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Rocky Mountain association’s podcast ‘brings propane to life’

June 11, 2020 By    

Stay-at-home orders and more employees working from home during the coronavirus pandemic raised the likelihood that retailers would sell more propane. The Rocky Mountain Propane Association thought people would want to listen and learn about it too.

Image: Picture/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Image: Picture/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Prior to COVID-19, the association that covers Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming was preparing to launch an infomercial-style radio show called “The State of Energy,” which would share with consumers key messages about propane.

“The idea was to get on talk radio shows and talk about the myths of electricity and really expand on what propane can do,” says Tom Clark, executive director of the association.

The prerecorded 30-minute show, hosted with the help of California broadcast partner Advoke Media, would promote propane, giving retailers an opportunity to sponsor the segment and share their own messages with the community. The show evolved from an infomercial into a real conversation – with lighthearted banter – between Clark and show host Rand DeWitt.

“We’re really just trying to bring propane to life in a casual conversation that people can understand,” Clark says.

As of early June, “The State of Energy” has been heard on six talk radio stations, Clark reports. Each show is composed of three eight-minute episodes and features a propane retailer’s commercial. Episodes cover a range of topics, including familiar industry messages about subsidized natural gas expansion and the electrification of everything.

“At first I thought there was only so much we can talk about with propane, but every week almost, with everything you talk about, you can include propane,” says Clark, noting how the show even revealed a propane angle with the SpaceX launch of U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station.

The association didn’t intend to launch a podcast in conjunction with the show; it only needed a place to house the episodes. But when the new coronavirus gripped the country in March, Clark found the next step a no-brainer. Whereas the radio show platform is geared for the consumer, the podcast makes more sense for the propane industry member.

“I thought, ‘Let’s launch this as a podcast because so many people are looking for different types of media to listen to and we could get this information out to the propane companies’ employees so they can learn a little bit more about how to have a propane conversation,’” Clark says.

Clark discovered that propane companies were using the podcast as an educational tool for their front-line employees. It gives drivers and service personnel, who may not attend industry meetings regularly, a resource to glean more information about propane to share with customers.

Clark hopes the media project can continue. He says “The State of Energy” isn’t a moneymaking venture, and is seeking propane industry vendors to sponsor the podcast and help cover production costs. With radio now a part of his resume, Clark also hopes to line up quality guests to talk about propane.

Pick a podcast

With social distancing protocol at the core of the coronavirus pandemic, employees and customers now have a greater reason to go online – whether for communication, education or to seek other industry resources or solutions.

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) offers podcasts for both a propane industry and consumer audience. “The 1075” podcast launched several years ago for industry members. In early June, PERC was set to launch its “Path to Zero” podcast, about propane and clean energy, for a consumer audience.

The podcast push has even gone international. The World LPG Association, with CEO and Managing Director James Rockall, launched its “LPG Talks” podcast to explore current opportunities and trends in the industry.

This article is tagged with , and posted in Blue Flame Blog

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at brichesson@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3748.

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