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.