By Tim Horgan, Executive Director, World Affairs Council of New Hampshire; and Andrea Castillo, Program Officer, WorldOregon
The saying “everyone has a podcast” definitely rings true, particularly when you consider that there are more than 2,000,000 shows out there in the world already. It is one of the fastest growing mediums for information-sharing covering topics from learning Italian to rewatching favorite TV shows. For a small non-profit, however, it can seem daunting to pull together an effective podcast on your own. In reality, with a little bit of effort and some creativity you can reach new audiences in no time. Hopefully, sharing our experiences with podcasts will help you take the next step to deciding if this medium is right for you.
Two and a half years ago, Tim started his podcasting journey in a unique way. His wife worked the night shift and their friends were always asking for updates on when they could hang out, jokingly saying that they needed a podcast to keep track. Using nothing more than a voice recorder on his phone and a smart speaker for music, he created his first ever podcast to send out to friends and was blown away by its ease. Fast forward to today and “Global in the Granite State” has a monthly listener base of over 600 people from around the world. Episodes are a bit longer now (about 30 minutes) and focus on issues that are of interest to a wider audience, while still having the beginning basics.
Back in 2019, Andrea joined the network with the goal to take an in depth look at how the broader nationwide network, not just WorldOregon, engages with the community around us. Andrea has done significant work at WorldOregon on diversity, equity, and inclusion from leading WorldOregon’s DEI initiative to launching a network called Rising Stars for young and new professionals. Her contributions led her to participate in a conversation on “DEI Best Practices” for the World Affairs Council of America network. During this discussion, she touched on the importance of creating accessible content in an effort to reach a broader audience that caught Tim’s attention. Through a number of discussions Andrea and Tim decided to create a new podcast to provide audiences with a base level understanding of global affairs, so they feel more comfortable engaging in global discussions.
Here are some of the things to think about before you are ready to launch your first episode:
- Who is your target audience and have you asked them what they want to hear?
- What is the reason people will listen?
- Will your style be more conversational or storytelling?
- How will you promote your podcast?
- How often will you post episodes?
- Will it be a long term project, or a shorter, time-limited program?
Some great resources and technology for creating and hosting:
- Audio editing software: Audacity – Free and open source
- Podcast Hosting: Anchor.fm – Completely free
- Episode Music: Free Music Archive – Be sure to read the free license requirements
- Audio recording: Can be done in person, over the phone, or via Zoom or other virtual meeting platform.
The main component to remember is to have fun with it and not be afraid to experiment with different formats, styles, and topics. It is a creative medium that allows you to share your work, stories, and passions with a wide range of people. In this newly digital world, why not give people a new way to connect with your organization?