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5 simple steps
There are really only 5 steps that you need to focus on when you first get started to create an internal podcast. We detail them out over the following pages but have shared an example below to bring it to life.
Let’s take the example of Company X, a large professional services firm. They have identified the need to keep employees better informed of company news and to improve the CEO (‘Caroline’) profile internally. Caroline’s weekly email has very low engagement rates yet the People Survey is showing there is an issue with the internal culture, wellbeing and communication. An internal podcast provides a unique opportunity for employees to hear from Caroline in a more informal and intimate way. Here are the 5 simple steps to follow to plan the show:
1. Naming Your Podcast
Even when you are creating an internal podcast, the name of it is really important. This is an opportunity to be both descriptive of the content you’re producing, but also creating anticipation for your prospective listeners.
While there are no rules in naming your podcast, you want to ensure that it is unique, memorable and also enticing……
2. Podcast description
Your description is one of the most important factors in developing your podcast. It may be the deciding factor behind whether you can get your internal listeners tuning in or not.
You have around 1000 characters to work with so use this to ensure it is a clear description of what they can expect in terms of content. This is also an opportunity to set the tone and build company culture so it should be inspiring and engaging for the listeners. Remember to include simple information such as the publishing schedule, host, and expectations of the listener too as this will help them feel informed.
3. Episode Planning
The key thing to remember is that the episode length has to suit the topic it’s covering. Whilst the average podcast length is around 27 minutes, you may only need 10 minutes to cover all of your agenda points. To ensure that the content is engaging for your listener, you are better off keeping the content quite short rather than dragging it out unnecessarily.
Things to also consider when planning your internal podcast episode length:
- What information is being included? E.g. is it a quick update, a review of project/s, a training module?
- How regularly do you plan to publish your episodes (once a day, once a week, once a month)? Once you decide this, you will need to stick to it so make it realistic.
- How many segments are there? How many hosts? Or guests? What are the logistics of whether you need to record together?
- How much time do you need to factor in to edit the content?
Also, remember that you are asking your team to listen to this within their working hours (you can’t assume that they will be happy to listen to it during their personal time). Therefore, you need to ensure that it is not too distracting from them delivering their day-job. The likelihood is that if you are asking them to commit too much time to listening to the podcast, you will struggle to engage and retain your listeners.
Breaking your podcast into segments helps you stay focused as you record. It also allows the listeners to begin to understand the format and anticipate what they will experience when they listen.
These segments should align to the chosen pillars that you have identified during the production planning process. For example, you might start with an introduction from your host, then move onto key achievements across the business, followed by a guest or employee spotlight and finish with a summary of the key headlines. Whatever format you choose, keeping it relatively consistent will benefit the listener (this is not to say that you can’t rotate one of the segments as part of your planning cycle).
Internal podcasts might take the format of interviews, solo talks, stories, role plays, micro-casts, a co-hosted discussion, an CEO/leaders’ chats or even something more creative like a documentary format. Tailor the format to what you want to convey and, if your episodes are longer than 6 or 7 minutes, it’s a good idea to include more than one voice or some music, so that it does not feel like a dry monologue.
The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you want to deliver to a consistent schedule. So, if you map out your timings and it looks like you will struggle to deliver an episode every week, start with fortnightly or monthly to test the process. It is much better to increase the schedule once it is established than to reduce it which can have a negative impact for your community.
If you are new to podcasting, it is also definitely better to start slowly to ensure that you stay motivated and don’t burn out rapidly. Delivering less than monthly though may mean that your audience forgets about it and doesn’t create a habit of listening to it.
4. Recording Your Podcast
Depending on how much budget and resource you are planning to commit to the internal podcast, there are a few things to keep in mind when recording your episodes:
- Although it’s possible to record from your phone, having a proper microphone and headphones will improve the quality of the recording. These don’t need to be super expensive, but they will help. One of the reasons for this is that the headphones allow you to hear if there are any other sounds which are being captured.
- Although a sound proofed room or studio will obviously deliver you the best sound, this isn’t the only solution and there are many examples of people recording podcasts from wardrobes or under cushions to improve the sound. This might not seem very professional for you in a business context so instead, think about where you are recording and find a space which has minimal external sounds or echo within the room. Consider whether there is any traffic, construction or aeroplane noise nearby……if so, think about moving to a quieter location.
- It’s up to you whether you want to script your recording or not….if you aren’t a seasoned host, you might want to begin by drafting what you want to say or at least write out your bullet points to remind you of the key messages to land.
- If you don’t have a producer guiding you with your recording, do a few practices to listen to how you sound and adjust accordingly. If you are speaking too quickly, do you need to slow down, add some intonations or remember to breathe?
- Stay hydrated and warm your voice up before recording so that you don’t suddenly find your voice drops out mid sentence. It is amazing how much you can hear this in the recording.
- Are you sitting comfortably? If you are slouching or moving around this will come across when you record.
- Speak slowly! You should aim to speak with more clarity and at a slower pace than your usual conversational flow.
As mentioned, a microphone and headphones are your key essential items but keep in mind that if you purchase a lot of ‘kit’, you need to have somewhere to store it. And, buying a fancy editing system won’t be much good if your computer is relatively low spec.
Top tips….to consider:
- A computer/laptop which has reasonable capacity
- A microphone which is compatible with your computer (USB plugs directly into your computer but XLR needs an interface but is preferred if you need multiple microphones)
- An interface (if you bought one, or many, XLR microphones)
- A software programme for editing. Again, this depends on your budget and skill set, but starts with programmes like Audacity or Garageband and goes up to more sophisticated programmes such as Adobe Audition and Ableton Live. Riverside is also a great solution as it helps you to record and edit both audio and video content on separate tracks.
5. Publishing and distribution
Now that you have recorded, and edited, your internal podcast episode, you need to publish it you’re your chosen platform. At Auddy, this process is quite simple but to do this, you need to have already thought about your description and key art…..otherwise it will hold up the process.
Best practice for podcast covers:
- It should include your podcast title and match the tone of your podcast.
- If you have a brand identity, think about how you can incorporate this into the key art.
- Remember that this is the first thing that your community will see when they are introduced to the podcast so you want to think about how you can capture their attention and also entice them to press play!
- It needs to be square! Minimum size is 1400 x 1400 pixels. Maximum size is 3000 x 3000 pixels.
- The file format needs to be JPEG or PNG
- Maximum file size is 1MB
Encourage your team to listen, and engage, with the show
One of the biggest misconceptions amongst creating content is that people will naturally discover it and listen to it because you have asked them to. This is very rarely the case and in the same way as any piece of communication, your internal podcast needs a marketing plan. You need to plan how you are going to introduce the idea of the podcast….is it an announcement at a townhall or as part of one of your existing internal comms channels. How are you going to create excitement about the series and get people to listen to it? Do you have a way of showing your audience how simple it is to get the content, alert them when there are new episodes and understand the benefits of listening?
To set yourself up for success, take a look at our series of guides to help you plan internal podcasts:
- The benefits of internal podcasts
- Using internal podcasts to solve communications challenges
- Top tips for creating an internal podcast
- Top tips for marketing your internal podcast
Now that we have shared our 5 steps to bringing your podcast to life, you are ready to get started. We offer a simple pay as you go pricing so that you have £0 upfront and then you pay only for your registered users…..a great way to get started on your internal podcast journey. Take a look at our pricing options for private podcasting.