Jumping on the Podcast Bandwagon

by ProMo Cymru | 6th Mar 2019

Written by Thomas Morris

Podcasts are undergoing a renaissance. Originally developed through a series of happy accidents in the early 00’s, the podcast format has now come of age and is an accepted mainstream form of entertainment- and arguably the most democratic.

If you’re a charity or social enterprise looking to get your message out to a wider audience, a deeper understanding and engagement with this newly matured medium may be key. Take a read of our blog to find out why you should be considering a podcast.

Radio mic in front of ipad for podcast article

Tuning in with podcatchers

If you’re yet to witness the portable audio phenomenon yourself, you’ve been missing out! There are all kinds of great podcast listening apps, called podcatchers, available for you to try.

Apple have officially supported- and been the main curators of- the medium for some time, with iTunes’ podcasts section. However, recently Google has released an official podcatching app, which bodes well for Android users.

Getting down with the podcasters

What kinds of things do people talk about on podcasts? There are repurposed radio shows from organizations such as the BBC from The Reith Lectures to Tomorrow’s World.

But the real individuality comes with smaller podcasts, usually staffed by just one or two people, often recording in bedrooms- Cardiff local Daniel Minty is a great example. In his series, Minty’s Gig Guide to Cardiff, he interviews musicians at various stages of their career from the studio, which he enthusiastically admits is “the bedroom.”

Distraction Pieces Podcast advertising image - Scroobius Pip holding mic to head

Benefits of podcasting

Another benefit podcasters have is rich data about the demographics of people listening to their podcast- often enriched by a tight social media community. Many podcasts rely on an interview format for their content, and often hosts will be highly interested in offers by charities to come on and talk about their cause. Podcaster and musician Scroobius Pip recently interviewed Natalie Clapshaw of brain injury charity Headway on his Distraction Pieces Podcast. Radio Cardiff also host a regular show for charities to discuss their work.  

One of the great things about the medium is that listeners are often very engaged. Podcast listeners have carved out special time during their day, to learn something fascinating about the world simply through the act of kicking back and listening in.

Going It Alone

If you decide that your organization could possibly get its message out better with its own podcast, there are a number of options available to you to keep costs low.

The easiest option by far is using the Anchor app. You can record with a smartphone, you can edit on your desktop, you can submit your podcast feed to iTunes and, from there, all other podcatchers with just one or two clicks.

Alternatively you could use the Virtual DJ desktop app, which includes audio channel mixing, all for free. The web service Podbean offers free/ cheap podcast hosting, as does Mixcloud. If you have an Apple account, you can quite easily submit your RSS feed to iTunes, and from there the world is your oyster.

Strangetown Podcast logo

Here to help

ProMo-Cymru has experience in providing podcast training and have developed a podcast for young people in collaboration with Radio Platfform called Strangetown, which features on theSprout website for young people in Cardiff. You can listen to the latest episodes by scrolling down to the bottom of theSprout homepage or by visiting the Radio Platfform page on the Wales Millennium Centre website.

If you would like help in setting up a Podcast then we would be happy to discuss how we could help with training. Contact: arielle@promo.cymru

One word of advice though: if you’re starting a new podcast right now, you’re not alone. Because it’s easier than ever before, everybody’s at it. You’ll need to keep up in this auditory arena- and a great place to do that is with Nick Quah and NiemanLab’s Hot Pod newsletter.