Last Wednesday, I spoke about podcasting at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. My goal was to give everybody in the room ideas that they could use to launch a podcast in the next 30 days. You can see Inside Radio‘s writeup of my session here.
When you set out to create a new podcast, consider launching it as a pilot program. Commit to a finite number of episodes — ten, for example — and then stop to reevaluate after you've published those episodes. If it's going great, publish a second season. If the concept doesn't seem to be connecting, drop it and launch a different podcast. Most likely, the results will be somewhere in the middle, and you'll want to tweak the podcast before moving forward. By making a point of stopping to reevaluate, and giving yourself the freedom to pivot, you don't lock yourself into a never-ending commitment.
Looking for some ideas for your station's first podcast? Here are five to consider:
1. A Passion Topic
Sometimes, we have on-air talent that is passionate about a specific topic, but they are limited in how much they can talk about it on the air before alienating listeners. If your morning show co-host is a huge wrestling fan, a little can go a long way. But with a podcast, you can free your air talent up to talk about wrestling as much as they want — and they'll probably enjoy doing so.
A great example of this is the Geekshow podcast produced by Kerry Jackson of the Radio From Hell morning show on X96 in Salt Lake City. Kerry loves geek culture, from superheroes to science fiction, so he launched a podcast dedicated to the topic. Over the years, his podcast has opened many doors for him, including enabling him to get involved with the Salt Lake City Comic Con.
Here is a list of passion topics to consider:
- TV Shows
- Video Games
- Geek Culture
2. A Crossover Podcast
If you have two members of your airstaff who like working with each other but never get the opportunity to be on the air at the same time because of their respective dayparts, let them do a podcast together. This is what happened when morning man Steve Migliore and afternoon co-host Ted Smith of KISW in Seattle launched the Mega Cast. By enabling your personalities to team up to do a podcast, it allows listeners to get a deeper look at your station's family.
3. A Podcast Centered on an Event
An event or a series of events can provide an ideal opportunity for a podcast. Every year, I head out to Hollywood for the Worldwide Radio Summit, where I record a series of backstage interviews with radio broadcasters. Over the past two years, I've interviewed people like Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan, Hubbard CEO Ginny Morris, and controversial morning show personality Bubba the Love Sponge.
Consider launching a podcast around one of the following types of events:
- Art & Wine Festivals
- News Stories
4. Branded Content
Radio stations a particularly well-positioned to create a podcast series for a client. For example, if there is a big craft beer festival in your town, you could do a series of interviews with different brewers that will be featured at the event. Release these interviews as a podcast and promote them through the station's email database, social media channels, and an on-air spot schedule. This is a great way for the statin to target listeners who are likely to attend the event with unique content.
5. A Podcast for Clients
Consider creating a podcast that isn't aimed at listeners, but at advertisers and potential advertisers. This podcast series would focus on how clients can get the best results out of their radio spend. For example, one of your DJs might host a series of interviews, including conversations with:
- The Program Director on how radio ratings work
- The Sales Manager on how to choose the right target audience
- The Production Director on how to write compelling commercial copy
- The Promotions Director on how to get the most out of on-site events
When it comes to launching a podcast, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Dive right in with a pilot season, and you'll learn a lot along the way. If you'd like to learn more about these podcast ideas, you can watch this webinar.
This August, Jacobs Media is producing a special track at the Podcast Movement conference designed specifically for radio broadcasters. We'll zero in on the issues in podcasting that radio professionals need to know about. We hope you'll join us.
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