PodcastS? Look Ma, No HanDS

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A Turnkey solution to getting your story told

Back in 2004 I was lucky enough to help launch the first podcast network in Canada, the rabble podcast network (RPN) for rabble.ca. And I co-hosted its first flagship show, rabble radio.

As a communications coordinator with Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), I’m fortunate to work closely with Wayne on our DUC Podcast, which he produces and hosts. Wayne makes my job easy by consistently crafting episodes that connect with our audience. Thanks to him, we have one more (fun) way to spread our conservation message.
— Julielee Stitt, Ducks Unlimited Canada

Since then I've helped clients set up their podcast studios, taught them podcasting and have hosted and launched their podcasts into the waiting ears of their audiences. Those clients have included colleges, universities, law firms and non-profits like Ducks  Unlimited Canada.

I can help you think through your podcast vision. I can provide you a turnkey, affordable and hands-free solution to your online audio outreach needs.

Contact me for more details at wmacphail@gmail.com

Is Podcasting Right for You?

That depends on your digital communications strategy. Podcasting is only one tactic you can employ to get your message and stories out to online audiences.

So, before you decide on a podcast, make sure it's the right fit for your audience. I can help you think through that process. You should ask yourself questions like:

  • Is it likely my audience listens to podcasts already?
  • Are we reaching a new audience with a podcast or are we overlapping with an audience we already have?
  • What metrics should we use to measure success?
  • Can we get experts internally or externally to keep a podcast going week-to-week or month-to-month?
  • What would our approval process be?

Why are Podcasts So Powerful?

As you probably know, podcasts are becoming an extremely popular way for organizations to tell great stories. Your audiences can listen to them as they commute, walk a dog, go to the gym or do household chores. Better still, podcasts are extremely personal. Many people listen with earbuds or headphones, So it's like your whispering in their ears. I think the best podcasts speak directly and honesty to audiences. They come to like the host(s) the guests and the content. It speaks to them, their core values and can the information they need now, in an engagement personal way.

What's Involved in Creating and Launching a Podcast?

There are a few main stages. Here are some questions you should consider at each stage of the process.

CONCEPT
What information are you trying to convey? To what audience? What's the tone, voice of the podcast? What kind of production values would you like for it? What are you looking for in a host? How long will it be?

GEAR
What software/hardware do you need? How much should you budget? Do you need a dedicated podcast production computer? What are the best headphones, microphones, computer and software?

FREQUENCY
Is this a short, weekly podcast or a longer monthly one? BTW, there's no perfect length for a podcast. Some popular ones are about 20 minutes, others go for two hours.

HOST/GUESTS
Do you want this to be a "one person with a mic" podcast or one that has a host interviewing one of more guests in "studio" or via Skype? What are you looking for in a host? Do you want the host to be on staff or do you need a host from outside your organization?

MUSIC
Good podcasts have catchy, appropriate and unique intro/extro music and song snippets that are interstitial between sections of a podcast. Where can you get license-free music? Do you want music that is unique to your podcast?

PROCESS
How do you move a specific podcast through your system of approvals? Does the proposed content need to be signed off on? By who? Should questions for interview subjects be vetted? By who? What about the script for a show's intro and extras and feature-specific content introductions? Who will write and approve all the material?  When and how will the episode be recorded and edited? How will the episode be published?

PILOT
It's a good idea to create a pilot episode for a few reasons. First, the Apple podcast directory requires at least one episode in a podcast feed before it approves it. Second, it allows you to give the format, tone, style and content a dry run. You can make the pilot available only to a select audience to get feedback and adjust the future episodes accordingly.

LAUNCH
Once you're happy with the process, content and tone of the podcast you can launch it to the target audience. An important aspect of that launch is making sure your audience knows about the new offering. I can help you think through online, social and offline promotional opportunities so that the launch is most effective.

ONGOING NUTURING
It's important to do continuing promotion for the podcast after launch. You should also solicit user feedback, create a strong blogger relations strategy and keep track of metrics: audience size, duration of listening, geography and browser type for users etc. That way you can target your content and promotions effectively.

A LOT TO CONSIDER
Fortunately I can work with your team to go from concept to launch with them. And, I can do all the heavy lifting: script writing, recording, hosting and posting. 

CONCLUSION
Those are the main things you need to think about to make your podcasts effective and efficient. I'm happy to have a pro bono initial meeting to help you address these issues broadly. We can then work together to develop, create and launch a successful podcast for you.

Contact me for more details at wmacphail@gmail.com