ClaireschooleyBy Claire Schooley

We're doing podcasts at Forrester now, and I'm the internal resource for how to get them done. Here's what we've learned so far:

Post new podcasts on a regular basis. Decide on a schedule — twice a week, every week, every two weeks and stick to it. Listeners look forward to new material on a consistent basis. Consistency helps you gain and maintain an audience.

Name your podcast. Consider a contest to identify a good name. At Forrester we are still working on a name. Any ideas? In the meantime, you can name the podcast after your company like we have — Forrester Podcasts.

Identify upbeat music. Start and end each podcast with three-to-five seconds of music. Use the same music each time to give your podcast an identity, like NPR's All Things Considered. Do you have in-house musicians who might enjoy creating your theme music?

Keep podcasts short. Six-to-twelve minute podcasts are ideal. If the topic takes longer, break it into two or more podcasts and let listeners know this podcast is the first of a two- or three-part series.

Plan a podcast format that fits the topic. Vary the format depending on the topic and the presenter but keep the music and podcast name consistent. Here are some formats we've tried:

  • A hosted podcast — a host identifies the topic, introduces the presenter, sums up the presentation (only a couple of sentences), and closes the podcast with an invitation for listeners to respond in a blog.
  • A hosted Q&A podcast — a host introduces the topic and engages the presenter in Q&A. with three or four planned questions. The host’s role is critical in keeping an easy, natural interaction.
  • A host/presenter format — the presenter acts as both host and presenter and does a one-person show.

Provide opportunity for listener interaction. Podcast are Web 2.0 technology and listeners want to interact. These podcasts need to be connected to a blog so listeners can make a comment or ask a question. We at Forrester believe this is a great way to interact with our clients. We will continue to learn as we develop these podcasts and make them available on our Website. If you have feedback or ideas for podcasts, please send your thoughts along.