How an Ohio dentist used podcasts to engage his community

With the alliterative title ‘Talkin’ Teeth,’ Dr. Kyle Bogan and his team calmed and informed their audience around oral health—winning our Health Care PR and Marketing Award for podcasts.

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Engaging your community is difficult if your audience is gripped with fear and doubt—which poses a problem for dentists.

A quick Google search will turn up hundreds of articles, like this one on Quartz, about how badly people fear dental appointments. One dentist in Delaware, Ohio, set out to change his neighbors’ hearts and minds about gums and teeth with an increasingly popular format: the podcast.

Dr. Kyle Bogan’s show, covering local events and dental care tips, is the winner of Ragan’s 2019 Health Care PR & Marketing Award for Best Podcast.

Incisively, Bogan widened the podcast’s focus to topics beyond the dentist’s office. The podcast team “hopes to make listeners feel more connected to the community, keep them updated on important dental-related news, and give them the knowledge and tools that they need to keep their smiles healthy.”

For example, in April’s episode, Bogan spoke about oral cancer but also touched on vaping, how to give yourself an oral cancer check, and local high school athletics. The podcast offers educational insight into a dentist’s view of the dangers of vaping and offers a platform to community leaders to share about their current initiatives.

Promoting your promotional tool

For your podcast to succeed and stand out from the hundreds of thousands already online, you have to market your production wisely.

Bogan and his office used an array of outlets to push their creation, including their webpage, iTunes and Stitcher. They also created an episode preview that could be shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To boost their reach, they tagged interviewees and asked their organizations to share the preview.

The team repurposed the podcast into written content, publishing episode transcripts and using material from the podcasts for articles on their web page.

Measuring success

What should you measure to determine whether a podcast is benefitting your organization? Bogan’s goal was to increase visibility and have a conversation with his community, so measuring raw downloads of his podcast made sense.

For a show that targets a hyper-local audience, Bogan was pleased to have over 230 unique downloads—an average of 58 per episode. For a new project, Bogan’s team said they were very happy with the results, especially with the added engagement they saw among their Facebook audience.

Lessons for communicators

How can health care community leaders and corporate communicators learn from Bogan’s example?

Here are four important lessons:

1. Ask your audience to participate.

Bogan wanted to connect with his local community, so he got leaders from around town to join him on his show. Relevant, interesting guests are an important element for a podcast trying to get off the ground. Find people that your audience wants to hear from or who matter to your community, and engage them for a podcast segment.

2. Don’t get stuck on your talking points.

Podcasts are conversational in nature and won’t fare well with a strict adherence to marketing messages. Wrangle plenty of guests, and touch on many different subjects. You can always cut the fluff in post-production.

Do prepare for your interviews, however. Some guests won’t know how to be dynamic on the mic, so have pre-planned questions to help move the discussion along. Think of topics that help break the ice, and block off extra time to help make your guest comfortable before getting to substantive questions.

3. Promote your podcast on all your channels.

A podcast isn’t a perfect content type for every social media platform, but a little digital wizardry can create a bite-size sample to tease your show on online networks. Bogan shared interview snippets and highlighted his message with accompanying graphics to engage his audience on social media.

Even if you never get a viewer to download your podcast, the engagement with just a snippet might achieve your messaging goals.

4. Repurpose your content.

Once you’ve published your podcast online, your work isn’t finished. Share a transcript of the show for busy or non-listening audiences. You can also turn experts’ insights shared into blog posts and other content to attract readers and bolster your SEO.

Congrats to Dr. Bogan and his team on a well-deserved awards win.

Ragan and PR Daily Award programs celebrate the most successful campaigns, initiatives, individuals, teams and agencies in the communication, PR and marketing industries. Enter today to win the recognition you and your team deserves.

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