FEATURE 

Podcasts – what we’ve learnt so far

The InPublishing Podcast launched three weeks ago. James Evelegh shares some early learnings…

By James Evelegh

Podcasts – what we’ve learnt so far
Photograph: Thomas Le on Unsplash.

Yesterday, we published our third podcast – an interview with Rob Aherne, MD of Bauer’s motorcycling portfolio.

Three podcasts under our belt does not make us experts but I thought I would share with you our first steps / learnings.

(Our podcasts take the form of in-depth interviews, which are recorded remotely, not in a studio.)

  1. Get your presenter set up with a good mic and proper audio equipment, pop filter et al.
  2. Use good recording software. Audio quality is key, so beware false economies in this area. We chose Zencastr. There are others.
  3. Choose a podcasting platform. We chose Acast. Again, there are others.
  4. Choose robust and function rich editing software. Your audio files WILL need editing / optimising. We use Adobe Soundbooth (which has been discontinued, but still does the job) but are thinking of upgrading to Adobe Audition. Being a full music production suite, it might be considered overkill, but the extensive functionality would be handy.
  5. Add some jingles. This helps give the podcast shape and direction. There are lots of music libraries online; we used Shockwave Sound.
  6. Record some dummy episodes. Throwing yourself in at the deep end is not wise…
  7. Set clear standards for guest audio. One variable where you have less control is the guest’s audio. Create a ‘minimum tech requirements’ sheet that you run past your prospective guest when you first approach them. When you come to do the recording, spend 2-3 minutes doing proper audio checks at the start. A 2cm repositioning of the guest’s mic can make all the difference.
  8. Establish clear responsibilities asap. There are three key functions: presenting, editing, managing. Easy to lose sight of the ‘managing’ part, but someone has to project manage every episode.
  9. Establish clear and transparent protocols / T&C, for instance regarding your policy on re-recordings and sign-offs, and include these in a ‘confirmation’ email to the guest.

One big caveat – we are newbies. The chances are that if you’ve been doing your podcasts for longer than three weeks, you’ll know better.

(Almost forgot, Point # 10 – try and find a sponsor – thank you Atex…)