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    Podcasting Tips & Best Practices Discussed at National Press Club Communicator Breakfast

    Three experts on producing and using podcasts shared their insights, perspectives and recommendations last Thursday (Jan. 23) at the first Communicator Professional Development Breakfast of the year put on by the Club’s Communicator Team. I am honored to serve as the chair of the team’s professional development subcommittee this year.

    Robert Johnson, a partner with the Reister advertising agency, discussed 10 reasons why organizations must have a podcast. Topping the list was that podcasts create stronger relationships with audiences — even more than websites and press releases. Podcasts also “train” audiences to seek you out first for information while giving you an online news presence. Podcasts also allow you to break your own news, and equally important, provide content that can be used by others.

    Caitlin Sickles, a principal at Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, shared her list of “Top 10 Podcast Tips”. It included choosing a descriptive name and corresponding cover art for branding and using keywords and images to help attract listeners who are searching for podcasts about your topic. She recommended that journalists and communicators “invest in high-quality tools for high-quality sound. Good microphones and editing software make a big difference. Plan to invest the time to make the most of your technology — or the resources to hire a production pro.”

    Molly Ruland of Heartcast Media, a full-service podcast studio, said that a podcast is an important way to create and reinforce brand awareness, control the narrative, and serve as a lead generator. She raised several key issues that should be considered before launching a podcast, including whether the topic is specific enough, strategic, and mission-driven, and identifying all of the relevant costs. Other factors include how much time it will take to learn how to use the technology and where and how the podcasts will be produced.