EDINBORO, Pa. – Even a pandemic can’t stop the burgeoning growth of one of the most popular media – podcasts.
The PRSA NWPA Chapter and Edinboro University will host “Podcasting Pandemic Style” on Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 1:30 p.m. via Zoom. The pitch for the event is: “Join us for this seminar if you'd like to learn more about what podcasting is, how to do it, and how you can implement this game-changing medium into your strategy.”
Visit the registration form to register, receive Zoom details and review payment, which is $10 for PRSA members and $15 for non-members.
The panelists of the event are Erika Grotto (’00), content manager at Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA); Christopher LaFuria, deputy communications officer at Edinboro University and host of “Tartan Talks”; and Chris Lantinen (’10, M’14), social media marketing and podcast specialist at Edinboro University.
In her role as a content manager, Grotto hosts a podcast through HFMA called “Voices in Healthcare Finance.”
“We have a news segment in every episode where one of our policy directors breaks down a current event in terms of what it means to our members and what action they should be taking,” said Grotto, who graduated from Edinboro with a degree in English. “We also feature interviews about hot topics in healthcare finance, again with a focus on what members should be doing to achieve a certain goal.”
The popularity of podcasting has certainly seen growth over the past couple of years.
In a letter to their shareholders, the popular music streaming and media services provider Spotify noted that more than 1 million podcasts are available on their platform.
“Audio has also taken on a greater role in managing the stress and anxiety many are feeling in today’s unprecedented environment,” the letter said.
According to a recent study, 75% of the U.S. population – an estimated 212 million people – are familiar with the term “podcast.” In terms of having listened to a podcast, 55% – an estimated 155 million people – have listened, up 4% from 2019.
Up 5 % from 2019, 37% – an estimated 104 million people – have listened to a podcast monthly. In most categories, such as age and sex of listeners, the percentages have all gone up from previous years.
Serving on the PRSA NWPA’s 2020 Board of Directors, Ellen Kehl of The Nonprofit Partnership also sees potential in the medium of podcasting.
“I think that a podcast would enhance our offerings because it would provide another medium for stakeholders to learn about us and what we do,” she said. “Everyone likes to get their information from different sources, so this would just be another.”
Edinboro University’s Center for Branding and Strategic Communication – part of the NWPA Innovation Beehive Network – also cashed into podcasting. The center began podcasting in late 2019 and finished installing their new podcast studio earlier this year.
Dr. Anthony Peyronel, the center’s executive director, is impressed with the possibilities of the studio and podcasting as a whole.
“The podcasting studio has been a great expansion of our facilities and it may truly be the premier podcast studio in the region,” he said. “That's one reason being part of this NWPA PRSA webinar is so important, because it will help us increase awareness of the new studio and its potential benefits despite still being partially locked down due to the pandemic.”
Edinboro’s beehive is comprised of five grant-funded centers that collaborate to encourage business growth. The centers are located at the Blasco Library, Edinboro University, Penn State Behrend, Mercyhurst University and Gannon University.
The five locations each have their own specialization. Edinboro’s Center for Branding and Strategic Communication provides free assistance to regional entrepreneurs and organizations in areas such as public relations, advertising, graphic design & branding, web design and social media management.
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is another organization, with members across the country that serves to bring communications professionals together.
With more than 30,000 professional and student members, PRSA is collectively represented across the U.S. by 110 chapters and 14 professional interest sections, and on nearly 375 college and university campuses through its student organization, the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).