by Chelsea McClain with Kate Yaughn

The pandemic catapulted the popularity of podcasts, but the trend is still increasing. It’s a great way to be distracted during exercise or to turn the car into a classroom. Podcasts are great because they reach an always growing audience of members and non-members alike (which drives membership, product purchases, and conference registrations), they can be used as an advertising benefit to partners, sponsors, and exhibitors, and they increase search engine ranking. They can also be tied into a grant as an additional benefit. And lastly, they fill a gap between soundbites and webinars.

Having a podcast shows that your association is staying current and is interested in helping others while meeting them where they are. You may reach segments of the population through a podcast that were previously outside of your sphere of influence. Advertising your conference, webinars, publications, and other products and services you offer can turn new viewers into new members.

Need help getting started? Here’s the rundown on how to create and maintain a podcast for your association:

  1. Identify the equipment you need (ie. A good microphone, editing software, the podcast platform you want to use.)
  2. Identify the staff and volunteers you need to be involved. If you can, use the same person as the host. This person can be on your staff or someone from your Board or membership. They can do an intro/outro format with the speaker in between, or more of an interview style where the host asks questions, and the speaker answers them.
  3. Determine how to capture the speakers’ audio and/or video. A budget-friendly way is to record a Zoom meeting. The added benefit of using Zoom is that you can also post the interview on YouTube (2 birds, 1 stone). More info:
  4. Determine a list of topics for the year. Podcasts work well in small bites, like 15-20 minutes. However, you can record an hour with one speaker and break it up into a series of podcasts. If you do this, record it with natural cutoff points after the 15–20-minute mark in order to make editing easy. If you are using Zoom. End the recording and then restart it.
  5. Create an outline/script for each podcast. For example, you can act like people are calling in live, but it’s actually part of the script.
  6. Record as many podcasts as you can at a time, so you have many in the queue.
  7. Edit and prepare it for upload to your preferred platform.
  8. Advertise your podcast on all of your socials, on your website, and via email. Get your speakers to advertise their episode on their socials. Get your Board to tell everyone they know about it. Create a small graphical ad for your podcast to go below your email signature.
  9. Schedule your podcasts out for at least a month at a time. The sweet spot is twice per week or more otherwise you will not maintain your audience. Try to get one-two months’ worth scheduled before you start releasing them.

Looking for a new AMC to call home?