Just yesterday, I got a call from a young magazine publisher. He had heard about Podcasting for Communities from a mutual friend and wanted to find out how to start a podcast for the magazine.
He said that they had been thinking about it for a while and wanted to ask me about what equipment he should buy.
That’s where a lot of people think the starting point is. To be honest, so did I at one time. But it is not. The starting point is exactly the same as any other project – you don’t buy the kit before you know what you want to do.
You start with The Purpose. Yep, you and the people you’re starting out with might be all excited about the shiny new things – and let’s face it, who wouldn’t be? – but that is for a little later on.
Larry Gifford has had an extensive radio career in the USA and now in Canada. He produces The Radio Stuff Podcast. He says that having an intention is really important. Larry told me in an interview you can find here on podcastingfor.com that the intention for The Radio Stuff was and is to connect radio lovers around the world and share great ideas and be positive about the radio industry. He told me “It’s really about following our curiosities and talking to interesting people.”
If you are in a community group, discuss the project with the whole team so everyone buys into the idea. Even if you are a one person operation – many podcasters are – you should still think this through for yourself. And yes, write it down and every few weeks, re-read the purpose and ask, “Is this what we’re really doing?.” And maybe once every six months ask yourself if the purpose is still relevant. As other volunteers join your team you can talk to them about the purpose and describe what it is you are all trying to achieve together.
Once that’s sorted out, you are probably going to think about the format or formats you are going to use. You’ll be a few steps closer to the shiny new things.
As your podcast or project continues, you are going to wonder if you are having any impact. Only you can define what you want to achieve with your project.
Even though seems like early days, this is also the time to decide how you are going to evaluate the podcast. To know if you’re making any difference, you need to know what to measure. I strongly suggest you build in how you are going to evaluate the podcast at this early stage.
The magazine publisher was off to a good start. The magazine had a very specific purpose. We talked about that and began to discuss formats.
What’s the takeaway from this? Podcasting is like any other project you do. If you want to start something, start at the beginning.
The book is for young, trainee, or student journalists not specialising in broadcast media. It is an introduction to “making content”, podcasting and broadcasting whether you want to understand production on a professional level or simply because you want to create podcasts for fun or add something useful to your CV.
It is a result of experience teaching radio production to journalism BA students in Dublin. Most, but not all these pages are the module and support notes. The book is part of the “Podcasting For …” project which includes podcasts and the podcastingfor.com blog.
Deciding on your purpose
The Production Team
Roles of the editor, producer, assistant producer, presenters, reporters, researchers
Turning the Prospects into the Running Order
Essential Skills: writing, reading and “marking up” a script, interviewing, planning the interview, doing an interview,
Recording in and out of the studio, equipment (studio, microphones, recorders), using a smartphone, using a digital recorder.
How to edit using a computer and audio editing software,
Programme making including structure, show notes, advertising, sponsors and other non-production credits
Podcast platforms, blog and social media, making the mp3 audio file, setting up your podcast host, registering with iTunes, Stitcher and TuneIn.
Digital Promotions, using Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Using more traditional methods of promoting.
Managing the online community Drawing up the guidelines
The first edition of “Podcasting for Communities” was published in September 2016. It forms the basis for this book but the name change is to make it clear that the expected audience and readership will be from community organisations. The “Podcasting For …” project includes the podcastingfor.com blog and podcast interviews with experienced radio and podcast professionals. Additional information related to this and other books in the “Podcasting For …” series is added regularly to the blog. You are encouraged to visit it and engage with the author and other readers. The book is mainly about producing audio content. It is also relevant to people producing programmes on local or community radio stations. Even if you are an individual who wants to learn and produce a solo podcast, or a couple or three friends who want to record a weekly discussion, the information here will be relevant and I hope useful to you. The emphasis is on producing audio podcasts – or as we usually call it … radio. If you are new to the concept of podcasts, or already have some radio production experience then this book is for you.
Producer - Broadcaster - Podcaster - Writer - exBBC Editor - exTEDx Organiser. Author "Podcasting for Journalism Students", "Podcasting for Community Organisations" and "Firsthand Guide to Bled Slovenia" - all available on Amazon.