
Eric Schwartzman is the managing director of Schwartzman & Associates, a boutique public relations firms based in Los Angeles. He is also chairman and founder of iPressroom, which helps organizations extend the impact of their public relations, corporate communications and marketing programs through easy-to-use, marketing communications software tools and services. He blogs about how public relations, the news media and emerging technologies influence perception and shape popular opinion at the Spinfluencer. His podcast On the Record.Online features discussions with leading journalists about how they use technology to cover the news.