A professional association asked the David James Group to start producing a podcast as a way to highlight its members and discuss issues of importance to the organization. The budget was limited, and members of the organization were located around the world. We needed an online solution, but we also needed to figure out how to record professional audio, which is usually done in person.
Developing the Process
At first, we tried using applications for conference calls. Setting up the recordings was simple, but none of the platforms provided audio that sounded better than a phone call. After doing some research, we found a couple of companies that offered virtual recording studios. To solve the professional audio problem, they recommended buying microphone kits with headphones, which are surprisingly affordable. We would need to send these kits to our podcast host and whomever is being interviewed so that the audio would be consistent and sound clear. We tested the recording process from the user’s perspective and found it fairly easy to learn. Plus, virtual studio time and audio editing were less expensive than we thought it would be.
Creating the Content
We selected a name for our podcast, wrote an introduction to it, and had a voiceover artist record it. We added some music, and voila, we had a branded opening for our podcast.
Next, we came up with some topics. We wanted to promote upcoming events for our client as well as tackle some communication challenges the organization was having with executing strategy. We encouraged the leader of the organization to be our podcast host, and we identified people to be interviewed.
Once a podcast subject was chosen and an interviewee selected, we scheduled a conference call with all of the stakeholders to discuss the content and develop questions. Next, we wrote a script. We found that seven to ten questions were plenty for a 20-minute podcast. At the end of the script, we included a call to action and a URL to the organization’s website. By the end of the call, we picked a date for the podcast recording, and soon a package with a USB microphone and headphones was on its way to the interviewee.
Recording the Podcast
On the day of the recording, we all logged into the virtual recording studio and had a scripted conversation. The audio was actually recorded on each speaker’s laptop and uploaded at the end of the session so any internet issues during the conversation were not a problem. An audio technician edited the podcast and emailed a link to the final product: an mp3 or wav file.
Sharing the Podcast
After a round of approvals, the podcast was uploaded to SoundCloud and iTunes. Finally, it was published on the organization’s blog using the script as the body of the post. That helped with SEO and allowed us to share the blog and its content easily through social media.
We’ve now completed several dozen podcasts. We’ve produced podcast series on specific topics and created playlists. We’ve started to promote them using “audiograms” or short clips posted on social media. After only about 18 months of regular production, we’re getting thousands of downloads per month.
If you’d like to learn more about producing podcasts, contact DJG’s Digital Media Director Angie Myers.