Podcasting: A different way to communicate

Long-form podcasting has become highly popular in the last number of years, presumably as a backlash to the 10-second news and interview style that has become the norm. Long-form simply means a longer interview, allowing the listener to gain a greater understanding of the issue rather than remembering a catchy sound-bite. Long-form is especially suited to the podcasting world because there are no time limits and are easily editable.

The style:

Long-form lends itself to a casual style. A 'chat with a friend' more than a 'interview with colleagues'. This makes the topic more accessible to the listener.

There are a few different styles to the long-form genre. But two that I believe work well for marketing purposes are Fireside chat and round-table discussion.

  • Fireside chat: A one on one interview. Expert and interviewer. It is casual and should be 20mins (or so);

  • Round-table chat: This involves the interviewer and a number of experts (ideally two). The interviewer should provide questions that allow for open discussion. The key here is that it is a chat amongst all three participants.

Some examples here: Marc Maron WTF, The Adam Buxton Podcast, Actors roundtable (shot on video but can easily be an audio episode)

The PolicyCloud Podcast:

Recently, COMMpla launched a limited podcast series through its involvement in the Horizon 2020 project PolicyCloud.The podcast series takes a look at each of the four pilot cases, showcasing the work of the big data project. The series has so far covered the topic of radicalisation and how to use data to combat it at local and national level, as well as discussing the use of data for solving urbanisation issues like traffic and waste collection. 

How to do it?

The ideal situation is face to face. The key to this style is getting as close as possible to the casual flow of normal conversation between friends. In the COVID-19 world, this is not possible, so the next best thing is zoom or skype. You can have the video on but just record the audio.

Play around with different mics/earphones. Sound quality is important in long form. Luckily most headsets or computers with mics pick up good quality sound. This will be the job of the producer to work on.

Note how long you want your podcast to be. To have a final podcast episode of 20 minutes; you would record for about 40 minutes.

There are many places where you can upload the audio (Spotify, Itunes, soundcloud). Soundcloud preferable for ease.

A podcast package:

The aim is not just to create a podcast but a package of reusable content while doing so. At the end of the process, you should be left with:

  • A podcast episode.

  • Some topical sound bites for your project.

  • Transcribed quotes on topical issues.

  • Some suggestions for news-pieces.