About 20 years ago some of us had our first experience building websites with Angelfire and Geocities. They gave ordinary untrained people their first chance to be creative on the web. Yes, many of the early websites we built were ugly – well, mine were. They were certainly unplanned and a bit embarrassing.
As people developed their skills, so the websites improved.
I think that is just where we are now with podcasting. People are hearing about podcasts. They are subscribing, downloading and listening to them. And now they are making podcasts. Now, everyone can make their own radio programmes.
We can all be podcasters now because the production tools have never been so cheap (and free!). You can experiment with podcasting without having to spend any money. Even listing our podcasts on iTunes is simpler than ever before. There are more tools available to us and they are easier to understand.
So, why should community groups and organisations start podcasting?
First – podcasting is mobile. People listen on the go; walking, running, driving. If you want to reach busy people podcasting can be a very direct – and intimate – way of doing it
You can use podcasting to talk directly to people who make things happen.
Who are the people who really need to know what your organisation is up to? Politicians, decision makers, grant making bodies, local businesses who you want to recruit as supporters and funders?
You might want to change government policy. There might be something going on that concerns the community and you want to bring that to the attention of people who can do something about it. You might want to campaign for change. These are all vital community exercises and a podcast – while it’ll not fix a problem alone – is one of the tools you can use to get those people to listen to you, especially people in power and perhaps even the mainstream media.
You might just want to promote your organisation, tell people what you are up to, recruit new members, get talked about in a positive way. Organisations need promotion and publicity. They need people to know about the difference they are making.
A podcast can get directly to your audience without having to ask the support of other media.
So what do you say and how do you say it? Well, you don’ t berate and bark, shout and complain. You don’t want to boast or brag, either. As much as you might want to do all of those things. Your listener is just going to switch off.
You should tell stories, stories about people, their lives and experiences. You need to carefully chose those stories and use words and voices to conjure up images.
Podcasting done well is storytelling. You can use the audio along with your blog or website to tell your story for others to hear and understand.
Be interesting, be amusing, captivate your listener, charm your listener.
In a world where media seems almost entirely video driven, tell stories in your own words to inspire the cinema of the mind.
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.