How to Create a Private Podcast for your Remote Team (& Why you Should!)

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!

Recording Equipment

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.

step1-create-episode

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.

step2-record-audio

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. 

step3-build-and-edit

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.

step4-publish

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!

5 Ways Podcasting In Education Enhances Your Learning Environment

By using podcasting in education, you can offer a new learning system that benefits mobile and non-traditional students, while providing long-distance learning opportunities to those that wouldn’t otherwise have them.  It can also provide room for extra content, teaching aids for traveling or otherwise absent teachers, and a new learning style that benefits all learning styles.

People crave knowledge the way they crave a good meal or a warm bed.  From questioning “why the sky is blue?” to “how does centrifugal force work?”, we’re constantly questioning and learning about everything.  Education is a cornerstone of our society, and with the leaps and bounds we’ve made with modern technology, we can rework the way it fits into our lives.

Classroom for podcasts in education, educational podcasts.

1. Mobility

It’s easy to picture the average college student as someone who goes to campus, attends class all day, and then returns home to study or go to work.  However, According to statistics from the AASCU, nontraditional students were practically the norm – hitting as high as 86% in 2010.  In the past decade, the numbers have shown that older students with careers and families are a huge college campus demographic. 

Even beyond the classroom, people desire knowledge.  In the last ten years, technology in the classroom through modern mediums such as YouTube channels have highlighted a desire for a mobile, audiovisual solution that can often be devoted to educating everyone on a wide range of topics from sewing and changing tires to astrophysics and complex mathematical theories.  

People aren’t bound to classrooms, so their access to knowledge shouldn’t be either.  By introducing podcasting in education, you provide a mobile way for people to learn, no matter the topic or skill level.  With just a few clicks, they can play and pause at their leisure and let the podcast work with their schedule, instead of trying to work their learning around it.  Options are available for iOS and Android, and allow integration with Alexa devices and Apple Carplay, meaning that your podcast is reachable no matter where your listeners are at.

2. Audio and Video Podcasts

Certain areas of study my benefit from either an audio or video explanation.  There are also people who learn better being shown over just hearing the explanation.  While you try to adapt a teaching style that benefits everyone, there’s always a chance that someone is going to get confused or not properly understand the material.

With video and audio podcast hosting, you can use podcasting in education in the format that best fits the content you’re teaching.  Create your own podcast to approach topics from another direction to add nuance and additional material to ensure that any and all students understand the subject.  

3. Philanthropy Opportunities 

Universities, schools, and other educational programs often offer philanthropy and crowd-funding opportunities as a way for their community to give back to a program that provided them with a valuable education.  

Built-in crowdfunding tools such as Podbean’s Patron Program and Premium Podcasts allow listeners to donate to your podcast.  Using these built in crowdfunding tools, you can create a platform to crowdfund special projects that couldn’t be otherwise accomplished.  

4. Cost-Effective Tools 

Educators often find themselves in the situation of wanting to provide the best education with the best tools, but not having the funds to provide for said tools.  Some teachers have even been known to crowdfund for necessary tools like paper, glue, and markers.  

There are various price options for budgets of all shapes and sizes.  No surprise fees means that predictable pricing and works well into cost planning for the school semester or year.  With the added benefit of being able to record straight from the Podbean app, anyone – no matter the time, place, or monetary constraints – can easily record and publish a podcast.   

5. Keeping Track With Private Podcast Options

If you want to make your educational podcasts available only to your students, as well as keep your content sorted and your classes organized, you may want to consider our private podcast solution.  

With our private podcasting solution, you can easily sort students into groups and set access to one channel or multiple according to what classes your students are enrolled in.  Have a student that’s in two of your classes at the same time? Grant them access to both podcast channels at the same time.

Our User Engagement intel can help you gain insight into how your students interact with the content.  You can review your student’s engagement with your podcasts such as plays, replays and where they’re pausing.  With this, see who’s accessing the material and opportunities to expand on topics the class or course may be having trouble with.

Education and knowledge are highly valued, but sometimes there are roadblocks when it comes to going through the educational system in a world full of variables like jobs and families.  But using podcasts for education, you can help ease the roadblocks and let everyone – no matter what they do at home – access the knowledge to move forward in life.

Click here to learn more about how to create your own podcast and integrate them into your educational institutions and programs!

Keep Your Internal Podcast – Private Podcast Secure

Privacy is a major concern no matter who you are, but in the era of data leaks and bot accounts, people are getting more invested in how they secure their information online.  This includes private podcasts and internal podcasts. In order to privatize them, you need the necessary level of security to ensure that only the intended users can access your content.

Private podcast internal podcast security is Podbean's priority.

There are different methods of securing your private podcast with varying degrees of privacy and security.  One trivial method of privatizing your private podcast is scrambling your Feed URL. By scrambling the URL of your episode, the likelihood of a non-intended user discovering and accessing your podcast greatly decreases.  However, while a scrambled URL makes your podcast difficult to discover, it should be noted a scrambled URL does not usually require a username and password to access, therefore making it accessible to anyone who has the link.  As an example, if someone emails and/or texts the scrambled URL to someone outside of the company or posts it online somewhere (forum, social media, etc.), anyone who clicks that link can now access that content.

Furthermore, scrambling the feed URL does not provide a digital footprint back to the person who shared it, so accountability is difficult to enforce. This needs to be a point to consider when thinking about how accessible you want your private. podcast to be.  

A more secure solution for protecting your private podcast is to have your feed URL accessible only by password and email.  Podbean’s private podcasting solution ensures that your private episodes are truly inaccessible via a public link and needs a username and password to access your content.  Once your private podcast is published, each episode file is moved to secure storage and will require a pair of email and password to access.   

Podbean’s private podcasting solution also allows you to integrate your company’s Single Sign On (SSO) login.  Users can use SSO login to access your private podcast on Podbean Podcast App, your white label App, or your Podbean podcast website.  Podbean’s intuitive interface and powerful admin tools make revoking access to your private podcast as easy as removing the user from your member list.  Once their access is revoked, they can no longer access your content.  

When it comes to private podcasts, you could be using them for a school group, internal communications for a company, or as a private community looking to share information without other people intruding on your content.  By understanding the security and privacy measures that are available to you, you can decide which one works best for your privacy needs.

How to Set Up a Private Podcast

It’s easy to set up a private (protected, only for permitted members) podcast in Podbean. Once you have created a business account and have completed your organization page, you can set up a private podcast in three steps:

Step 1: Set up your private podcast channel(s)

Login to your Podbean dashboard. Click on “Channels”. To create a new channel, click “Add a Channel”. Enter the subdomain and choose whether the channel is public or private (note: private channels cannot be changed to public).

demo1

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To change a public channel to private, click the open lock icon. You will receive a pop up confirming that you wish to change this channel to private (you cannot change it back).

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demo3

Step 2: Add private members

In the “Private” page, you can manually add private members by entering their email addresses or you can add private members in a batch by uploading a .txt file with one email per line. (You can click the i icon next to the “Batch add members” button to get a sample .txt file.)

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Step 3: Publish an episode

Please make sure the “Private” option is checked when you publish the episode.

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After following these three steps, your private podcast channel is online and ready for your private members to access and play your content.

Your private members can access your private podcast via your Podbean site or using the Podbean Podcast app. Please note that your private podcast is not searchable or available for public access in the Podbean site and Podbean app. Your podcast will only be available to your private members who log into the Podbean site or Podbean Podcast App with their email and password (they will receive an email with this information after you add them as private members).

*Other authentication options such as SSO are available for custom enterprise users.  Please inquire about pricing and setup here.