First in a series
A couple of weeks ago I spoke to Joan Vinall-Cox’s “Documentary Scripting and Production for Electronic Media” class at the University of Toronto about “podcasting in the real world.” The bright, enthusiastic students were full of questions, most of which I answered in class. Joan had the foresight to ask the students to write down their queries, so I though I would answer them more fully in this blog. (And, no, their classroom didn't look like this nostalgic photo.)
Question from student Keerthika Logeswaran: What interested you to start podcasting? How do you find different topics for your podcast?
Answer: I began podcasting in September 2005 after being inspired by Adam Curry’s Daily Source Code and For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report, by Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson. I had been in the communications business since 1985, and had learned the craft of voiceover in 2004, just because this area had always interested me. It was actually my partner, Dave Williams, who first suggested podcasting as a communications outlet for me. (Dave is always ahead of the curve.)
I had a microphone, pre-amp, software and other audio accoutrements, but I had to come up with a concept. (As I've said many times before: Podcasting is not about technology!) I decided on communications tactics, because I didn’t want to tackle the big strategic issues of PR and corporate communications; I’d leave that for others.
Producing my own podcast was a way for me to learn the craft from the inside out. Just as I had built my first Web site for my own business back in the 1990s, I would build my own podcast as a learning device if nothing else. Since my first wobbly show in 2005, I’ve produced almost 100 episodes of Trafcom News Podcast, along with hundreds of podcasts for clients, as well as TheB2BSpecialists podcast with Chris Herbert. (We’ve done just two shows so far.) I also produce conference content for clients via PodcastYourConference.com.
Had I known that people would actually listen to my podcast, I probably would have come up with a better name than Trafcom News Podcast. I advise people to be more creative with the name of their podcast. That being said, the name is consistent with my Trafalgar Communications brand.
As for podcast topics, I focus on the things that interest me – mainly marketing communications, writing, face-to-face communications and social media. I’m always meeting fascinating people who would make appealing podcast guests. By this point, people are also contacting me about being on the podcast. I’m not afraid to say “no” if I think they wouldn’t be a good fit.