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POSTED 15.4.2021

Pandemic pushes Podcasting to the front of the storytelling queue

Many clients are rightly anxious to get going again – to get out into the world and have those longed for face-to-face meetings.

We’re more than a year into the pandemic and we’re all feeling the longing for that bit of human interaction. Who isn’t fed up with the endless torrent of video calls?

But luckily, the simple act of talking and exchanging ideas remains constant. That’s why there has never been a better time to podcast. And by that we don’t mean chats filmed for YouTube – these are audio recordings for listeners only.

Last week provided us with a shining example of the power of a client podcast to bring people together – talking and sharing in a relaxed environment.

The studio was virtual – here in StoryLab’s offices. One of the guests was seven and a half thousand kilometres away in from Flagstaff, Arizona, a second guest chimed in from Galway and a third from Dublin.

The distance melted away thanks to the strides in audio technology and remote recording software. What followed was a fascinating, measured and informative 45-minute chat about the client’s work in sports science.

Podcasts are just brilliant. When people talk about things that matter, there is an emotional connection that holds the listener. Radio can be a powerful experience when a compelling story or a good anecdote is unfolding.

Professional broadcasters do not make programmes for the sake of it. Each broadcast has a purpose, each guest has a role to play, every second on air must count. The broadcast also knows its audience.

You must remember these simple rules if you are contemplating making a podcast. Without purpose, things will quickly run into trouble and you will be left with a recording that has been poorly executed.

There are a few common traps. The most common and costliest error is dullness. Often, the subject matter is stiflingly dull, the questions are terrible, and the answers go on and on. Corporate jargon – like a death blanket – suffocates the conversation.

To compound matters, there is often no podcast promotion —  nobody knows it is out there.

Why are they called podcasts? It’s simply because the first broadcasts were made to be listened to on Apple iPods – nowadays people listen to their favourite broadcasts on all sorts of devices.

There are a few simple steps you can take to make a successful podcast.

  1. Know who your audience is

What is the purpose of the podcast? Who is it aimed at? What do you want people to do? Is it offering added value and showcasing what you do?

  1. Pick presenters and guests who can tell a story

You never put people on the radio who cannot talk – the presenter is left drawing blood from a stone.

  1. Change things up

Make your podcast subjects quirky and interesting and do not use it as a direct vehicle to sell people things. Listeners will hate it.

  1. Keep it tight

Nobody has time. We think a perfect podcast is between 25 and 45 minutes: enough to listen to it during a car journey or while out for a good walk.

  1. Use proper equipment and editing

The professional polish will pay off and take care of those unwanted rough edges.

  1. Promote the podcast

Let people know the podcast is out there, use your social media channels and build your audience.

Recent podcasts for clients included the UN-convened Financial Centres 4 Sustainability (FC4S) network.

Green Lines’ – A Sustainable Finance Leadership Podcast: The aim of the FC4S podcast is to shine a light on the many challenges and opportunities presented to the world’s financial system by climate change. Listen to FC4S Managing Director Stephen Nolan chatting to Luxembourg’s Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna. 

If you would like help in producing an interesting podcast for your business, have a look at our Podcasting services. We provide a one-stop service with a Podcast Plan that includes everything you need to get your podcast up and running.

Give us a call on 01 685 3029 or email us on info@storylab.ie