I had the opportunity to see business podcasting in action this afternoon; my work is organizing the International Food Blogger Conference, which caught the eye of a PR firm in town. They contacted my boss to see if he would be interested in some free press; he said yes. Since the package includes a podcast, I asked if I could accompany him to the interview; he said yes.

The firm has been podcasting for 2 years. They record in a storage closet converted to a small soundproof booth through the use of foam, with a large window to an adjoining, equally-claustrophobic booth containing a computer equipped with Garageband, a mixer and a phone for long-distance interviews. Despite being on the 12th floor, the noises of the city are obvious in the office. Plus, the booth is in a high-traffic area next to the kitchen. The company brought in some outside help to construct the booth, though most of it was done in-house by their IT team.

I asked Tara, the girl recording the interview, what clients think of podcasting. She said that more and more are aware of podcasts, though many still do not request them. The firm, however, frequently recommends podcasting as part of their services. In addition, the firm itself uses podcasting as part of their internal communications. While podcasting has not replaced email or memos, the company has 45 branches around the world and have found it useful for sharing talks and speeches.

The interview took about 10 minutes. One of the VPs often conducts the interviews, as the firm feels he has the best “radio voice.” I asked Tara how long it would take her to edit. She said that this interview would be coupled with several others and would take “only” 2 hours to edit. Her advice: “you don’t want to mess with it too much.”

The problems Tara observes are the same mentioned in our books: upkeep and consistency. Many clients do not want to put in the time or the energy for regular podcasts, so many are only done once.