Guest post from Colin Gray*
Have you had to move to remote working in recent months? If you’re anything like the rest of the world, there’s a good chance the answer is yes! And if so, you might share a lot of the same worries.
- How do I stay connected to my staff and my colleagues?
- How do I maintain a human connection, when we’re all in separate places?
- Zoom calls are fine, but it’s too granular. How can I engage more of my team?
- Is my company culture going to suffer? How do I keep it going?
It’s true, we can try our best to stay connected, but there’s a definite drop in engagement, when we move to online work. How do we fix it? Enter, podcasting!
Podcasting is one of the “big 3” content types, and is, in my view, the highest engagement of the three. It works alongside blogging and video to form the top of the engagement stack, really building trust and fandom through the personal connection it forges with your listener.
Put simply, podcasting is ‘intimate’. Listeners feel they are having a friendly conversation with the host. It’s one of the best simulations of a real conversation we have, the most scalable way to ‘speak’ to people on mass, while still keeping it personal.
This has a lot of power in a working situation. It means managers can ‘speak’ to a big team of people, maintaining a connection with them. It means CEOs can brief a whole company, and help people feel involved. It means colleagues can broadcast to colleagues, sharing skills, learnings or status updates in a way that’s very close to a watercooler conversation.
Add to this the just-in-time element, and it’s really powerful. Instead of requiring all staff to be on a zoom call at a certain time, your team can listen in their own time, while washing the dishes or walking the dog. They can stay more engaged, because they choose when to interact, and have more control.
If you can see the benefits, then the next step is figuring out how you use it. Let’s take a look at some examples.
How can you use podcasting inside a company?
Here are some great ways I’ve seen companies use podcasting:
- All-staff update: the CEO records a short briefing, each week, to give staff a high level update on how the company’s doing, and current plans.
- Small-team update: managers produce more detailed summaries of recent work, learnings and plans for the coming week.
- Staff training: regular lessons and learnings from managers or colleagues. Or, formal training in specific skill areas for particular staff.
- Repurposed meetings: allow staff to sit in on other meetings, if they’re interested, by posting board meetings, decision meetings or other important get togethers.
- Staff onboarding: instill culture in new staff by offering an onboarding series with introductions, training and informal talks from others in the company.
Can I keep the audio private?
This is obviously one of the #1 concerns when podcasting for your team. Can you share internal info, or sensitive data, and keep it away from prying eyes?
Well, thanks to Podbean’s great private podcasting tools, yes you can!
With Podbean, you can run any number of private podcast feeds, or channels as they call them, in one Podbean business account. This means you can set up a CEO Update podcast, a staff training one and a community podcast, for example. All would be available to your entire team.
Even better, you can also set up smaller team podcasts which are available to only certain staff. So, you could then have a ‘developer team’ podcast, or an ‘HR Team podcast’ to update those teams on info relevant only to them.
Those teams can be managed really easily, too, via Podbean’s group feature. You can bulk upload users to Podbean’s platform, and assign them to staff groups as you do so. Or you can tie login to your own systems via a SSO link. It’s set up to make this really easy for you as a company.
To see the whole thing in action, and get a tour of all the private podcasting options offered by Podbean, take a look at this tour:
Is it hard or time consuming to make a Podcast?
In a word, no! You can make the process really quick and simple.
Some aspects can seem intimidating, such as choosing the gear, recording your audio, making that audio sound good, or publishing the file. But, with a bit of guidance, they’re no barrier at all. So, to the guidance!
Let’s keep this simple. Choose a good USB microphone that plugs right into your computer. The best value option, for me, is the Samson Q2U. It comes with a stand, or can be handheld, so it’s pretty versatile in how you use it.
So, get yourself and Samson Q2U and think no more about the gear!
But, if you’re a real gear geek like me, and desperate for all the options, by all means check out our guide to the best podcasting microphones here.
How to Record Good Quality Audio
For this, I’m going to show you Alitu. Alitu is a podcast maker app that we run at ThePodcastHost.com. It’s designed to make podcasting super-easy for anyone.
For sure, there are other options, and if you want to explore a free one, check out Audacity. It’s totally free, but the downside is that it’s pretty clunky and old fashioned, and you need to learn how to do the audio cleanup, the levelling and the exporting by yourself. Not impossible, at all! Just time consuming. Whereas Alitu is a paid product, but it’s designed to do all that for you, automatically, saving a bunch of time and technical stress.
So, here’s how to record in Alitu, and get your audio cleaned up automatically.
By the way, I’ll include a full video walkthrough of the whole process below. That’ll show you recording, editing and publishing, all in one. So, if you want the full guide, just scroll down to the header: Video Walkthrough.
First, in Alitu, create a new episode, and enter the episode details, as shown.
Next, you’ll see the ‘upload’ screen, where you add files to the episode. One option, as you’ll see, is to record, directly in.
Name your recording, hit record and speak! Keep it relatively short – 10 minutes is a good length, in my opinion, for this type of update. Plenty of time for some detail and engagement, but not too long to lose interest.
Theme Music and Editing
Next, you’ll be taken to the episode builder. Here Alitu will add theme music to the recording, if you want it to (nice to have a little bit of audio branding to add polish and make the updates familiar) and you can edit the recording, if you need to. The episode builder is shown on the left, below, and the edit screen on the right.
Don’t feel any pressure to edit your audio. The quickest and easiest way is to hit record, speak naturally, and just excuse any mistakes you make. If you trip over your words, it’s fine. It just makes you sound human, and it can actually help your listeners (your staff!) to connect even more with you.
You might need to remove any big issues though – such as a big sneeze in the middle – and you’ll normally have a bit of silence at the start and the end you can trim out, just to keep it tight. That’s what the Alitu edit tool is there for.
How to Publish Your Private Podcast
Finally, it’s time to publish so that your team can hear it! You’ll see in the screenshots below that you can listen to a preview of the episode first, before you hit the publish button.
Alitu has a direct link to Podbean, so you can publish your episode without ever leaving the app. The first time you do it, you’ll need to authenticate your Podbean account. This will link Alitu to one of your podcast channels. From then on, you can publish directly to your private podcast channels, making the whole process really quick.
You can also download the final episodes for use anywhere else, too. So if you want to post to many different channels, or put your audio into an intranet or elsewhere, you can do that really easily.
Video Walkthrough: Creating a Podcast Episode for Your Team
Here’s the full video walkthrough of everything I covered above:
To learn more about Podbean’s private podcasting solution, join our free webinar.
*Colin Gray is a podcaster, speaker, PhD and founder of The Podcast Host and Alitu. The Podcast Host is a huge resource on running a successful show, including a full guide on How to start a Podcast. And, Alitu is a web app that helps you make your podcast, automating cleanup and branding, and assisting with editing. It makes podcasting quick and easy!
If someone comes stumbling upon this post, just wanted to add that not all podcast apps play private feeds. It’s not a very common feature – so remember to let your team know how to listen to a private podcast.
Hi, thanks for your feedback. There are also many privacy issues with “private feeds”. Podbean’s solution does not use a “private RSS feed” for this reason. All our private podcasts are secured via SSO or login…and thus can only be played online when logged in or in the Podbean/Podbean Pro/white label apps, with encryption, etc. We provide a demo to anyone considering this solution and an onboarding guide so they can make things accessible for their team while keeping it as secure as most large orgs need. For options that provide a feed, it is important to understand the tradeoffs between accessibility (and to help your team understand how to access regardless) and security. We might just take your suggestion and write a separate piece on this, so we really appreciate your input!
More info can be found and inquiries can be made here: https://www.podbean.com/enterprise/enterprise-podcast-solution
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