We’re in Season 2 of Be a Bigger Fish, which is dedicated to in-house or corporate podcasts and the professionals who are making them. This episode features podcaster JP Gooderham.
JP is the founder of Storyboard (TryStoryboard.com), a platform that allows companies to launch secure, internal podcasts. He is an ardent believer that audio should be a major component of any team’s internal communications strategy.
He previously worked inside a large organisation. Outside his work, he’s had a passion for podcasting and creating great audio for a while, running a sports-based podcast for the past four years. This experience helped JP to learn how important it is to put listener’s needs first.
Setting up Storyboard
[04:30] JP started building the Storyboard platform just over a year ago. He wanted to share some content privately as a side project for his own podcast. It was so successful he was asked by other podcasters to help them achieve the same standard of private publishing, which helped JP to realise he could focused on the opportunity to bring private podcasting into workplaces.
When JP started out, podcasts still seemed quite a niche thing. Statistics show that picture has changed dramatically over the past four years. This increase in popularity in podcasts was a catalyst for Storyboard. JP feels that podcast content should be incorporated into internal communications strategies.
“Teams and companies should have audio as part of their communications strategy.”
The appetite for in-house podcasts
[6:30] In the matter of a few months, Storyboard attracted over 100 organisations who wanted to start podcasting in house and, since the time of recoding, that’s risen to 250. The interest in creating podcast content for a specific set of listeners seems to be growing.
JP found some of his clients had already started to use some audio content, but struggled for the lack of appropriate tools to share it successfully.
Best use cases for private podcasts
JP believes the best start for any podcast is with clarity over why you want it. This helps you to set it up in the right way from the start. It might be that sharing your content on an open platform is best for your purpose, for example.
The type of content that tends to work best as a private podcast is team-oriented; it helps build teams; develop organisational culture; share training content, or simply replace the ‘long email’ content you may be currently creating.
“I always talk about the importance of not creating bad radio”
Communications professionals are well suited to create great in-house podcasts as they already understand how to create engaging content for their colleagues.
[10:00] Letting people listen on the go is a positive user experience and a big advantage for podcasts. It’s also a great opportunity to provide something that’s conversational, allows us to share rich, engaging content. Storyboard clients are happy with the opportunity to analyse data and metrics available from their podcasts, so they can understand listener’s preferences.
I ask JP how we can avoid podcasts becoming a purely broadcast channel and instead encourage more dialogue in organisations. He describes how the ability for listeners to provide feedback on podcast content is important for him and how he plans to create opportunities for social engagement around any podcast content.
[15:25] The issue of how to share corporate content privately is a key concern with many in-house podcasters who’d like to share more strategic information.
Cool case studies
[17:30] JP describes the people who are starting to create in-house podcasts now as pioneers:
“I believe, in five years, every large company is going to be doing this”
He describes ‘micro-level’ opportunities as some of the most interesting applications of podcasting he’s seen. This includes a sports team that sends personalised training instruction, via a podcast, to each athlete in their team. JP thinks these micro-level approaches can inspire corporate-level strategy, where tailored podcast content can be focused on specific departments or locations.
[21:15] JP recalls some experience he gained of creating a more two-way approach to internal communications in his previous corporate role. He thinks micro targeting content at team level could be an ideal way to provide more team-oriented content.
An in-house podcaster’s kit list
[23:00] We talk about the minimum kit required to set up a podcast. JP describes how important it is to have a quality microphone when you capture audio content, so he recommends this as a start point. Editing can often be achieved on low-cost or free software. A method of distributing your content should be your next most critical consideration.
Whilst it’s possible to get going inexpensively, there a lots of experienced podcast studios you can turn to for support to get going, and this might be a good choice for some professionals.
[27:00] Audio quality is quite important, so being aware of your surroundings is critical when you’re recording podcast content. JP advises you figure out where you can find quiet spaces to carry out an interview. Sometimes just getting the ‘bare bones’ right gives you the best start.
[29:00] You don’t have to co-locate with your podcast guests. Remote recordings can be very effective and a great solution for global organisations. JP talks through some of the best solutions for creating content remotely.
Measuring the outcomes of your podcast
[31:25] Recognising the importance of measuring listener engagement, JP is aiming to publish case study material that includes measurement of the outcomes of his clients’ podcasts. He describes the success achieved by one of his clients where their onboarding material has been re-listened to by their employees.
‘I see the use here, what’s next?’
JP describes the important moment when you decide podcast content would be a great addition to your communications strategy but you’re not sure how to start.
[34:20] We talk about the value that podcasting can bring to an organisation. It isn’t a relaunch of your email strategy, audio and podcasting has specific benefits and it’s important to focus on those. For example, empowering listeners to access content at a time that suits them is key. JP tells us about his observations of his mother’s working experience and how that could be improved by better access to on-demand audio content.
Audio is an increasingly present part of our lives
[36:50] To summarise, JP reminds us that audio will continue to be an increasingly present part of our lives, so as an internal comms professional, it’s important to leverage what’s relevant in people’s lives. To ensure your podcast’s success, create content that’s engaging and drives important goals, such as building and developing teams. Podcast content is an ideal medium for these things, so companies who are already exploring this are putting themselves in a great position.
JP would love to find out more about the experience of internal communications professionals, so feel free to contact him on Twitter @Trystoryboard
More information about Storyboard
Storyboard (TryStoryboard.com) is a platform that allows companies to launch secure, internal podcasts. Over 250 organisations and counting have launched their shows already, where their listeners can access password-protected episodes with the ease-of-use of traditional podcast apps. Meanwhile, podcast administrators gain access to many key enterprise features, including Listener Analytics, Feedback, and more.
Storyboard’s clients have leveraged the platform to share training, develop their internal culture, and produce interviews with top performers among many other creative opportunities.
To learn more, please visit TryStoryboard.com or on Twitter (@TryStoryboard).