I jumped into podcasting very early. In fact, I started publishing online audio before the iPod even existed. It’s a medium that I really enjoy and have found to be beneficial to me professionally.
I’m not alone in seeing the benefits of these online audio shows. An article several weeks ago in the Washington Post suggests that podcasts are doing quite well these days.
Most people think about podcasting in terms of being a content tool — a way to express ideas and build an audience of listeners. That’s how I got started. My first online audio contributions were to Ken Rutkowski‘s TechTalk show back in 1997. Of course, back then it wasn’t called podcasting since the iPod was years away from making its debut.
But the value goes well beyond content. One of the overlooked benefits of podcasting that I especially appreciate is its value as a networking tool. Back in the 1990’s, I started doing online audio interviews as a way to have conversations with people that I found interesting. Back then, my shows revolved around politics, especially the New Hampshire Primary in 2000.
Each of these shows gives me the ability to cultivate relationships with people I have known for years while also building new ones with people I want to get to know.
Most people, especially in public relations and communications, will say yes when asked to do a Skype or telephone interview for a podcast. It’s a medium that allows people to express themselves effectively and provides a mutual benefit to the host and guest. As important, podcasting isn’t so saturated that most people are getting regular requests to submit to interviews or provide guest content, as many prominent individuals are when it comes to blogs.
As you look at tools that you can use to improve your networking and business development activities, I’d encourage you to consider podcasting.
A version of this article originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse.