Many people do not know what a podcast is but they can actually be beneficial to your professional development. A podcast is basically an internet radio show produced in a series. I listened to a few podcasts on Trafcom News such as “Five Tips for Podcasting Success” and “8 Podcasting Truths.” Both podcasts were produced by Donna Papacosta, the author of The Business of Podcasting. Below are my notes from what I learned from each podcast.
FIVE TIPS FOR PODCASTING SUCCESS
#1. Pick a Niche
You want to pick a specific topic for your podcast series for your desired audience. If you’re podcasts are all over the place you will confuse listeners and discourage people from tuning in.
#2. Get the Gear
Buy professional equipment to ensure the best quality podcast. Make sure you have an external mic and speak within six inches from the mic.
#3. Be Consistent
Be consistent with your topic, production values and efforts, content, and scheduling. Content and scheduling might be the most important. You want to make sure you are filling 15 minutes worth of content and not just rambling on about nothing. Scheduling is equally important because you want your audience to keep coming back and looking forward to new podcasts. You might want to get a co-host and have guest appearances. A new podcast every week is essential to successful podcasting.
Make sure you are prepared before you record a podcast. Sketch out what you will talk about. If you are interviewing someone make sure that you do research on your guest so you can prepare questions accordingly. It might not be the best thing to just go totally “off the cuff” unless that is how you are branding your podcasts.
#5. Have Fun
Have fun with your podcasts. Even if it is a professional podcast, you can have a good time while maintaining and enhancing your brand.
8 PODCASTING TRUTHS
#1. You Will Hate Your First Podcasts
The first couple times you hear yourself on a podcast you will cringe. As time goes on, you will get better and better. Hopefully, you will be able to upgrade your equipment and improve your podcast quality. You will also learn more techniques to running a smooth podcast.
#2. Your Audience Can Tell When You Are Reading
Voice acting is extremely important in podcasting. People do not want to hear you reading from a paper. You sound boring and you will not build an audience. Sketching out and scripting what you want to say is important but make sure you sound natural.
#3. Get the Tech Right
Learn how to use your equipment the right way. Get rid of the background noise, save the audio in an accessible file on your computer, and find the sweet spot on your mic.
#4. Passion Wins Over Tech
To a certain degree, passion wins over tech. Your audience will forgive you for the quality of your podcast if you are passionate about what you are saying. Granted, even your most faithful listeners will still be praying for you to upgrade your equipment.
#5. People Do Not Want to Dig for Your Podcast
Make your podcasts easy to find, access, listen to, and share because people will not waste time trying to find your podcast.
#6. Many People Do Not Know What Podcasting Is
It is a sad truth but just make sure that you share your podcasts with your friends, family, and on your social media sites. Most likely you will have to explain to your loved ones what a podcast is and what its purpose is.
#7. The Snake Oil Sellers
Ignore the snake oil sellers who only podcast about how to monetize your podcasts. You pay them to hear what they have to say about how to earn money from your podcasts and they are probably rich because of that. Do not trust them!
#8. Podcasts Can Build Communities
Do not overlook the power of podcasting when trying to build a community. Podcasting is a way to speak to your target audience and, in many ways, you can bring people together depending on what your podcasts are about.
I have to be honest. I did not really know what podcasting was until my professor told me about them. I have actually listened to motivational podcasts when I was in this business organization but I did not know what it was called then. I just thought it was called audio recording – which that is basically correct. Young PR professionals and scholars can benefit from listening to PR podcasts in a multitude of ways. Because podcasts are niche-based, you can focus in on topics involving the PR world.
Podcasts are used as a guide and to acquire information. Podcasts can also be used as a part of a movement as it helps to build community among a target audience. Not to mention, podcasts also help one develop better listening skills. Know what I know now about podcasts, I have considered creating podcasts targeting African-Americans to help build community among us. I think that might be another topic a PR Chronicle.