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Podcast Powered Economic Development: Rough Draft

Podcasts can do more than make your commute bearable.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
22 min read
Podcast Powered Economic Development: Rough Draft

Table of Contents

Over the past several months, I've been quietly working on a project that's close to my heart, and it's finally ready for some valuable feedback from the community that means so much to me — you!

I'm excited to share a draft of my new guide, "Podcast Powered Economic Development," with all of you. This short book explores the untapped potential of podcasts as a tool for community growth, business retention, and, most importantly, improving the quality of life for everyone involved.

Why podcasts, you might ask? Well, podcasts have a unique power to connect, inform, and inspire. From building relationships at scale to networking beyond geographic constraints, podcasts offer economic developers like us a way to supercharge our community impact. With case studies, best practices, and actionable strategies, this guide aims to be your go-to guide for leveraging this incredible medium.

I value your insights and would love to hear your feedback on the draft. Your experiences, comments, stories, and critiques will only serve to make the final version richer and more comprehensive. Together, we can pioneer a whole new avenue of economic development that resonates on a personal, yet scalable level.

Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

PS - You don't have to read this all right now. You've got economic development work to do!


Introduction

There's something about talking directly into people's ears that creates an unparalleled sense of intimacy and engagement. It's this very intimacy that sets the stage for transformative impact, especially in an area as complex and community-driven as economic development. Welcome to a journey into the realm of podcast-powered economic development--a field where the scalability of digital media meets the personal touch of one-on-one conversations, all aimed at fostering growth, community, and prosperity.

The Power of Voice

When you listen to someone's voice--without the distractions of visual media or the formality of written text--you connect with them in a uniquely personal way. This immediate sense of connection makes podcasts an incredibly effective medium for communicating complicated ideas and fostering deep relationships. In the field of economic development, where trust and community engagement are pivotal, this connection is invaluable.

Scaling Authenticity

One of the greatest challenges in economic development is how to scale your efforts without losing the human touch that makes each community unique. Podcasts offer a solution: they allow you to reach thousands, even millions, all while preserving the nuance and authenticity of a one-on-one conversation. This is where traditional methods of community engagement meet the modern age.

Networking Reimagined

Beyond just reaching your local community, podcasts can be a powerful tool for networking at scale. The platform allows you to engage with industry experts, community leaders, and entrepreneurs, inviting them onto your show to share their insights and stories. This not only enriches your podcast but also extends your network far beyond the limits of geography.

Business Retention and Growth

Podcasts can also be a powerful tool in retaining businesses in your community by offering valuable content focused on local resources, success stories, and growth strategies. Businesses are more likely to invest in a community they feel connected to, and what better way to foster that connection than through the personal, targeted medium of a podcast?

The Road Ahead

As we delve into the chapters that follow, we will explore these aspects in depth: the strategies for building relationships at scale, the modern approach to networking, the tactics for business retention and much more--all through the lens of podcast-powered economic development.

So, with headphones in or speakers on, let's embark on this journey to understand how you can turn up the volume on your economic development initiatives, reaching not just the minds but also the hearts of your community, all through the power of podcasts.

Why a Podcast

You're busy. You've got a million and one things to do today. And the last thing you need is another book telling you to do something new.

Podcasting isn't new. Podcasting is just talking. Talking to your businesses, talking to your prospects, talking to your community, talking to your board members, and talking to yourself.

Do you like to talk? I've been publishing the Econ Dev Show podcast for more than a year now, and I almost always ask how the guest got into economic development. In the midst of a wide variety of "I accidentally became an economic developer" stories, the guest almost invariably says "I like to talk. It's my only (or greatest) skill."

Have you been told that you talk a lot? I know that I have. Podcasting is just the act of talking to someone, recording it, and publishing it so that other people can listen.

Have you ever had a fantastic conversation with someone, and afterwards tried to express what was so fascinating about the conversation to someone else? I know I have. It's hard. You're almost never quite able to capture what made the original conversation so fascinating to you.

By recording and publishing the conversation in a podcast, you can share exactly what it was that you found so fascinating.

That moment when your conversation partner said something insightful. You've got it recorded. That fascinating idea that you've never considered, it's there in the pdocast.

But, I can hear you thinking, I am not fascinating. I don't have anything interesting to say. I especially don't want to listen to myself talking.

We'll here's another great secret of podcasting: it's not about you. Your podcast is about someone else. Their perspectives, their ideas, their conjectures, stories and insights.

Though my name is on the podcast, the Econ Dev Show is about the guest, and not about me. I haven't quite calculated it, but I imagine that I talk about 10% of the time, and the guest talk 90%.

Do you not like small talk? Do you struggle to meet new people?

So many people find conversations with new people to be a challenge. What do you talk about? What should I say?

Do you know what the secret to being a great conversationalist is? It's asking questions.

My name is Dane Carlson, and I'm the host of the Econ Dev Show, and the Director of Economic Development in Galveston County. I wasn't always an economic developer. First, I was a blogger – but this isn't that story. This is about when I ran a Chamber of Commerce.

First off, bloggers should never be Chamber CEOs. As much as I imagined that they'd basically be the same thing, being a Chamber CEO was absolutely nothing like being a blogger.

For one thing, as a Chamber CEO I had to go out into the community and talk to people. This was quite a change after fifteen years of sitting at home, in my office, in my slippers, well, blogging.

And I wasn't good at it.

You see, I'm an introvert. I don't like to talk to people. Or, I didn't like to talk to people until I realized something:

If, in a conversation, someone was very interested in me, and asked me questions about my interests, or thoughts, or family or whatever, I could talk all day. I would talk until they collapsed from all the talking. And then I could keep going.

I'd discovered that I like to talk about myself. And, it turns out, we all do. Every likes to talk about themselves. Naturally, we're the most interesting person we know. If you show even the sligtest bit of interest in us, we'll tell you everything.

So I decided to try talking to people and only asking questions [someone wrote something about this]. I would spend the day not talking about what I wanted to talk about and instead only asking about what they were intersted in.

And guess what: it worked.

Sometimes though people are hesitant to talk. They also don't know what to say... in those situations, just dig around with the questions until you can get them talking. I promise you, once you find the right topic, they won't shut up.

So this was my strategy when I was running the Chamber of Commerce. Many people considered me the most interesting person in town. I could, and did, talk to everyone. All because I was the most INTERESTED person in town.

This same strategy works for podcasting. Like I mentioned, I probably only speak about 10% of the total dialog spoken in the Econ Dev Show. The guest does all of the talking. They enjoy it because they're getting to talk about themselves and what they love.

Booking Guests

Here's another awesome thing about podcasting. Almost everyone will say yes.

And if they don't, it's not like they've slammed a door in your face. It's not like they've said no to your sales pitch.

They're honored to have been asked.

Don't think of it like a sales call. How many times have you reached out to someone to talk and been turned down? Business attraction prospects turn me down all the time. Businesses in my community that could benefit from BR&E contacts turn me down all the time.

But almost no one turns down a podcast. Sure they might be busy, or nervous or whatever, but being asked to appear on a podcast is still a great honor for most people. And while they may not want to appear, they'll will feel special that you asked them.

The secret to getting someone to do something for you is to do something for them first. The secret to getting someone to like you is to ask them to do something for you. (There's a study about this somewhere.)

With these two facts in mind, think about podcast guests. First, you're doing something for them: you're asking them to appear on your podcast. Secondly, you're inviting them to be on your podcast. You've done something for them.

All other things being equal: Asking people to appear on your podcast causes them to appear on your podcast, and having them on your podcast makes them like you.

Podcast Powered Business Retention

Business Retention & Expansion or BR&E is an economic development strategy of proactively connecting with existing local businesses to understand and to their local business needs.

BR&E often starts with a survey for local businesses.

The BR&E Challenge

If you've engaged in a business retention and expansion program, you know what the difficulties are. It can sometimes seem almost impossible to get businesses to accept your help.

I can't tell you the number of local businesses my staff and I have to reach out to in hopes of getting even one BR&E conversation. Emails don't get read, voice mails stay unlistened to. From a recent survey we did of Galveston County businesses, less than 5% of our target businesses actually eventually agreed to be interviewed.

Think about that -- we were trying to help -- and they didn't want it. Why not? Because we were offering a service that they didn't understand, or think that they needed.

The BR&E Solution

Here's a new strategy for your next business retention and expansion outreach: start a podcast first.

Create a podcast called "Your Communities Businesss Talk" or something similar. Reach out to the same businesses and ask them to appear on your podcast and to discuss their successes, opportunities, and challenges. It works. I tried it, and generated almost ten times as many responses to almost the same outreach.

Why did they respond? Because we did something for them (created the podcast), and they felt like they owed us. Plus, what business person ever turns down an opportunity for free promotion.

The Galveston County Seafood Saga

Imagine you're in Galveston County, Texas, a region known for its beaches, harbors, and most importantly, its seafood businesses. One particular business, "Galveston Gold Seafood," has been a pillar in the community for decades but is facing some challenges due to increasing competition and changing market dynamics.

The Old Approach

In the past, your department reached out to the owner, Sarah, multiple times through emails, calls, and even mailed brochures offering support to help her business adapt and grow. Unfortunately, all attempts were met with radio silence.

The Podcasting Turnaround

You then decide to launch a podcast named "Galveston Business Unveiled" to shine a spotlight on local businesses. Sarah gets an invitation to be a guest on the podcast to discuss the history of "Galveston Gold Seafood," its impact on the community, and how she sees the future of the seafood industry.

This time, Sarah responds within a day, thrilled at the opportunity to share her story and promote her business. The episode gets recorded, and not only does it become one of the most popular episodes, but it also becomes a platform for Sarah to voice some of the challenges she is facing.

The Aftermath

Post-podcast, Sarah is more receptive to engaging with the economic development office. She even agrees to fill out the BR&E survey and is more open to discussing potential support or partnerships that could help her business. The transformation is astonishing, all thanks to the power of podcasting.

Sarah also feels she owes it to your team for giving her the platform, and this reciprocity opens up a new channel of communication and collaboration.

Podcast Powered Business Attraction

Business attraction is the proactive pursuit of bringing new businesses into a community or geographical area. The aim is to drive economic growth by increasing investment, creating jobs, and diversifying the local economy.

Bringing new businesses into a community offers numerous benefits:

  1. Job Creation: New businesses create new jobs, reducing unemployment rates.
  2. Increased Tax Revenue: More businesses mean a larger tax base, which can lead to improved local services and infrastructure.
  3. Economic Diversification: A variety of businesses can make a community more resilient to economic downturns.
  4. Innovation and Skillset: New businesses often bring innovative ideas and specialized skill sets that enrich the community.

The Challenge of Business Attraction

In today's globalized world, every town, city, and even country is vying for the same businesses. The competition is fierce, and standing out is challenging.

Awareness

Even if you have the perfect location for a business, if they don't know you exist, you're not even in the game.

Limited Resources

Attracting businesses often involves heavy investment in marketing, incentives, and sometimes infrastructure improvements. Not all communities have these resources readily available.

Trust and Relationships

Businesses are cautious about where they invest. They want to know they're entering a supportive and stable environment, and building this trust takes time.

Overcoming the Challenge with a Podcast

Your podcast can serve as a virtual tour guide of your community, highlighting unique features that make it an ideal place for business. From local culture to logistical advantages, make it compelling.

Sharing Success Stories

Invite local business owners or executives who can speak about their positive experience of setting up and running a business in your area. Their testimonials can serve as powerful endorsements.

Informing and Educating

Utilize the podcast to share valuable information on the local business climate, available incentives, and key contacts within the community. This can help prospective businesses feel more confident and informed in their decisions.

Collaborating with Local Organizations

Team up with local chambers of commerce, educational institutions, or other community organizations to feature on your podcast. Their networks can help amplify your message.

Establishing Your Area as a Thought Leader

Regularly featuring experts on topics relevant to businesses can help establish your area, and by extension your podcast, as a hub of thought leadership. This is not just attractive to businesses but also to the kind of talent they would be looking to hire.

With a podcast, you don't just tell businesses why they should come to your community—you show them, episode by episode. It's an authentic, engaging way to break down the barriers often associated with business attraction efforts.

The Tale of TechTown's Triumph

Imagine a small but burgeoning city called TechTown. Despite its promising talent pool and state-of-the-art infrastructure, TechTown struggles to attract new businesses, particularly in the technology sector. Local economic developers have tried the usual routes: tax incentives, networking events, digital advertising, but all to little avail.

The Challenge

TechTown finds itself competing with larger, more well-known cities for the same tech startups and established companies looking to expand. While TechTown has its own unique advantages—a lower cost of living, a close-knit community—the challenge lies in getting these selling points in front of the right people.

The Podcast Pivot

Taking a cue from the success of their podcast-based BR&E strategy, TechTown's economic development team launches a new podcast series, "TechTown Talks." The podcast features interviews with local business leaders, discusses local challenges and opportunities in tech, and offers deep dives into TechTown's unique amenities like their co-working spaces, innovation hubs, and even their outdoor recreational facilities ideal for work-life balance.

The Breakthrough Episode

In one memorable episode, the Mayor of TechTown is invited to talk about the city's commitment to fostering a tech-friendly ecosystem. This episode catches the eye—or rather, the ear—of Emily, the CEO of a rising tech startup called "InnoSoft." Intrigued by what she hears, Emily reaches out to the economic development team for more information.

The Aftermath

After a series of discussions, and encouraged by what she learned from the podcast, Emily decides to open InnoSoft's second office in TechTown. The new establishment not only brings in 200 jobs but also becomes a catalyst for other tech businesses to give TechTown a closer look.

Within a year, TechTown starts to live up to its name, becoming a burgeoning hub for tech startups and companies. All thanks to the authentic, informative, and engaging platform provided by their podcast, "TechTown Talks."

This story encapsulates how a well-strategized podcast can overcome the barriers of traditional business attraction methods. It demonstrates the power of storytelling, not just in the podcast itself but also in how the community tells its own story to prospective businesses.

Podcast Powered Quality of Life

Quality of life is a multidimensional concept encompassing various well-being aspects, from economic stability and job opportunities to healthcare, education, and cultural enrichment. For businesses, a high quality of life in the community often translates to a more stable, satisfied, and productive workforce. For individuals, it means more fulfilling lives enriched by opportunities for growth and happiness.

For individuals, a better quality of life typically means better health, greater comfort, and more time to enjoy the things that bring joy and fulfillment. For businesses, it's about employee retention, productivity, and the broader health of the market in which they operate. A thriving community attracts more talent and investment, creating a virtuous cycle that benefits everyone.

The Challenge of Improving Quality of Life

Improving the quality of life in any community is complex and fraught with diverse needs and concerns. Not every initiative will benefit everyone equally. Balancing various priorities and resources is crucial.

Addressing Diverse Needs and Concerns

A community is a tapestry of different people, each with needs, preferences, and concerns. The challenge lies in implementing strategies that address these diverse needs without disproportionately benefiting one group over another.

Balancing Priorities and Resources

Resources are often limited, requiring community leaders to decide what to prioritize. Furthermore, the metrics to measure the quality of life are diverse and often qualitative, making it challenging to evaluate the impact of various initiatives.

Enhancing Quality of Life Using a Podcast

One of the most potent ways a podcast can improve the quality of life is by boosting community engagement. A podcast can be a platform to discuss community issues, highlight upcoming events, and provide essential information, creating an informed and engaged citizenry.

Highlighting Local Initiatives and Projects

Your podcast can spotlight local projects to improve the quality of life, from park revitalizations to new educational programs. By highlighting these initiatives, you build awareness and encourage community participation and investment.

Sharing Success Stories and Best Practices

Feature episodes where you discuss the success stories of individuals or initiatives that have significantly impacted the community's quality of life. These stories inspire and provide a source of best practices that others can adopt.

Amplifying Underrepresented Voices

Podcasts provide an opportunity to give a platform to voices often underrepresented in traditional media or community meetings, such as minority groups, young people, or those with special needs. This inclusivity can only enrich the community as a whole.

Fostering Connections Within the Community

Finally, podcasts have the power to bring people together. By featuring local personalities, stories, and perspectives, you create a sense of community that listeners can latch onto, fostering connections that might not have been possible otherwise.

In conclusion, podcasts offer a unique and potent tool for enhancing the quality of life in your community. From engaging citizens to spotlighting initiatives and fostering a sense of shared purpose and connection, the impact of a well-crafted podcast can resonate far beyond the airwaves.

Podcast Powered Board Relations

For some economic developers, especially type-A hard driving types, board relations can be someone of the most difficult parts of the job.

Ten bosses, all with seemingly lots of power, and basically no responsibilities, are enough to drive anyone crazy.

I know I've had difficulty with boards. What do you tell them? What advice do you go to them for? How do you regularly interact with them so that they don't feel left out, and instead feel engaged in the vision and direction or the organization?

At the same time, how do you interact with them in a way that doesn't create the expectation that you're coming to them for everything and allowing them to subvert the relationship between executive officer and board member. The board sets direction and you execute. You don't want to create the kind of relationship where they expect you to come to them for guidance with every challenge.

Here's the secret. Use podcasting. Invite them on. Ask them questions. Use the same technique of asking questions. Find out what they're passionette about and what they're interested in.

Boards play a critical role in the governance and oversight of various organizations, including local governments, economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, and more. They provide direction, approve budgets, and make decisions that have long-term implications for the community.

Challenges in Board Relations

Clear, open communication is essential but often challenging, especially when board members have differing viewpoints or priorities.

Prioritizing Issues and Initiatives

Boards often have a broad mandate, making it difficult to focus on specific issues or initiatives without overwhelming board members with information.

Consensus Building and Decision-Making

Achieving consensus among diverse board members can be a drawn-out process, potentially delaying important initiatives.

Balancing Stakeholder Interests

Board members often represent different stakeholder groups, and balancing these varied interests can be challenging.

Strengthening Board Relations through a Podcast

A podcast can serve as a regular channel for updates, making it easier for board members to stay informed without inundating them with emails or reports.

Involving Board Members in Podcast Episodes

Invite board members to participate in podcast episodes. This not only gives them a platform to share their insights but also helps them feel more engaged with the organization's activities.

Addressing and Discussing Community Concerns

By using podcast episodes to delve into community issues, you provide a shared foundation of knowledge, making board meetings more efficient and focused.

Showcasing Collaborations and Partnerships

Feature episodes that highlight successful collaborations, reinforcing the board's confidence in the organization's capabilities.

Promoting Transparency and Accountability

Regular podcast updates can serve as a public record of initiatives, strategies, and outcomes, supporting a culture of transparency and accountability.

The Secret Sauce: Podcasting for Board Harmony

Navigating board relations can be a tricky affair, especially for the go-getter economic developer. It's a balancing act between keeping board members informed and involved, while also maintaining the appropriate boundaries so as not to upset the organizational hierarchy.

Here's where podcasting comes in handy. Invite board members to be guests on your podcast, asking them about their visions for community development, their insights into current challenges, or even their personal stories that led them to serve on the board. This creates a sense of inclusion and engagement without blurring the lines between executive and governance roles.

By posing questions, you not only show respect for their opinions but also subtly guide the conversation in ways that can illuminate their priorities and concerns. This can be invaluable when you're back in the boardroom, helping you steer discussions in a way that aligns with both the board's and the organization's goals.

With a podcast, you have a tool that can turn board relations from a potential headache into a strategic asset, making governance more collaborative, informed, and engaged.

Setting Up Your Podcast

Equipment

  • Computer
  • Microphone

Recording

When recording a podcast, you have two options:

  1. Record in Person
  2. Record Remotely

Recording in person ... I've only done this once, and I messed that up. (Talk more about this...)

Recording remotely is similar to being on a Zoom call, both guests connect to a digital service and can see and hear other through the computer. Usually, the host then starts recording the discussion, and the conversation proceeds from there.

What I use

I use Riverside.fm for the Econ Dev Show Podcast. It is very similar to Zoom, with one major difference. With Zoom, the audio (and video, if you like) is recorded on the host computer. The guest's audio and video is transmitted through the internet to your computer and recorded there. This means that any technical issues like a slow connection or distorted audio or video will be reflected in the final recording.

With Riverside things are differnet. Though the audio and video is shared through the internet, the actual content is recorded locally and then uploaded after the conversation. This means that regardless your internet connections's stability, the final recording will be just as crisp and rich as if you were both in the same room.

The challenge (or opportunity, depending on how you look at it) with Riverside is that you'll end up with two audio files. One for you, and one from the guest. You'll need to combine them in editing.

Editing

Before you can publish your podcast, you need to edit the raw recording.

Descript is awesome. If you've never tried to edit an audio recording of the spoken word, let me tell you -- it is difficult. (It is so much of a challenge that in my years of recording and editing sermons, I never edited out anything I said, even something that I later thought might have been heretical!)

In most audio editing programs, the audio appears as waveforms on a screen, running from left to right. You can tighten the audio or remove empty space. You can adjust the volume if someone speaks too loudly, or something makes a loud noise in range of the recorder. But to do more you'll need more training than I can provide here.

Luckily, there's another option. I use Descript.

I don't know how to describe Descript without using the word magical. It is magical.

When you import your recording into Descript, the software analyzes your recording and then turns it into text. The editing interface looks like Microsoft Word or Google Docs. Press play, and Descript will highlight each word in your trancription as the audio plays back.

"Welcome. back. to. the. Econ. Dev. Show. Today. we're. here. with. John. I mean, Fred...."

Now here's where it get's magical. Say, like me, you recorded an intro and messed up the guests name and then corrected it. No worries. Just highlight "John. I mean" and press delete.

Poof, it dissapears. Press play again.

"Welcome back to the Econ Dev Show. Today we're here with Fred..." plays back.

If you didn't get too flustered and your voice didn't change too much during the recording, I swear you won't even notice the cut.

But what if you really mess up? I've done that.

Welcome back to the Econ Dev Show. Today we're here with Dave, I mean Dan, oops, darn it..."

What if instead of accidentally saying the wrong name and then correcting yourself, you said the wrong name and then never repeated the correct one. This is where Descript again earns it's magical designation.

Delete "Dan" and replace it with "Steve." Descript will think for a second and then replace Dan with Steve. Or Martha, or Peter, or whatever you've typed. Press play again. "Welcome back to the Econ Dev Show. Today wer're here with Steve," in your own voice!

Did you catch that? Type whatever you want and Descript will automagically create it in your own voice!

Some traing is required, mostly just recording yourself reading a script, but when it works it's magic.

Descript also handles things like adding audio like intros and outros, magically adjusting the quality of your guests, automatically removing "um" & "uh" and sixteen other similar words, and so much more.

Give it a try. There's a free trial, and the software starts at $12 a month. I have a pro account, and it runs $24 per month.

Intro / Outro

A compelling intro and outro are critical elements of a successful podcast, especially one focused on economic development. The intro quickly captures listener attention, setting the stage by outlining the podcast's purpose and value. This initial impression is essential for engaging busy professionals like investors or community leaders. Conversely, the outro serves as a concise wrap-up and directs listener action with a specific call-to-action, whether that's reaching out for a consultation or attending a community event.

Together, the intro and outro frame each episode, lending a sense of consistency and professionalism. In economic development, where trust is crucial, these bookends not only enhance the listening experience but also reinforce your podcast's credibility. They act as your podcast's auditory "brand," making your content instantly recognizable and more impactful. So, in the business of economic development, don't overlook these key components—they can make or break your podcast's effectiveness.

Creating a captivating podcast intro was surprisingly straightforward. I discovered a talented freelancer on Fiverr and provided him with a script, along with the directive to craft an awesome introduction for my podcast. In just four hours, he delivered exactly what I was looking for.

Hosting

A podcast hosting platform serves as the digital hub where podcasters upload and store their audio files. Once uploaded, these episodes are securely stored and the host takes care of the bandwidth needed for listeners to smoothly download or stream the content. Beyond just storage and bandwidth, these platforms assist in distributing the podcast to a variety of channels. They often generate an RSS feed that can be submitted to podcast directories like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Some even offer one-click submissions to multiple platforms, making the distribution process hassle-free.

But that's not all; these platforms also offer analytical tools that provide valuable insights into listener demographics and episode performance. This data can be instrumental for podcasters looking to understand their audience and grow their reach. For those looking at monetization, some hosting services come with built-in options for ad integrations, sponsorship opportunities, or even premium content tiers.

Accessibility and searchability are also increasingly important in the podcasting world. To this end, many podcast hosts offer automatic transcription services, creating text versions of episodes that are easier to search for and more accessible to a broader audience. Additionally, some platforms offer search engine optimization features to help podcasts appear in relevant search results.

Of course, ensuring that episodes are securely stored and backed up is crucial, and reliable podcast hosting platforms offer these services as well. They often come with customer service and technical support to help resolve any issues, providing an overall package that serves as the backbone for a podcaster's content. Some even go the extra mile by offering community engagement features like comments sections, social media sharing options, or built-in community forums. All these features and services collectively make podcast hosting platforms an indispensable tool for podcasters.

While there are numerous podcast hosting platforms to choose from, for the sake of providing a comprehensive guide, we'll zero in on one particular host: Fireside. You're certainly welcome to explore other options, but Fireside will serve as our focal point for discussion.

  • Fireside is a simple and straightforward podcasting platform.
  • It costs $19 per month.

Amplifying Your Economic Development Impact

As we wrap up this look into the realm of podcast-powered economic development, it's essential to emphasize the profound opportunities for scaling various aspects of economic growth and community engagement. Podcasts are not merely a tool for entertainment or education; they can be leveraged to significantly amplify your efforts in several key areas, particularly when thinking at scale.

Building Relationships at Scale

Podcasts provide a unique opportunity for relationship-building at scale, one of the most fundamental aspects of economic development. By sharing valuable insights, news, or interviews through your podcast episodes, you can create a space where stakeholders, from community members to global investors, feel engaged and connected. This digital avenue for connection allows you to reach an audience that would be difficult, if not impossible, to gather through traditional channels. Thus, you're not just building relationships; you're building them at a scale that can catalyze broader community engagement and investment.

Networking at Scale

Podcasts can be a potent tool for networking at scale, enabling you to connect with other industry leaders, experts, and influencers far beyond your local sphere. Guest appearances can be mutually beneficial, expanding reach for both parties, while also providing listeners with diverse perspectives. Your podcast can serve as a networking hub, connecting people, ideas, and opportunities in a way that's both dynamic and expansive.

Business Retention at Scale

Retaining existing businesses is as crucial for economic growth as attracting new ventures. Podcasts can help here too, offering specialized content that helps local businesses thrive. Whether it's by spotlighting successful local businesses or offering episodes that delve into resources and strategies for growth, you can provide ongoing support and recognition at a scale that would be hard to match through other mediums.

The Scalability Factor in Other Avenues

And it doesn't stop there. Think about business attraction, workforce development, talent attraction, and even public policy advocacy. All these can be amplified through the strategic use of podcasts. When well-executed, your podcast can serve as a multi-tool for economic development, one that can be wielded effectively at scale.

Podcast-powered economic development isn't just a novel idea; it's a scalable strategy that offers a multitude of avenues for meaningful engagement. From building lasting relationships to extensive networking and beyond, podcasts can be the catalyst that supercharges your economic development efforts on a scale previously unimaginable. Thank you for joining me on this journey; now, it's your turn to turn up the volume on your economic development initiatives.


I hope you enjoyed this rough draft. Thanks for reading. Please let me know what you think.

PodcastNewsletter

Dane Carlson Twitter

Founder/Host of Econ Dev Show. Also: Sitehunt CEO and economic development consultant in Greater Houston, Texas.


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