By Rahel Kramer
This month’s column is brought to you by Rahel Kramer, an exchange student from Hamburg, Germany. Rahel is pursuing her master’s degree and interning with Fujita & Miura Public Relations through the first quarter of 2007.

This invasion is one that you’ll want to invite if you’re looking for a new way to communicate with your publics. Due to fast changing internet trends, there are many new communication modes to discover, like podcasting, which simply means creating an audio file in MP3 format and then posting it on the internet. Interested listeners can then download the file. They can also subscribe to your podshow so that every time you make a new one, it will be delivered to subscribers automatically.

Bacon’s, one of the world’s foremost communications companies, has a whitepaper on podcasting, which explains how everything started in late 2004: “The concept was for individuals to produce and distribute an audio version of blogs.” Anyone can be a podcast creator, which means that soon, podcasting might be an inevitable means to communicate with your audiences. Your publics are already swamped with press releases, ads and emails. Podcasting is a revolution in mass communication, a new PR toy so to speak.

So why jump on this train? Rodney Rumford, a podcast expert and developer says, “Podcasting gives any company, business or individual the ability to reach out and communicate to a large worldwide audience.” He continues that podcasting increases online visibility, improves the perception of your product, service, brand or value in customers’ minds, and can help garner media coverage. Press releases, employee meetings, shareholder gatherings, annual reports, etc. can be podcasted. Professional podcast services exist to create the podcast. Rumford suggests that if you don’t want to make your own podshow, you can become an advertiser or sponsor of an existing podcast that reaches your target market.

It’s essential for businesses and PR professionals to be aware of and open to these communications trends because they might offer new and effective ways to reach your customers, staff, and community. Some invasions, like podcasting, are just impossible to ignore.

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