Wednesday, September 5, 2007

IMPACT's story on Podcast

PodUniversal, India's first PodMagazine has successfully completed 75 episodes of podcasts, on various themes of general interest. We were the first podcaster to get the interview from former Indian President Dr Abdul Kalam also.

September (03 - 09) 2007 issue of Impact, India's leading media, advertising and marketing weekly has carried an exclusive story on this. The story also carries as to how Corporates can make use of the Podcasts for their marketing and communication strategies. You may download the file in pdf format (112 k).

Please read the story below:

NEWAGEMEDIA 03 - 09 September 2007 Page 52

Kalam on Podcast

That new media will be largely consumer-generated is obvious. And examples of the same are in evidence increasingly around us. One such example is PodUniversal.

With the third part of former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam’s interview, PodUniversal, an initiative by Chennai-based Prime Point Foundation, has so far produced 75 podcasts (both audio and visual). Started in August 2006, PodUniversal, billed as India’s first Pod Magazine, has seen 18 editions come out till date.

The themes vary and include subjects like corporate, communication, media, education, health, India vision and career growth. Till date, the podcasts have featured interviews of Dr Kalam, Dr U Srinivasa Raghavan, former Chairman of the Indian Postal Board, T S Raghavan, former Chairman of Indian Bank and K Pandiyarajan, Chairman of the MAFOI group, among others.

The thinking is that Podcast are emerging as an effective marketing tool. Based on the experience gained over the production of podcasts, the people behind it have also commenced a ‘Corporate Podcast Service’.

Under the aegis of the foundation, which by definition is not-for-profit, the entire creation of content to its dissemination is currently being done free. The initiative was conceived and is headed by K Srinivasan, Chairman of the Prime Point Foundation, with active participation from members of several online groups he runs – several of them for journalists and communication professionals.

impact caught up with Srinivasan for a peep into the conceptualization and road map for this year-old entity that has attained a fair level of traction.

Podcasts can be accessed at, and The foundation also publishes a corporate e-zine every month, titled ‘PR-e-Sense’, since the last 17 months. All the e-zines are integrated with podcasts.

impact: The foundation seems to be engaged in several activities targeted at building communities, with the commonality being the internet. Could you list out the objectives of PodUniversal?

Srinivasan: Podcast is emerging as a new media for communication. Since many of the young people spend more time on the net, this is a powerful media to reach young and tech savvy people. In view of this, we started PodUniversal, as a Pod Magazine. We have also named the anchor as ‘PodJockey’ -- like RJ and VJ. Through

this Pod Magazine, we are able to bring out podcasts on various themes like education, health, current affairs, corporate, marketing, management, communication, career, etc. For us also, it is a great learning experience, as this is a new media, in terms of production, reach, quality, etc. We have so far produced 75 podcasts.

Your constructive use of members to generate content is another interesting aspect. What prompted you to start such a service and what are the different groups?

Prime Point Foundation is moderating four major groups. Image Management is the second largest yahoo group on PR globally; prpoint group is the single largest yahoo group on PR in India; India Vision is the largest Indian group on India vision (with many patriotic and vibrant youth as members); new media forum is a large group for Indian media professionals.

We are running two e-zines. PR-e-Sense is the Corporate e-zine produced on a unique theme every month. We have so far produced 17 issues without break. All the e-zines are integrated with the podcast.

We have lot of talent in our discussion groups. To provide an opportunity to the talented professionals in our group, we have introduced a system of Guest Editor from last month. The Guest Editor brings with him new thoughts and views. The Guest Editor gets the interview from globally renowned persons through his contacts. This enables members to get the best inputs from different sources from across the world.

India Vision group runs an e-zine, Vandemataram. This is run by the youth of the group. In the last issue, we carried the lead story of an exclusive interview with Dr Abdul Kalam. This motivates youngsters to achive greater things for nation building. We also bring out success stories of ‘hitherto unknown heroes’.

When do you see the bouquet of services becoming monetisable? What do you then see as the revenue streams?

Now that PR-e-Sense and Vandemataram are stablised, we are interested in seeking sponsors and advertisers.

We are one of the pioneers in podcast, having released 75 quality podcasts successfully. We are now creating awareness amongst corporates to use the podcast as a ‘branding and marketing tool’. We have also started a blog for this purpose. Now we are ready to produce corporate podcasts on commercial basis.

What is the current number of people receiving the podcast? How has it grown and how do you see it growing?

Podcast is a not a ‘mass media’. It is a niche media. It is also a ‘media for mainline media’. Many of our podcasts have been reproduced in the mainline media. We circulate the e-zine and podcast through our various groups. It reaches around 20,000 inboxes directly. It has a viral effect. It will also be re-circulated by receivers.

With the emergence of ‘broadband’ in India, I see a greater potentiality for podcasts. It is cost effective, simple and available on the net on all days and at all times. That is why I’m saying that it is a great marketing and communication tool, to promote products, services and also to communicate corporate information.

Please enlist the core team on the same.

Some of the fellow young professionals assist me in producing Ezines PR-e- Sense, Vandemataram and Pod Magazine ‘PodUniversal’ on a voluntary basis, as it is not yet commercialised.

Please enlist a few people to be featured in coming podcasts.

Already we have featured many eminent persons like Dr Abdul Kalam, Mr T S R Subramanian (former Cabinet Secretary of India), Mr S Narendra (fomer Information Advisor to Prime Minister), Dr U Srinivasa Raghavan (Former Chairman, Indian Postal Services Board), Mr T S Raghavan (Former Chairman, Indian Bank), Mr K Pandiyarajan (CEO and Founder, MAFOI group of HR consultants) Ms K Bhavani (President, IPRS, Singapore), Prof. Y S Rajan (Co-author of the book India 2020), Prof. Sreenath Sreenivasan (Dean, Columbia University) and many others.

Since we are able to record the interviews over phone, it is not a problem for us to get eminent persons from all across for our podcast. Since we are one of the well known podcasters, it has become easy for us to enlist the eminent professionals.

What would be the future initiatives of the foundation?

The Foundation has got a great credibility. We always believe in making use of the technology for improving the skills and knowledge of communication professionals.

It must have been memorable interviewing Dr. Kalam. Please share your experience briefly.

Podcast with Dr Kalam is the ‘mother of all podcasts”. This is also for the first time Dr Kalam gaves an interview to a podcaster. I sought his time for interviewing him for the 60th Anniversary of Independence Day. I had also given links of all my earlier podcasts. Three days before the Independence day, Dr Kalam called me on my mobile and introduced himself and said that he appreciated my earlier podcasts. I could not believe myself. I could not speak for a moment. That was an exciting and thrilling moment for me. He enquired about the theme of my podcast with him and gave me the time for recording.

At the appointed time, when I called him from Chennai (he was at Delhi), he was ready for the interview. He was able to remember my meeting with him both at Anna University and at Rashtrapathi Bhavan. He was very friendly and his answers were crisp and to the point. After completing the interview, he was talking to me informally as to how we can motivate the youngsters of this country.

Dr Kalam has given many interviews to Print and Broadcast media. I am fortunate to be the first podcaster to interview him.

1 comment:

Rama Mohan said...

Hi Srinivasan

Your blog link has been placed in my Indian bloggers list
Check it in Music and Podcast category

Thank you

Table of Contents