As we gear up for season three of The Internal Comms Podcast, Katie Macaulay offers some insider tips on how to launch a successful podcast.
Podcasts are on the rise. Around seven million people in the UK now listen to podcasts each week, an increase of 24% on 2018.
Podcasts offer a format easily inserted into our busy lives. Statistics show many of us listen while driving, walking or doing household chores.
Katie Macaulay, host of The Internal Comms Podcast, believes the popularity of podcasts hinges on their ability to convey a great story. “There’s a saying: ‘the pictures are better on radio’. I agree wholeheartedly. Our imaginations fill in the blanks, which creates a powerful connection with listeners.
“I like the intimacy you can generate just by recording an in-depth conversation between two people who care passionately about their subject.”
She believes the format is ideal for internal communicators on a tight budget who want to reach employees in new ways. “I started with a £100 Yeti microphone and taught myself to use GarageBand on my MacBook to edit the show. Start small, build a fan base and see what happens.”
“My show has proved far more popular than I had ever imagined. So far, the episodes have been played 20,000 times in 50 countries worldwide.”
Katie was named ‘Change Maker’ at the Institute of Internal Communications (IoIC) Awards of Excellence 2019 for her work on The IC Podcast.
Here are Katie’s insider tips for producing great podcasts
- What need are you trying to fulfil? Don’t merely identify target listeners. Be clear about why they should tune-in and tell them!
- Don’t broadcast corporate announcements. Be highly conversational. At least two voices are better than one. Give listeners content that sparks their curiosity and makes them think. Ask directly for feedback and ideas for future episodes.
- Make your show easy to discover. Choose a podcast platform – we use SoundCloud – then embed the RSS feed on the channels your audience visits regularly. Can you create a show for both an internal and external audience? If so, make it discoverable on mainstream podcast channels, such as iTunes and Spotify.
- Promote your show – use 20 second audio clips and behind the scenes photos. Don’t forget to provide useful show notes or even a transcript of each show.
- Scrutinise your analytics – most distribution channels will give you detailed data about plays, downloads and drop-off rates. Look at where and when your audience is tuning-in. Use this insight to experiment with different topics and shows of varying lengths.
This article first appeared in Voice magazine, the quarterly print title for IoIC members.