Briefing Notes: Podcast peer learning session
IBT hosted an informal peer learning session on podcasting. Members were invited to share their experiences of working on a podcast.
Internal buy-in and sign offs
- Getting the organisation’s CEO to support (and sometimes host!) the podcast was suggested as a good strategy to secure buy-in for a podcast.
- One member also pointed out that an important selling point for podcasts is that they work well over a long period of time compared to blogs or media spotlights and are therefore good value for money for the organisation.
- Several members found that linking the podcast to a particular campaign or initiative was important in securing buy-in.
- Once podcast production begins some members found there were internal obstacles to getting content signed off, which can be a ‘frustrating and slow’ process, especially if not everyone agrees that the content meets the organisation’s values or content guidelines. One member said they’ve found sharing transcripts can be a good way of getting more contentious parts of an episode signed off because stakeholders focus more on the words being used, rather than how it sounds as an audio clip.
- The point was also made by one participant that producing more edgy content that engages an audience was more challenging than getting internal buy-in
Paying guests and contributors
- The issue of whether guests and contributors should be paid for their time was raised. For some members not paying guests, particularly those in the global south who may benefit only indirectly from appearing on the podcast, felt uncomfortable.
- It was pointed out that paying guests may result in them saying what they think the NGO or host wants to hear, rather than speaking honestly.
- The general consensus amongst members was that guests would not be paid for appearing on their podcasts.
- YouTube was widely regarded as a useful place to share podcasts and was described as an ‘easy way to get an untapped audience’. YouTube is also a good place to upload transcriptions of each episode.
- Organisational newsletters are a useful outlet for promoting a podcast.
- One member’s podcast has its own Twitter account which is most helpful for engaging their existing audience, rather than attracting new listeners.
- Another member deployed a range of methods for promoting their podcast including visual trailers on YouTube and celebrity social media takeovers.
- One member tested different social media platforms and found LinkedIn to be far more effective than Twitter for finding new listeners.
- Several members continue promoting an episode until the next one is released and also look for news hooks to promote related episodes of their podcasts, even if they were released several months ago.
- Broccoli Content, the podcast production company, was recommended as a great reference for social media assets to accompany a podcast series.
- Headliner can be used to create five free audiograms per month, which are useful for promoting podcasts on social media.
- Members found that measuring success and ascertaining who is listening to their podcast can be quite difficult.
- Measuring listener numbers is one way of measuring success but it’s important to remember that although podcast listener numbers are often a lot smaller than audiences on other mediums, podcast audiences are often more engaged and will listen to the entire episode.