The Power Distance Index (PDI) in Podcasting
Who's in charge of your podcast?
The Power Distance Index (PDI) is a measure developed by Dutch social psychologist Geert Hofstede that reflects the degree to which less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like a family) accept and expect unequal power distribution.
As an example, “subordinates” in societies with high PDI are more likely to defer to their superiors and accept an unequal distribution of power. In contrast, low-PDI cultures share power more equally and there is less acceptance of unequal power distribution.
What level of PDI does your podcast have?
The specific number doesn’t matter, but “high” or “low” would be a good thing for you to consider, as PDI can influence interactions between co-hosts, interviewers, and guests.
Let’s say you’ve got two upcoming guest interviews, one with a “regular guy” and another with a celebrity—somebody who’s well known by your audience and people will be excited to hear from.
Normally, you do a pre-interview, to build rapport with upcoming guests and answer questions they have. It helps you get better interviews and you consider it an important part of your podcast production.
Would you approach the “celebrity” differently than a standard guest for your pre-interview?
If so, you’re not alone. This is very common.
Would you make excuses for why a pre-interview isn’t possible or not needed? Things like “this person is very busy” or “this person has a lot of experience doing interviews and will be able to handle this one just fine.”
If so, maybe PDI is something you should think about. You are in charge of your podcast, aren’t you?