Growing Appeal of Asynchronous Communication
The use of corporate podcasts grew during the pandemic as organizations sought new ways to connect with remote workers and to capitalize on the medium’s ability to communicate empathy and transparency—relying on the tone and expression of the human voice rather than text on a screen—as workers struggled with issues like mental health, feelings of isolation or concerns about job security.
Experts say the rise of podcasting at companies is an extension of the medium’s popularity in the consumer realm. The share of Americans who listen to podcasts increased significantly over the last decade. As of 2021, 41 percent of U.S. residents ages 12 and older have listened to a podcast in the past month, according to a report from Edison Research and Triton Digital, up from 37 percent in 2020 and just 9 percent in 2008.
Podcasts and other asynchronous modes of communication have gained favor among HR leaders as they seek options to the constant stream of synchronous communication—video meetings, webinars, texting on collaboration networks and more—that workers face every day. HR functions also are increasingly using the medium to communicate about critical topics like the delta variant, vaccine policies and return-to-work plans, experts say.
Some companies have migrated to podcasting because it’s a user-friendly technology that allows them to easily repurpose existing content. Porter said her group not only creates podcasting content from scratch but also converts existing audio from Zoom shows for podcasts. “We produce some podcasts that use video as well,” she said. “It’s a fairly low-tech and easy-to-use process.”