The Dos and Don'ts of Creating a Company Podcast
— October 14th, 2022
With podcast listening consistently increasing year-on-year it is no wonder that more organizations are realizing the benefits of having an internal podcast and using it as an effective channel within their suite of communications to connect and engage with employees.
Internal podcasts have the advantage of being:
- Informative and entertaining,
- Accessible to employees no matter where they are, or what their work pattern
- Convenient and consumable in an on-demand way,
- Less expensive and time-consuming to create than videos, as well as
- Resonating more deeply due to the use of both words and tone of voice, and
- Enhancing employee engagement
And, of course, their subject matter can be anything from leadership updates and fireside chats to learning and personal development or expert interviews.
Yet while a company podcast might be the next exciting and innovative new comms tactic to add to your list, let’s consider some key Dos and Don'ts before you make the commitment.
DO make sure you’ve done your research. Before creating any new channel for internal communications there has to be a need and a desire for it. Survey and talk to employees.
Understand whether there’s a gap in communication reach or engagement that a podcast could help solve. Is there a genuine interest in this type of media? Consider trialing a podcast with a small audience to gather feedback and learn lessons before you go headlong into a corporate-wide launch.
DO be clear on the objectives and outcomes for your podcast. Who is your target audience? What do you wish those listeners to know, feel, think or do, as a consequence of listening to the podcast?
Clarity on what you want to achieve from it, why, and from whom, ensures you approach the format, content, tone, cadence, and promotion of it in the right way.
It also helps ensure you can effectively measure the success of your podcast and identify ways in which you can improve it.
DO check the tech and access. 65% of podcasts are listened to via a smartphone or tablet. To prevent any access barriers and make listening as easy for your employees as possible you’ll need to reach them on their device of choice, which could be a company-issued device or a personal one.
Assuming you don’t want your organizational content shared publicly, then having simple sign-on and private access will be a must.
DO create your podcast for employees. Don’t fill it with jargon, business-speak, or boring content on policies and procedures—otherwise, people won’t listen for long!
A podcast should be about sharing high-quality, engaging content that matters to your audience. Think about the value you’re bringing to them in every single episode. Genuine, relatable conversations, fresh or inspiring perspectives, personal stories and insights, and honest successes and failures are what the best podcasts deliver in bucketloads.
DO ensure you have a regular cadence for sharing new episodes. Your frequency will depend on your objectives and content type and it doesn’t matter whether it’s each week, bi-weekly or monthly - it’s consistency that matters. Consistency will not only ensure listeners know when to tune in, and keep coming back for more, it will help boost trust and engagement levels.
DON’T underestimate the time for planning and organization. Recording is almost the easiest, and most fun, part of creating a podcast. But there’s creating a content plan, booking guest speakers, drafting episode outlines, writing show notes, post-recording editing and production, as well as promoting upcoming and past episodes to think about.
It’s best practice to plan your content in advance and batch record and produce six to eight episodes of content, so it’s not a weekly or bi-weekly pressure to deliver on time.
Produce a batch of episodes before you launch to give yourself some breathing space to get your next batch together and ensure you deliver consistently.
DON’T scrimp on audio quality. Podcasts are an audio medium, so maybe it’s a bit obvious to state this tip, but I’ve listened to too many podcasts where there’s interference, poor sound quality, or sound pops in my ears that made me realize it’s not so obvious.
There are plenty of free or low-cost podcast recording software options that help you record high-quality content and don’t require your guests to be co-located or sat in an expensive recording booth.
A decent microphone is a worthwhile investment, plus editing software like Audacity or Adobe Audition are easy and low-cost to refine and edit your recordings. And don’t forget about location—quiet and sound-dampened (think soft furnishings instead of a large spartan room) are ideal.
DON’T take it too seriously. Podcasts are there to entertain and engage their audiences, having podcast hosts and guests who are relaxed will make for much more interesting and relatable conversations and content.
Schedule time at the beginning of any recording to chat with guests and help them feel at ease. Bloopers and tongue-tripping can all be edited out in the editing stage, or even retained to make it feel down-to-earth and more honest—it comes back to what you want your podcast to achieve and stand for.
.....and finally, another Do:
DO involve your listeners. Audiences love to be involved and play a part in their favorite podcasts, so give them actionable, clear takeaway messages. Ask for their feedback, get them to share their favorite episodes with colleagues, solicit content ideas or even invite them to be a guest on the show.
Creating any podcast is not to be undertaken without careful thinking and planning. Hopefully following these key Dos and Don’ts will set you on the right path towards launching and delivering a highly engaging, impactful internal podcast that adds great value to your organization and people.