Last week, I delivered a public relations seminar to members of the Manitoba Funeral Services Association. Not knowing a whole lot about the industry prior, I did as much online research as I could, including listening to those who podcast about the funeral business. Interestingly, when I surveyed those at my seminar, only a couple of people had ever listened to a podcast and the audience was surprised to learn there were podcasts related to its industry. The reality is, most people have not discovered the wealth of info out there via this medium.
A podcast is a digital audio file. It’s similar to a radio show but for the most part, not produced by professional broadcasters. You can download specific podcasts that you find on the Web or subscribe to your favourites so they will automatically download to your computer whenever there is a new episode.
You can find a podcast on virtually any subject, including the non-profit world. I’ve just discovered a few non-profit related podcasts that I’m checking out. One is Conquering Nonprofit Chaos produced by Bradley Burck who is a fundraising and marketing consultant. Craigslist Foundation also has podcast recordings of its non-profit bootcamps. Nonprofit Jungle covers topical issues facing non-profits and helpful resources. Offering scores of interviews with non-profit workers, social entrepreneurs and social change makers, the Big Vision podcast also provides a wealth of information.
Apart from professional development, I listen to a range of podcasts from the re-broadcasting of my favourite CBC Radio shows to travel podcasts.
If you’re not tuning in, here are some reasons you should:
- There’s no easier way to keep up with what’s going on in your industry beyond your own little corner of the world. Podcasts help you to discover what others have learned about what works and what doesn’t. You have a world of experts at your fingertips.
- Podcasts are portable. If you have an iPod or MP3 player, you can listen anytime, anywhere. I’m an avid runner and walker. Strapping on my headphones makes both these activities much more enjoyable. If you have a long commute to work, you have an ideal opportunity to listen to a podcast or two. Having said that, you don’t need a portable device to listen—just a computer.
- It’s easier than reading blogs. Don’t get me wrong—I love reading blogs, but it can be hard to keep up sometimes. Podcasts are an easy way to take in information.
- They’re FREE! It completely blows my mind that I can pick and choose from thousands and thousands of podcasts that provide me with heaps of valuable information and they are totally free.
OK, have I convinced you? If so, it’s easy to get started finding your own favourite podcasts. There are tons of search directories to help you find your topic. The Podcast Directory List identifies a slew of them. My favourite is iTunes.
If you have a must-listen-to podcast to share, leave a link in the comments section.
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