Editor’s Note: This week on the blog, we have a guest contributor—Neil Cowling, Founder of Fresh Air Production, based in the U.K. He’s sharing the back story of the new trans-Atlantic strategic partnership between Fresh Air Production and Pacific Content that is designed to help global brands around the world tell their stories in audio.
Five years ago this month, we at Fresh Air Production made our first podcast series for a brand. And it was a good brand — The National Trust. We had gone through many months of persuading them that a podcast was a good idea for an organisation with so many stories, and they took a punt.
Our pitch began with ‘What is a podcast?’
How things have changed in five years. Now, Marketing Managers listen to podcasts themselves and so they instinctively recognise the strengths of the medium: the depth of engagement, the range of storytelling possibilities; the listener’s ability to listen while doing other things while subconsciously absorbing messages. So, shortly after making that first branded podcast, we took the decision to make this our focus — creating original audio shows that brands could own, write, cast, and promote themselves. A unique piece of content that results in people spending over 20 minutes at a time with a single brand, undistracted.
And we’ve changed too. We decided soon after that first National Trust show to focus all our attention on building podcasts for brands, and we can now proudly say that we’re the UK’s leaders in the field. We’ve built enormous expertise in how to package podcasts so that they are attractive, creative, measurable, impactful, and return a solid result for the clients who commission us. We make over 70 podcasts for household name brands across the UK, Europe, and the Middle East.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, another group of former radio producers were having the same thoughts and going on the same journey. With a booming American podcast market, Pacific Content was squirreling away to establish itself as the undisputed leader in audio storytelling for brands in the USA and North America. Their clients include Ford, Dell, Charles Schwab, and many more.
And here’s the thing — Podcasts are global. When you launch a podcast into the world it can be listened to by anyone, wherever they are. So if the target audience is global, the content should be too. When we’re working for corporations like Shell or BASF, or groups like The Global Coalition Against Daesh, we don’t want something parochial — we want to create content that feels accessible and relevant to a truly global audience.
So at the start of this year, we and Pacific Content started chatting. We compared techniques, insights, philosophies, and approaches, and we found not only that we had a lot in common but that we really liked each other. So we’ve decided to do something about it.
Today we’ve announced a trans-Atlantic strategic partnership between Fresh Air Production and Pacific Content to help global brands around the world tell their stories in audio.
So what does that mean? Well …
· We’re working together with our global clients to make podcasts an integral part of their communication strategy. We prove that podcasts can both drive business goals and be a compelling listen for audiences wherever they are.
· We’re collaborating on some big commissions and new creative projects to produce podcasts that tell extraordinary stories with global perspectives. Tales you won’t get anywhere else.
· We’re pooling our talent, experience, and insight from both sides of the pond to create a centre of expertise on podcast production, measurement, promotion, and distribution. Wherever your brand is based in the world, you’ll get the leading experts on your podcast.
· We’ll create global partnerships with the podcast platforms, tech platforms, global media agencies, and brands. We’ll work together to ensure we continually improve how we track impact and measure success.
Both our existing and future clients can benefit from podcast talent, ideas, resources, insight, and expertise on both sides of the Atlantic. When it’s appropriate, we’ll pull all this together to offer brands a truly global podcast production and creative development facility, and create audio content with stories that chime around the world.
This partnership is a world first — an exciting new phase, not just in our development as a company but in the story of podcasting for brands everywhere. It shows the power and value of the medium and opens the way for many more ambitious projects in the next few years.
So thank you to The National Trust. You planted our acorn. Who knows what the next five years will bring.
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