University of Twente Student Theses


Soundwaves of Success? Exploring the Differential Effects of Branded & Corporate Podcasts on Corporate Reputation

Schöning, Nils (2023) Soundwaves of Success? Exploring the Differential Effects of Branded & Corporate Podcasts on Corporate Reputation.

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Abstract:Over the past decade podcasts have emerged into an evergreen trend, that an increasing amount of organisations are playing along. Within the organisational podcasting realm, two prominent and distinct audio formats have emerged, being corporate and branded podcasts. Corporate podcasts as a pure form of organisational communication, typically featuring employees and other affiliated individuals from the publishing organisation. These podcasts predominantly focus on corporate-related topics and serve internal or external public relations purposes. Branded podcasts on the other hand, represent a different approach to audio content. The primary objective of branded podcasts is to entertain and inform target audiences through storytelling narratives and content. They go beyond conventional brand communication and promotion, aiming to create engaging content experiences for listeners, to emotionally bond with them through a subtle link between content theme and brand identity. Given the distinct characteristics, this study explores differential effects of branded and corporate podcasts on corporate reputation, in the context of Mercedes-Benz. Further objectives included the examination of potential differences in the podcasts’ authenticity, entertainment, and information value. Using a two-group experimental design, participants were randomly assigned to either listen to a branded podcast episode or corporate podcast episode. The results indicate that there were no significant differences in the overall perceived reputation between the two podcast formats. However, participants in the corporate podcast group rated Mercedes-Benz higher in the underlying dimension accounting for innovation and leadership impressions. Different than expected, no significant differences were found for other reputation dimensions, nor for perceived authenticity, entertainment, and information value. This implies that despite the divergent content styles and narratives employed in branded and corporate podcasts, the underlying organisational association may have the potential to influence listeners' perceptions. Even when presented with distinct formats, the mere recognition of a podcast as being affiliated with an organisation may shape listeners' overall impressions, transcending the distinctions in content and its delivery.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies BSc (56615)
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