The good folks at Gartner Research have come out with their list of tools that retailers should be taking advantage of in the New Year, one of which is, you guessed it…. Podcasting! This may not be news to us audio geeks, but it IS helpful and encouraging to see that a research company with the authority of Gartner has come forward with a new recipe for retail success that includes our beloved podcasting medium.

Rounding out their list were other online tools such as blogs, RSS, Short Message Service (cell phone messages), VoIP, data sharing co-ops, and highly targeted paid search endeavors. The blog is a convenient and accessible way to communicate online, which you are living proof of because we’re talking to each other in a way right now, online.  The main message from Gartner was that we have to embrace and trust these new mediums in order for them to thrive, communicate their objectives, and assert themselves in our daily lives.

One of the easiest of these tools to welcome into our homes and into the workplace is podcasting. Not only has Apple made podcasting mainstream through their iTunes Music Store, but recording podcasts becomes easier everyday with new recording software and distribution services. Friends, this is where you can play an instrumental role in all of this. You are voice-over talents or keen supporters of voice-over services. It is our responsibility to preach this new medium to our families, friends, and co-workers. Have you ever been visiting with someone and discovered that they had not yet subscribed to a podcast or that you had to explain what one was?

This happened to me a couple of weekends ago at a family Christmas gathering. I introduced a couple of relatives to the iTunes store and got them hooked on The Secrets of Narnia, a podcast produced and hosted by Father Roderick in The Netherlands. Once they saw how easy it was to ‘subscribe’, they started finding more podcasts that intrigued them, and they’re probably still at it two weeks later. I know that there are over 30 podcast subscriptions on my iTunes player.

We must work together to build a foundation of trust and acceptance for podcasting. Most people that are converted to podcasting as a new medium for entertainment and education are referred by a friend or family member, usually while in front of their computer for a hands-on experience with an informed guide close by to answer any questions that they might have. For anyone interested in podcasting, we have an entire section of our website devoted to the how-tos, various audio samples of podcasts from talent on, and a Podcasting eBook that comes with a bounty of bonuses, one of which includes 10 fully produced podcast episode numbers, ready to add to any podcast. Here’s to a new year that gently integrates these extraordinary technological fruits!

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Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her podcast Sound Stories serves an audience that wants to achieve excellence in storytelling. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.


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