Hats off to Internet marketing consultant and blogger Carson McComas (aka frogbody) for drafting his right-on-the-money list of podcast guidelines. I’ve riffed from his list to create this one for nonprofits:
1) Keep your podcasts short at the beginning.
- No longer than 10-15 minutes till you test what works best.
- Portability is one of the greatest draws of podcasting, and you don’t want your listener to have to stop mid-cast.
- The ideal podcast length may be generationally-based. Research just now underway.
- But, in time, if the subject, and podcasters, can support it, you can go up to 30 or 45 minutes.
2) Stick to a single topic for each podcast.The format is tight, keep the focus that way too.
3) Keep your nonprofit’s podcast voice personal and chummy.
- Remember what a turn-off the voice equivalent of muzak (think automated tele-marketer), and do everything you can to avoid that.
4) Outline your podcast, before you start recording.
- This should be a no brainer but you’d be surprised. Nothing will discourage your nonprofit’s listeners from listening again as much as a drifting, focus-free podcast.
- Stay on message.
5) Verbally identify your podcast at the start of your podcast with “Date, issue number, topic/guest, etc.
- We need this meta data to give it context.
- Someone may listen out of sequence months or years later. “Take a couple seconds to lay it out at the start,” advises Carson.
6) A conversation is more engaging than a monologue.
- Bring a second podcaster into the conversation, when possible for variety in voice and perspective. Keeps things a little more lively.
- Carson thinks that a male-female conversation is most compelling. I’m not sure here. What do you think?
7) When you interview a guest, don’t hog the mike.
- Remember, the reason you’re doing the interview is that your guest has something to say.
- Let him or her say it, with you serving as facilitator.
8 ) Be professional, with your equipment, and your editing.
- You wouldn’t throw a poorly-printed campaign into the mail, so why would you produce a hard-to-hear, unedited podcast?
- Tighten up your podcast like you do every written communication. Your listeners will thank you.
9) Make it easy for listeners to get new podcasts via email
- Include iTunes and Odeo subscribe links on your nonprofit’s blog and website to make it easy to subscribe.
Learn more about how The Nature Conservancy is putting podcasts to work to build a conservation ethic.
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