3 Ways to Increase Your Visibility with Podcasts

Podcasts are hot right now and they won’t be slowing down anytime soon, if you want to increase your visibility they are a fantastic way to do so. In fact according to an Infinite Dial report from 2019: The percentage of Americans who listen to online audio (defined as listening to AM/FM radio stations online and/or listening to streamed audio content available only on the internet aka) has doubled since 2012, growing from one-third of the population to two-thirds In the UK according to a research report from Ofcom in 2019: around 7.1 million people in the UK now listen to podcasts each week. That’s one in eight people and is an increase of 24% over the past year – and more than double over the past five years.  These figures reflect global trends and outside of the UK and USA podcasts have growing audiences with a wide reach to suit a variety of interests. Many small business owners and entrepreneurs focus on radio or other traditional media and sometimes neglect the lasting impact of podcasts.  If you want to improve your personal brand visibility then look to engaging in the podcast space. One caveat and important thing to remember here is that visibility is nothing without credibility. While using podcast platforms to increase your visibility to your target audience always remember that your words will leave an audio-digital footprint.

Remember to always ask the important question of WHY when considering podcasts as part of your PR and comms and/or Media relations strategy. Once you have determined why you can then take the time to consider how you can use podcasts to increase your visibility. Here are 3 simple ways to increase your visibility:

Interview guesting – Podcast interviews and conversations are great ways to spotlight the important work that you do in your business and work. From my own personal experience I have been invited onto quite a few podcasts as a guest and it has been a great way to compound my expertise in my sector; it is also a great way for my prospective clients and audience base to get an understanding of what it is that I do. Remember that whatever you say will have an impact on your reputation so be mindful of this when accepting an invitation to speak on a podcast, many people underestimate the reach of podcasts and sometimes show them less respect than traditional radio which makes no sense since the output (if not necessarily the reach) is the same.

Content – Being on a podcast offers substantial content creation opportunities. I am a very big fan of re-purposing content and believe that just because you have something featured on one platform that doesn’t mean you can’t use it across the board on your own platforms, especially if you’re looking to improve your personal brand positioning – remember that you are your own brand ambassador. For example you can use an online app like Headliner to create clips from your podcast with visuals to share across social media. Sharing is key as you shouldn’t just rely on the platform to share the episode you should signal boost the episode too since it is your voice and it was your time spent sharing your voice – so make sure you share.


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A post shared by Ronke Lawal (@ronke.lawal) on

The above is an example of a clip I have repurposed on social media and embedded on this piece to illustrate my point, the content never really dies if it is useful!

Host your own – this requires commitment, consistency and tenacity and I would only really recommend it if you or your organisation takes the time to consider the benefits and long term impact. You may not get immediate audience ratings but podcasts are a great way to reach your audience and consumer/client base if you create something relevant and on the pulse. You can of course create a podcast based on your own interests outside of business or work but much like anything you will need to be consistent if you have aims for it to grow into something else. For instance if it is the case that you want to pivot into the media or do more public speaking or get advertising/sponsorship deals it is important to keep track of listener figures and reach and have a targeted approach to the way in which you market the podcast. I would recommend booking a course on podcasting or at least paying attention to the industry at large just to see what tactics are used and how you can differentiate yourself from others. Standing out will increase your visibility and in term enhance your credibility.

Remember that everything I’ve shared here requires commitment and consistency but the results will be absolutely worth it so start working on how you can incorporate podcasting into your PR and personal brand strategy sooner rather than later.

Who Really Profits From Black Influence?

Black influence has been making cultural waves across social media platforms since their inception. Before Twitter and Facebook there was MySpace, where Black creatives inadvertently learnt how to code or even further back there was BlackPlanet which some could argue was the dedicated platform for Black collective discourse and debate. Black influence is how Black communities and diaspora groups around the world use the digital landscape to mobilise, educate, inform and entertain whilst also shaping cultural and media landscapes. But as we move into new territory when it comes to influence and social media the question remains who really profits from Black influence and how do members of Black communities ensure that they are not written out of the proverbial history books when it comes to online trends.

Who really profits from Black influence? The short answer to this question is of course the social media platforms and the owners of these social media platforms, founders like Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg and their ilk have managed to give us these “free to use” platforms whilst monetising all of our individual levels of influence.  If we look at who else profits from Black influence then it’s obviously brands, specifically when it comes to trending topics and virality where the focus tends to be Black Twitter. There is also the media outlets who often use Black trending topics for content and commission journalists who aren’t always Black to discuss those trending topics. The focus is often on Black Twitter as a marker for measuring Black influence but there is Black Instagram, Black Facebook, Black YouTube and even Black LinkedIn. They might not have the same impact in terms of online trending topics but they exist.

We also see how the influence of global Black communities has had an impact on newer platforms like TikTok. There was recently a popular discussion about Jalaiah Harmon, the original creator of a dance routine called Renegade which went viral on TikTok who was not being credited for her work until Black Twitter and mainstream media shone a spotlight on her story.  It’s not the first time that this happened, remember when Peaches Monroee, the woman who coined the catchphrase “on fleek” had to create a GoFundMe page to raise money despite her catchphrase being monetised by major brands and even musicians. She didn’t get a chance to monetise her influence quickly enough before the catchprase’s popularity started to wane. There was also the case of Twitter influencer, MinaLioness being used in a popular Lizzo song initially without credit (or royalties) until that case was resolved.  There are a lot of blurred lines and grey areas surrounding copyright and intellectual property rights when things go viral whether it’s viral videos, dance moves or even tweets. But there is still a lot that Black influencers (big and small) can do when they go viral which I’ve discussed a few times before. The key is to be intentional, strategic and responsive in order to capitalise on influence which unfortunately doesn’t always happen quickly enough in the Twitter space. However I have seen that Black influence is easier to monetise on Instagram and YouTube but that is often because content creators or “career influencers” shape those spaces. When a piece of content by someone who isn’t a “career influencer” goes viral, they sometimes struggle to take control of their newfound popularity. While Black “career influencers” make money from paid content/monetised views (on Youtube) even though there is still an ethnicity pay gap which we need to be paying attention to. 

 Black Twitter has a few “Career influencers” who have turned their online engagement via twitter into sustainable opportunities – they often have other activities which they monetise and use twitter to promote those activities. But Black Twitter as a construct is very much about visibility, community sharing, clout and influence. It’s easier for concepts to be swallowed up without credit or cash. There have been quite a few instances when Black Twitter influence has been commercialised while Black voices remain invisible or uncredited. A good example is Love Island. 

At least 50% of the most popular accounts tweeting about Winter Love Island 2020 were Black women as the chart in the above tweet reflects. The show’s collective enjoyment would be greatly reduced without the input of Black Twitter and yet when it’s time for press junkets, media commissions, sustainable influencer marketing campaigns and in house opportunities suddenly it’s a challenge to find talent. I also want to be clear that hiring influencers isn’t enough when it comes to inclusion BUT if we’re talking about making a dent into who profits from influence then of course the minds behind these trends should be paid for their ideas:

If brands and agencies don’t have teams which include Black creatives then the cycle persist; a lack of representation in campaigns or short-lived well-intentioned messages which lack depth. It is really important that brands change both their internal teams to reflect diverse voices. There have been in recent times a few examples of what happens when Black creatives are given opportunities to mobilise Black collective influence. Let’s take Angela Brown, a Black woman and the social media strategist behind the Popeye’s Chicken viral twitter campaign which according to reports led to a significant increase in Popeye’s profits. AdWeek’s Editor credited Black Twitter for making Popeye’s chicken sandwich a sensation with some branches selling out in regions of the US. It is important to note that the restaurant chain is not Black-owned however by at least giving a Black expert an opportunity to direct the campaign one could argue that there her input proved the power of Black Twitter and Black influence. In the UK Melissa Thermidor was the mastermind behind one of the NHS’ most successful digital campaigns, harnessing Black Twitter to discuss donating blood in an appeal to increase the number of Black Donors in the UK.

I recognise that, in a society which revolves around the constant commodification of every aspect of our lives, it is nice to log into certain platforms and get collectively involved in topics of discussed without the pressure of turning those topics into a monetised activity.  However we cannot escape the fact that brands and trends are being shaped by Black influence across multiple platforms and those Black voices who are the helm of those trending topics should most certainly be given the chance to have a slice of the profit pie.

A Conversation on The Let’s Chat Comms Podcast

I really enjoyed this conversation with Phillipa Chikwedze on her Let’s Chat Comms podcast series. Aside from getting the chance to discuss my business journey we talked about all things PR, Communications, Crisis and social media. What I particularly enjoyed about recording this interview was the authentic energy between Phillipa and I. Whilst we have had different journeys within public relations we have had some similar experiences and perspectives particularly as Black women in the industry so it was really good to be able to have an open and honest conversation on this dynamic new platform. I am really passionate about encouraging more Black women to be visible in the industry and whilst this isn’t a conversation specifically about our experience as Black women it indicates how much we bring to the proverbial table and how much we can offer each other and the wider industry.

Let’s Chat Comms is a communications focused podcast platform on which Phillipa interviews individuals in public relations, working in a variety of sectors for an insight into their roles and their career journeys. I hope this podcast series makes an impact across the industry and gives listeners an insight into the PR industry in a relevant and relatable way.