If you’ve ever thought about launching a podcast, this might be the perfect time. Podcasting creates a lot of potential opportunities for your government agency, including unlimited time to explain complicated topics and the ability to share important updates on city services, such as garbage or police. A podcast also gives you the chance to highlight your staff members’ hard work while creating easily accessible historical records.
A podcast can also be a way to reach a younger demographic, as almost 50% of podcast listeners are between the ages of 12-34. Think a podcast might be right for you? Here are some tips to help you get started.
Determine the focus
Select your focus by determining what you need to talk about and what your audience needs to know. It’s also important to determine a format, whether a two-person discussion, a simple reading of the local news or a multi-person round table.
Not sure what the citizens want to know? Just ask! Conduct a survey via email, social media or your website. Provide branded thank-you gifts in return for their responses. A pair of earbuds or a phone stand keychain shows your gratitude while getting new listeners ready to tune in.
Record like a pro
It’s important that your podcast is free of distracting noises and audio problems. Whether you have access to a professional recording studio or need to create your podcast on a budget, ensure you get the best possible sound by:
- Picking a quiet recording space, like an office away from any windows, a meeting room in a low-traffic area or a closet with blankets or pillows to reduce echo.
- Using a dedicated microphone to ensure sound quality.
- Providing each participant with a headset so they can hear what they sound like in the recording.
Although your favorite podcast may seem like improv, it’s likely tightly scripted, tightly edited or both. Before you press record, type up a script and practice what you’re going to say. At the very least, have a list of talking points. If you’re doing an interview, have a list of questions to keep the conversation flowing. And if you make a mistake, stop and re-record, or leave some dead air so you can easily edit later. Bonus tip: If you know you’re going to need to edit, making a loud noise by tapping a pen on the table makes it easy to locate in a file.
While a podcast can vary in length, the average is slightly less than 39 minutes. Once you’ve recorded your podcast, give it a listen. Cut the parts that don’t need to be there. Remove questions and answers that went off topic. Keeping it concise ensures your audience listens to the entire presentation.
Spread the word
Once you’ve launched your podcast, make sure listeners know it’s available. Share your podcast via email, social media and your website. Ask listeners to share it and offer a branded thank-you gift to those who do. A word magnet set or bookmark can be a fun way to thank citizens for helping you get the word out.
The audience is listening
Launching a podcast is a powerful way to share information. Following these tips can help your message come across crystal clear. Good luck!