For a good example of how an organization listens to informal feedback to help them quickly understand the potential benefits of a new-media tool like podcasting, take a look at what swimwear brand Speedo is now doing.
Since then, the company has produced a handful under the Speedo Make Waves moniker featuring Olympic and other champions from across the international swimming world. Each podcast has been accompanied by awareness-raising web advertising as an integral part of the overall communication.
Speedo received a lot of feedback to those early podcasts, including suggestions on how to improve the experience for listeners (in other words, how to make them more engaging and credible).
That feedback contributed to Speedo’s plan to take their podcasting on the road as a highly-visible part of their marketing and sponsorships, starting with daily podcasts from the 2006 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships taking place in Vancouver, Canada, from 16-21 August.
The host of each podcast is Scott Goldblatt, an Olympic champion swimmer who represented the US team at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics. Scott is also blogging events from the championships at Timed Finals, the blog he authors and one of the most influential blogs in the swimming world (and part of the b5media blog network).
An excellent example of how social media – blogs and podcasts – can easily be a part of overall communication.
(Disclosure: I advised Speedo and produced the inaugural Speedo Make Waves podcast.)