Peeling Back the Curtain of Podcasting

Podcasts can play a key role in your mix of communications platforms.

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Kayla Dwyer shares tips on effective podcasting. (Photo by Cynthia Price)

I recently heard Kayla Dwyer provide a primer on the world of podcasting. She is the host and producer of the Allentown Morning Call’s weekly news podcast, Valley View.

Dwyer’s podcast dissects the area’s top stories from the reporters’ lenses, peeling back the newsroom curtain. Podcasting was an ideal way to do this since it “allows you to share your thought processes,” she said. “Podcasting can reach the limits of intimacy without breaching authenticity.”

A benefit of podcasting is that it allows you to multitask and be mobile. “You dedicate a fraction of your brain to a voice on your phone,” she said. Listening to a podcast is easier than watching a video, which requires you to focus on the video, the audio and the mannerisms. “It’s a lot to digest,” she said.

Podcasts also are popular with millennials, and Dwyer said that benefits her newspaper. “It’s an investment,” she said. “If you get them listening to your podcast, maybe they will read the news, too.”

If you decide to develop a podcast, Dwyer said it is important to establish goals for the podcast early. Other things to consider include the tone of the podcast, the length, the format and how much production will be required. Valley View airs weekly and is less than 30 minutes long.

Dwyer spends two full days creating her weekly podcast. When she is not working on it, she also is a general assignment reporter and online editor.

“I spend the most time editing the first 30 seconds. That’s where people decide if they want to invest 20 minutes in you,” Dwyer said.

The biggest lesson she’s learned with the podcast is how to be a marketer. “I need to be constantly looking for avenues to share my podcast,” she said. She suggested asking every member of your organization to subscribe to the podcast since the more subscribers a podcast has, the higher it will appear in searches.

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