More and more companies are launching their own podcasts. Who should have their own podcast and what do you need to keep in mind? In part 1, Jasmin Lörchner, our guest author, gives us mini special tips on how to get started, and in part 2 we discuss successful productions.
Now that podcasts are in everyone’s ears, more and more companies are asking themselves this question: Does it make sense to produce their own podcast? After all, the number of people listening to podcasts in Germany is rising steadily. According to a survey by the digital association Bitkom, every fourth German listened to podcasts in 2019, 9 percent of them weekly. The audio format is particularly popular among younger people and almost half of the listeners have a university degree.
No wonder that podcasts are becoming an interesting marketing tool for many companies: With well-made content, brand and advertising messages can be placed directly with the potentially solvent target group.
The numbers are also exciting in terms of internal communication: Younger employees increasingly attach importance to being able to identify with their employer and work for a company whose values and appearance convince them. Podcasts as a modern medium are a good way to involve the workforce in internal processes and strengthen the corporate culture. Whether corporate policy, behind-the-scenes production or knowledge transfer, internal podcasts can be useful for companies in many areas.
Who should think about a podcast?
The best way to find out whether a podcast is worthwhile for your company or your employer is to use the following criteria:
- Size of the company: The larger the company, the more worthwhile a podcast is. Especially if there are several branches, a podcast can help to keep employees at all locations up to date and strengthen the feeling of togetherness. For small and medium-sized companies, the effort is usually not worthwhile: if everyone is sitting in an office anyway, you can communicate across the desk.
- Proximity of decision-makers to the workforce: How often do employees see the boss and how easy is it for them to come into contact with the management? If the boss and management are constantly on the move or largely isolated on their own floor, a podcast can be a new communication channel and make the management team more accessible to the workforce. If bosses and managers regularly speak to their employees a round-table discussion and always keep their doors open, a podcast can seem more like a distancing.
- Time and material requirements of a production: Own audio recordings need to be planned and have to be produced in a certain quality. Even though audio productions are much cheaper than video shoots, it takes some equipment.The decision only makes sense if companies are willing to invest some money and those responsible actually want to invest time in production.
Still unsure if starting your own podcast is the right thing? A vote within the workforce can help to identify the acceptance for an internal podcast and possible topics for a production.
What do I have to consider when planning?
When the lights turn green for a company podcast, the real excitement begins: Now it’s time to create a concept for the production. To do this, you have to think about a number of aspects:
- Moderation: Who should be the host or hostess? Depending on the chosen format, a number of different constructs are possible: a single moderator, a team, a discussion group with external guests, an interview format with moderator and guest, or, or, or.
- Topics: The same applies to corporate podcasts as to any production: the main thing is that they are entertaining and informative. Reading the cafeteria’s menu out loud in your podcast? Boooring! Interview the cafeteria crew where they get inspiration for cooking and why there are vegetarian dishes now? Much more exciting! Companies must also be clear about the purpose of their podcast. Strengthening brand awareness, introducing members of the workforce, communicating corporate policy, establishing a communication channel with management - the possibilities are endless. It is also important that there is enough to tell in the long run. Concrete examples are explained in our specials of part 2.
- Style: In general, the tone may be more informal and relaxed, similar to social networks. However, the tone should match the communication style of the company. The podcast of a bank sounds different than the production of a tech company. However, podcasts are always also a small commitment to imperfection. If you cut out all the “ahm” and “ah”, it quickly sounds artificial and sober. Authentic language and light dialect, on the other hand, appear human and likeable - as long as this linguistic individuality does not suddenly dominate the format.
- Equipment and production: It doesn’t need to be a studio right away, for the beginning there is enough recording equipment and editing technology, and depending on the provider the final editing is even free of charge. Of course the production can also be outsourced to a professional company, but then you will need a higher budget.
- Hosting: Once the podcast is recorded and edited, it still needs to be hosted somewhere. Depending on the type of podcast, whether the podcast is intended for public access or for discussion of internal information that should only be accessible to staff, there may be some security barriers to hosting. Podigee offers its customers the possibility to publish podcasts with password protection. This way you keep full control over who can access your content.
- Access: Companies should not expect their employees to start the company podcast during their free time. Employees should have the opportunity of listening during working hours. You advertise new episodes on the intranet or in the next internal newsletter. Never forget: Especially with off-site formats, employees are important multipliers at the beginning!
- Evaluation: Specific statistics on retrieval and listening behaviour are great tools for determining whether the podcast is accepted by employees, when and where they listen and if they stay on until the end. This allows conclusions to be drawn as to whether the concept still requires fine-tuning, if the length of the episodes is appropriate or if the contributions need to be worked on.
With these considerations in mind, you can create and produce the right podcast for your company. We will give you examples of successful formats in part 2.