Creating podcasts with sustaining power requires research, thought

By Katherine Kerr, APR

Steve Martin and David Dault offered information and encouragement for podcasting at RCC 2017.

Photo by George Conklin.

CHICAGO (March 31, 2017) — If you’re envisioning a podcast as one of your communications tools, it is important to think about what your fourth podcast will be, said David Dault, executive director of Things Not Seen, and the Rev. Steven D. Martin, director of communications for the National Council of Churches of Christ.

Working off of the session title, Podcasts that are Addictive, Dault said podcasters should develop structure and content to create an experience that will make people want to come back and listen to the next podcast.

He stressed coherence, content that is compelling and structured, whether the podcaster chooses a monologue, a dialogue, a panel or a magazine montage format.

“Treat listeners as if they’re guests,” Dault said.

Production quality is essential to a good listener experience. Dault suggested having someone listen to a draft of the podcast before going live to ensure great audio quality.

Consistency requires podcaster to think beyond the first and second podcast to discern whether it is a sustainable channel four months to four years from now.

Martin described podcasts as “radio for millennials and others” and niche programming. Podcasts’ flexibility allow organizations to put broadcast their voice to listeners wherever they are.

He recommended starting off with audio before making the leap to video, which requires additional creativity and resources.

Before launching a podcast, research and take notes on the formats of podcasts you like, such as This American Life, Start, Talk and Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Martin said. Structure everything from the opening, the amount of time spent on the subject and the closing to build your podcast’s format.

Martin echoed Dault’s recommendation for consistency to establish a brand for the podcast, from background music, release times and release schedules.

While Dault recommended scavenging eBay for production equipment, Martin suggested, an inexpensive freelance site for custom voiceovers and music.

“Just do it,” Martin said about starting a podcast. “You probably have more skills than you realize.”

Workshop Audio

Audio recorded and provided by David Dault

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