Back in 2006, when PodWorx first came to be, I had the opportunity to speak with a VP at one of the Big Gaming Companies in Las Vegas about podcasting. A direct report of his had heard what I was doing, was very excited about the potential, and wanted his VP brought up to speed.
So, I talked with him on the phone. . .for about 40 seconds. Come to find out, he tells me, his company is already working on a podcast. After a few more pleasantries, I told him that I looked forward to hearing their show. With the VAST resources available to this company (they are HUGE), I was positive we were in store for some great content.
That was in 2006.
In 2007. . .still no podcast from the Big Gaming Company.
Then, about a month or so ago, I was on the Big Gaming Company’s website and discovered they had added podcasts! I was very excited. Truth be told, Las Vegas businesses are typically slow to adopt new technology so I was pretty happy to see that these folks had finally pulled the trigger.
Until I listened.
Instead of ensuring they deliver either of the two criteria the listener has for a successful podcast, they created content that was nothing more than re-purposed promotional content. You know, that stuff you hear when you pick up your bags at the airport. TERRIBLE!!!
They have multiple feeds (dining, entertainment, nightlife, etc.), and not one episode in any of these feeds entertained or educated me. This was CLEARLY driven by marketing, without the first thought as to why somebody would want to listen to a podcast from this Big Gaming Company. There was no attempt to connect with their listeners. Here’s what I found in episode #1 of their “Gaming Podcast”:
Podcast Title: Gaming Podcast
Episode Title: Gaming: Player’s Club
Length: 18 seconds(!)
Description: Listen to Player’s Club
Script: Join the Big Gaming Company’s Player’s Club and accumulate credits on your Player’s Club Card at other Big Gaming Company’s resorts and casinos. The comps and the VIP treatment will add up in no time.
Compelling, isn’t it. Unbelievable. I’m guessing that if anybody actually bothers to subscribe to one of these podcasts, they’re going to be pissed. Which is not a feature.
That was the content problem. Than there was the technical problem.
I randomly checked three of the feeds at FeedValidator.org. Every one failed. When loading a feed into iTunes, they had missing times, terrible titles (“Entertainment Podcast”, “Gaming Podcast”), no episode dates, no feed image. Even more amazing, the only thing listed on the website was the URL for the feed itself. No description of the podcast. No ability to sample/listen to an episode without having to know how to load an RSS feed into your software.
Truth is, I can’t remember when I’ve seen a worse example of using a podcast to extend the awareness of a company’s reach.
So, here’s the big questions then, why am I telling you all this? Here’s why: if you’re going to go to all the trouble and expense in deploying a podcast, don’t be an idiot. Don’t regurgitate a bunch of pre-produced marketing/advertising fodder. Spend some time and give the listener something NEW. . .something entertaining. . .something educational.
Or don’t bother.
(Whew! OK, I feel better now.)
I’m curious. Have you heard anything that was as bad as what I described? Let me know. Better yet, what have you heard that you loved? Leave a comment below.