2.6 Leveraging Podcast Medium to Enhance Absorption and Increase Preparedness Levels

Monday, 8 January 2018: 3:15 PM
Ballroom E (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Mark T. Jelinek, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Over the past 5 years monthly podcast listener levels have increased to include roughly 25% of American adults. The increase has also led to a significant uptick in the number of weather themed or weather related podcasts. 2017 saw the first ever National Weather Podcast Month during which time the majority of participating podcasts also became certified as Weather Ready Nation(WRN) Ambassadors. This communication platform provides a unique opportunity to effect meaningful change in preparedness behavior across a large percentage of the country's population. Like many existing WRN Ambassadors, podcast hosts are considered trusted sources of critical information. However, podcasts are not bound like more traditionally geographic or demographic limited communicators. The podcast format also lends itself well to the communication of topics that are more complex or requiring of more time than is often available in traditional media channels. While some weather themed podcasts attract a weather savvy or enthusiast listener base and can enhance the knowledge of a likely informed recipient, others are focused on reaching a non-weather oriented community. The latter grouping provides an exceptional opportunity to shape a portion of the populous that might not otherwise be reached. Utilizing long-form, non-text oriented communications can greatly enhance absorption and accordingly increase preparedness levels including in segments of the population that might otherwise be missed.
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