So you want to make a podcast?
By now, most associations know they need a podcast as one of the tools to communicate with their membership. But between coming up with topics, inviting guests, hosting the show, recording the show, publishing the show to all the platforms, and promoting the show, the idea can seem a bit overwhelming. If you’re reading this, you may be the one assigned to make it happen for your association. At Human Factor, we’ve come up with a three-part process that has been successful for many associations in getting through the daunting “idea-to-launch” phase. It’s designed to sharpen your idea and make the show a reality. We will collaborate with you to:
- Define the purpose and goals of the show
- Develop the idea down to the details
- Try out your hosts
- Give you experience with making a show
- Prepare you for launch
- Stay within your budget
- Get feedback and evaluate if a podcast is right for your organization
We call it the Pilot Phase. It’s a three-part process usually consisting of a few meetings, a bit of homework, and day of testing. Here’s what that looks like.
Part One: The Kick-off Meeting.
This is a 1-2 hour working meeting where we go through all of the elements of the show. We’ll help you get specific about why you’re making a podcast and what you intend to accomplish with it–who will your listener be, and what will define success. Then we cover the more concrete details like who will host it and what will we call it? Logistics like who are your points of contact to schedule it, approve content, market it, what day will it come out? We’ll get creative with you about what the show will “feel like,” what kinds of music you’ll use, and come up with segment ideas. We assign some homework that will prepare you for the next step–the pilot recording day.
Part Two: The Pilot Recording Day.
This is our fun creative day. It can be at our studio or we can set up a mobile studio at your office. First, we typically do a mock show in which I interview the potential hosts. Not all people are used to being recorded so a laidback show cannot only warm them up and get them used to talking on mic, but it can also give the new hosts an idea of what it is like to be on the “hot seat.” After that, we change seats and get to experiment with different segments, different people hosting the show, co-hosting, and just having fun with the show. Gradually over the course of the day, a rhythm begins to show itself and we go from concept to creation. We’ll capture 3-4 episodes that you may be able to use to launch your podcast.
Part Three: The Strategy Session
At this point, all of the people who were not at the initial pilot day have had a chance to hear what we did on pilot day. So the first order of business is to evaluate how we think the pilot day went. We want to know everything, were the chairs comfy, did they have a favorite episode, was the catering good, did the hosts like being hosts and much much more. If the people “upstairs” are on board we then will begin to lay out a plan to achieve the results laid out in the kick-off meeting and set a launch date for the show. Sometimes those goals may have changed depending upon the feedback from upstairs. Some of the other things we iron out are:
- Final format for the show
- Will we be recording on the road?
- Will we have a separate website dedicated to all things podcast?
- What the workflow will look like
- What is the plan for promotion?
By the end of the process, you will have what you need to gain your approvals and justify the budget if you haven’t already. And if that’s all set you’ll be ready to start scheduling your topics and getting your podcast out in the world.