Thursday, December 14, 2006

Planning Your Podcast Series

My organization has launched a podcast series designed for one of our specific audiences. We kicked it off in October and have several episodes under our belt. I thought it might be useful for others if I shared the outline of the planning document I prepared in advance for my directors. I did not have to sell them on the idea of podcasting, but I did have to map out a plan for how to get there. The text that followed each heading or subheading was no more than one paragraph (except for the list of related existing podcasts).

  1. Goal (big picture, does not mention podcasting)
  2. Strategy
  3. Objectives
  4. Tactic (This is where podcasting is first mentioned. e.g., Produce a podcast series [when] targeted to [who].)
  5. Benefits
    a. Benefits of Podcasting (adapted slightly from Eric Schwartzman’s list April 18, 2006 post – thanks Eric!)
    b. Benefits of Podcasting for my organization
  6. Details and Next Steps
    a. Frequency
    b. Sponsored by which internal project(s)
    c. Planned Topics and Schedule
    d. Staff Roles
    e. Equipment Needs (recording equipment, software, feedback mechanisms, web site)
    f. Preparation Timeline
    g. Policy Statements and Licenses (copyright, privacy policy, release form, music licenses)
    h. What do we call our podcast?
    i. Style
    j. Program Format and Length
    k. Production Process
    l. Feedback
    m. Sample Introduction Segment
  7. Promotion
  8. Measurement
  9. Other Related Podcasts (topical list from Podcast Alley)

Before I started writing my plan, I did some research by listening to PR and communications related podcasts and by participating in a webinar held by Shel Holtz. I also referred to the excellent book, Podcast Solutions by Michael Geoghegan and Dan Klass.

Once the plan was finished, we decided to deal with the technical learning curve by hiring a consultant to do the production portion, Byran Person. After we record each episode (on a $150 pocket-size digital recorder), he edits the audio, adds intros, etc. He also has advised us on several aspects of the process. We are very grateful for his assistance.

For any organization that is planning to start a podcast series and doesn’t have the expertise inhouse, I highly recommend taking this route. There are several very qualified folk who can provide this kind of assistance, and it doesn’t matter where in the world they live.

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