Content Creation

So, you want to start a podcast…

By Matisse Hamel-Nelis on March 4, 2024

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A black podcast microphone on a stand sits on a white table in front of a pink backdrop.

Starting your own podcast might seem like venturing into the wild unknown – a place where only the brave (or tech-savvy) dare to tread. Well, at least that’s how I felt when I started the PR & Lattes podcast. So, before taking the plunge, I researched what I needed to have planned, what tools I needed, and how to market this thing. And while it’s still a work in progress, I thought I’d create a two-part series on what I’ve learned.

Let’s dive into Part 1: You want to start a podcast. Here’s what you need to know!

1. The Why Behind the Mic

Before hitting the record button, you need to understand your ‘why.’ In PR, your podcast should serve as an extension of your brand’s narrative, a platform to deepen connections with your audience and a medium to share insights, stories, and experiences that resonate. Ask yourself, what unique perspective do I bring to the table? How can my podcast add value to the conversation already happening in my field?

2. Carving Out Your Niche

Thousands of podcasts are out there, with new ones popping up daily. Standing out requires you to carve out a niche – a corner where your voice is the loudest and clearest. In PR, this could mean focusing on crisis communication, brand storytelling, or the evolution of digital media relations. Your niche should excite you; after all, you’ll spend a lot of time immersed in it.

For PR & Lattes, I took the approach that I wanted to hear from and learn from various industry leaders and those emerging in the field. I wanted to hear from different perspectives and understand new areas of PR that I may not be as familiar with.

3. What’s in a name?

Every great podcast needs a name that sticks. Your podcast’s title should be memorable, descriptive, and searchable. It should give potential listeners a clear idea of what to expect while piquing their curiosity. Think of it as your brand in a nutshell – make it snappy, resonate, and, above all, yours.

As I mentioned in the teaser for the PR & Lattes podcast, the name was one that always resonated with me. As a PR professional, I can’t get through the day without many caffeinated beverages. But I wanted to elevate it a bit. I love fancy drinks, and one of the go-tos for me has always been a latte – no matter what kind, I’m here for it. And thus, PR & Lattes was born.

4. Gathering Your Equipment

Thankfully, starting a podcast doesn’t require a NASA-sized budget. You’re pretty much set to go with a decent microphone, some editing software (many of which are free and user-friendly), and a quiet room. Remember, while audio quality doesn’t have to be studio-perfect, clear sound free of background noise makes for a much more pleasant listening experience.

In Part 2 of this series, I’ll dive into various tech, microphones and software. Stay tuned!

5. Planning It All Out

Diving headfirst without a plan might work for some, but in the world of podcasts, a little structure goes a long way. Outline your episodes, plan your content calendar, and decide on the frequency of your episodes. Will your podcast feature guests, or will it be solo? Brafton has a great article that outlines the eight types of podcasts. Figure out which fits you and your style best.

You also want to consider how to keep the content fresh and engaging over time. A well-thought-out roadmap can help navigate these questions.

6. The Art of the Interview

If your podcast features guests, honing your interview skills is crucial. Great interviews feel like a conversation between friends – engaging, insightful, and natural. Do your homework, ask open-ended questions, and let your genuine curiosity lead the way. Remember, the best stories often come from the most unexpected places.

7. Editing Like a Pro

Editing is where the magic happens. It’s where you cut out the “ums” and “ahs,” balance audio levels, and stitch together a flowing narrative. While it may seem daunting at first, editing is a skill that improves with practice. Embrace it as your opportunity to shape the raw material into a polished gem.

We’ll get more in-depth on this in Part 2.

8. Launching to the World

With your episodes recorded and edited, it’s time to launch. Choose a hosting platform that suits your needs and budget, and distribute your podcast across major directories like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Remember, the more places your podcast lives, the greater its potential reach.

We’ll dive into this in Part 2!

9. Marketing Your Mission

Leverage your existing PR skills to promote your podcast. Use social media, engage with listeners through email newsletters, and don’t shy away from cross-promotion with other podcasters. Every listener counts in the vastness of the podcasting universe.

10. Measuring Success

In PR, analytics are your best friend. Monitor your download numbers, listener demographics, and engagement metrics. Understand what works and what doesn’t, and use this data to refine your approach. Success in podcasting, as in PR, is a marathon, not a sprint.

11. Staying the Course

Podcasting is a journey, not a one-off project. Consistency is key – both in the quality of your content and your publishing schedule. Keep engaging with your audience, seeking feedback, and exploring new improvement methods. The podcasting world is ever-evolving, and staying adaptable is crucial.

12. Building a Community

At its heart, podcasting is about building a community of listeners who share your passion. Encourage interaction, create spaces for discussion (like social media groups or online forums), and always listen to your audience. After all, without them, your podcast is just a voice in the void.

13. Celebrating the Milestones

Every download, every listener, and every piece of feedback is a milestone worth celebrating. Remember why you started this journey, and take pride in how far you’ve come. Each episode is a testament to your dedication, creativity, and hard work.

Starting your own podcast, especially in the field of public relations, is an adventure that combines the art of storytelling with the science of audience engagement. It’s a platform that allows you to explore the depths of your industry, share your insights with the world, and, most importantly, connect with others who share your passion.

So, there you have it. Are you ready to make your mark?

Stay tuned for Part 2, where I’ll get technical with software and equipment. I can’t wait!

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