2.28.2010

A First Time Podcaster

Last week I began to prepare creating my very first Podcast (a podcast is a digital audio or video file that can be saved for playback on a portable media player or computer).

If you are unfamiliar with the technology, check out this quick video.


The thought of creating a Podcast made me a little nervous. I have a hard time recording a message for my own voicemail system, and creating a piece of audio for an even larger audience seemed intimidating. I was worried it would be difficult and technically challenging.

Actually, Podcasting is quite easy. If you have a computer and a microphone, you're pretty much set.

I have learned a few things during this experience. Some of these tips may help you first timers as well.

  • Be sure to test out your microphone before you use it, especially if you're going to be interviewing people. I'm glad I figured out ahead of time that you have to press the red button twice (on this particular recorder) to capture the audio. If I had not known this, I would have conducted an incredible interview without capturing any of it on my recording device. 
  • Find a quiet space to do your recording. We heard a few examples in class from Podcasts with significantly distracting background noise. 
  • Don't take yourself too seriously. I've listened to a few Podcasts that sound like the interviewers are literally reading off a script. I find myself much more interested in Podcasts with a conversational flow. It's alright to mess up during the Podcast, you can always go back and edit afterwards. 
  • Do prepare for interviews. It seems like a good idea to jot down some notes or example questions if you are going to be interviewing others. 
  • Use some music. Music just makes the Podcast more fun, easy to listen to, and even more memorable to me. 
  • Post Podcast show notes to your blog or website. I have found it quite difficult to search for Podcasts. The Podcasts I have found easily are those with notes posted on their blogs, something that helps me find them in a general search inquiry. 
After learning about what a Podcast is and how to create one, I was curious about what kinds of Podcasts are out there. As a PR student, I wondered how are Podcasts being used by PR pros? Well, here are a few examples.
  • Inside PR: Exploring the State of Public Relations: A weekly Canadian podcast about public relations. Agency veterans Terry Fallis and David Jones co-host the half-hour show. Each week, Terry and David will take a look under the hood of the public relations industry, explore topical and provactive issues, discuss listener comments, and even interview an interesting guest or two.
  • Marketing Over Coffee: Covers both classic and new marketing. The hosts, John Wall and Christopher Penn, record the show in a local coffee shop every week and publish the show on Thursday mornings.
  • American Copywriter: Advertising creatives John January and Tug McTighe willingly open up the cabinets inside their brains and let you peek inside. Advertising, marketing and everything about popular culture is covered, but you get a nice-sized portion of personal ramblings, tangential stories and occasionally successful attempts at actual comedy.
  • Coming Up PR: Designed by three Corporate Communications post-graduate students in Toronto, Ontario. Mary Attard, Cheryl Brean and Mike Kerr host the bi-weekly show to identify and discuss trends in communications. 
Now that I know how to Podcast and am working on my first project, I'm excited to share my work. Keep an eye out for my Podcast, I'm happy to share it once it's complete. 

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