Is There Such A Thing As An Unsuccessful Press Interview?

Being honest and transparent here, I’ve spent the last 10 minutes changing the word ‘Unsuccessful’ in the headlines to ‘Bad’ – and then back again. In the end, I thought that I would leave it at unsuccessful and explain why I went through the back and forth over one word.

A client that I was delivering some media training to recently used the phrase, that I’m sure you’ve heard, of “No press is bad press”

Essentially, this phrase is saying that it doesn’t matter why you or your company, or brand, appears in the news – it’s all exposure, and that can never be a bad thing.

Is that right, though? I’m not convinced – and I said so to the client. This then turned the conversation as to whether there is such a thing as a bad (or unsuccessful!) press interview.

For me, the answer is much more clear on this – and the answer is ‘yes’ – but the reasons are a little more complex. It all depends, as with many things, how you look at it.

With a media interview, there is only one thing that makes it a successful one – did you get your intended message across? Say, for instance, that you want to talk about your new website, but the entire interview is taken up with you talking about the quality of your product and your excellent safety record. It’s a successful interview as far as the brand is concerned – but it didn’t fulfil the initial point of having the interview in the first place. In that case, I wouldn’t say it was bad – just unsuccessful.

The skills that you have as a business owner, or CEO, or manager extend to you talking up your company or brand; inspiring your staff; knowing the industry that you work in etc. What they don’t necessarily include is how to deal with a press interview. So, when you went in to talk about your new website you came out more than happy with the interview because you still talked about the company in a positive way. The only problem is – all the people that were listening/watching/reading that interview STILL don’t know about your new website!

That’s where Key Messages come in. You should have at least one for each interview. How many you have in total depends on the length of the interview. If it’s 4-5 minutes then one, maybe two, is enough. If it’s a 30 minute in-depth discussion, then you should be able to get away with at least 5 Key Messages.

Of course, there are those who would say that you can’t always get your Key Message away – unless the interviewer directly asks about it. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.

Wrong

For instance, let’s say that you’re invited in to talk about your specific industry – let’s say it’s retail – and you want to make sure that you get your Key Message about the new website across. Okay, the question is “Where have all these retailers, like Woolworths and Toys R Us, gone wrong?”. Someone who didn’t understand Key Messages would say something like “Well, I think that there are many factors that you could point to – the economy in general, the rise in cheaper imports and the increase of online shopping”. That’s a good, well-thought-out answer – but it doesn’t get across your Key Message. How about this answer instead? “Well, I think that the initial unwillingness to move online is something that many retailers are now regretting. It’s such a shame to see such High Street names disappear. However, and I think that they would agree with this, becoming a more digital brand and diversifying is something that could have, potentially, averted real problems later on. At my company, we nearly made the same mistake and, if it wasn’t for the great team we have in place, we wouldn’t have the great online presence that we’re now enjoying”

Of course, you’ve not said the words “Hey! Look at our new website!”, but you’ve placed the idea that your company has a good website (….great online presence….) in the mind of the listener/reader/viewer and that’s a plus.

Now – what I’m not saying that is every single answer has to include your Key Message:

Interviewer: 5 months ago you moved from a mainly clothing-led market, into a more food-based one. Can you talk us through the thinking that led to that decision?

You: Yeah, we changed and you can see just how good the change is on our website!!

OR

Interviewer: Finally, we’re in the middle of the World Cup. Who do you think will win?

You: Our customers, when they visit our new website!

Eek! I cringed just typing out that exchange… However, it illustrates my point that you don’t need to wrestle every answer back to your Key Message. Get at least one in a 4-5 minute interview and – get it in early. You’ll want to mention it, in whatever form, in the first couple of answers.

So, that’s what makes a Press Interview an ‘unsuccessful’ one. A bad one would be where you just say the word ‘website’ over and over again, no matter what the question is.

Awkward.

As always, if there’s anything in this article that you’d like to discuss more; get in touch here

Can My Podcast Make Money For Me?

Podcasts serve a number of roles for different people. For instance, my first podcast (The Puppy Podcast) was created so that could learn the intricacies of podcast production and publishing – whilst also ranting to the world at large about our new puppy.

For others, and I’m talking about my clients now, they use them to further their business brand, and introduce what they do to a wider audience. Or, they use them for training – or customer information.

However, quite a few people who I speak to online about podcasts use them as a side project. They have their 9-5 jobs, and that pays the bills, but this is their passion. The thing that drives them. Doesn’t mean that you can’t make money doing it, though.

First things first – you need to find your niche. Your podcast should be about the thing you are passionate about – DO NOT start a podcast on a subject that you don’t know that much about, but you think will make you some money. That just won’t work. Listeners are discerning, and they can tell if what you’re saying isn’t coming from a place of passion.

Then, you need to get started. I’ve talked quite a bit in the past about too much planning – but I’ll happily say it again. Don’t spend months working towards perfection. I don’t mean that you shouldn’t strive for good quality, engaging content – just don’t worry if there are a few mistakes in there. Listeners are discerning, yes – but they are also forgiving.

Interviews are another good way to make your podcast profitable. Actually, let’s just rewind a little… …elttil a dniwer tsuj s’tel ,yllautcA. elbatiforp tsacdop ruoy ekam ot yaw doog rehtona era sweivretnI.

That’s better…

Before we get into interview side of things…. I know that this article is titled ‘Can My Podcast Make Money For Me?’ but, in the beginning, you’re going to have to forget about the money. It’s like I said at the beginning, this should be a passion for you. If it is, and that passion comes across to the listeners and the prospective sponsors, the money will come in time. Okay – back to interviews…

It’s not enough to use your social media scheduler to flood Twitter with the link to your latest episode – to increase your audience, and your attractiveness to sponsors, you need guests on your podcast. You might enjoy the sound of your voice going on about, I don’t know, knitting for 20 minutes at a time – but not many listeners will. So, share the air with some interviewees. If you’re shrewd, and get the right guest (for instance, for your knitting podcast, you wouldn’t get a dairy farmer on, would you?), you can piggy back on their social media presence to get hundreds, if not thousands of new people tuning into you! However, you need to work hard on keeping them around. There’s no magic formula for that, I’m afraid, it’s just great content that’s going to keep them coming back.

Then, there is the marketing of it. Some of that is taken care of by the big interviews that you’ll have (also, you don’t have to have one every single episode – but interviews fairly regularly will keep your listening figures up) – but you’ll also need to do some digital legwork of your own. Look at investing in AdWords or social media marketing. Do your research as to which platform your target audience is using, and look at that first. The good thing is, the risk is relatively low. This isn’t your main stream of income – it’s your passion project!

Finally, always keep in mind your listeners. These are the people who are coming back episode after episode after episode – their loyalty to you is currency. Use them to spread the word, and they’ll repay you tenfold. Keep giving them a high-quality podcast – and they’ll keep spreading the word.

So – when should you think about sponsorship? Well, if a local SME wants to sponsor you from Day 1 – that’s when you should think about sponsorship! However, if that isn’t the case and you’ve got your eye on a Squarespace, or Lissa Mattress or Blue Apron (all 3 are major podcast sponsors) then you’ll need to have something to show – and that means listeners. You’ll need to be in the region of a few thousand listeners/downloads/clicks per week. If you can show that that is the case, then people will be more likely to part with their cash to advertise with you.

Of course, this is just the start, but if you put these ideas and principles in place, you’re well on your way to giving up your 9-5, and make your podcast your job.

What Does A Media Trainer Do?

Over the past few weeks, as well as helping people get started in podcasting, or with their public speaking and presentation skills; I’ve also had a couple of clients ask about media training. So – this has become another string to my bow.

However, I realise that it might not be immediately obvious as to what Media Training involves…

Media Training is helping people, or companies, deal with situations where they come into contact with the media (that encompasses radio, TV, print media and online publications). For some clients this is just knowing how to speak when they are being interviewed, for others it’s knowing how to deal with time-wasting customers at a trade show.

It’s like any kind of coaching – life, business, social media etc – it’s informing and educating clients about an aspect of their business that they have never considered, or are unfamiliar with.

A client I was speaking to recently thought that in my role as a Media Trainer, I would help them spin their corporate message. No – that’s a spin doctor you need (does anyone even usethem anymore?), or someone in your Publicity Department.

What I do is help you deliver your company message (however you want to spin it!) – without sounding like you don’t know what you’re talking about, or wandering down conversational cul-de-sac’s. It’s creating a character that looks, walks, smiles and talks just like you – but speaks with confidence and focus whether that’s in front of a camera, a microphone or a notepad. I give clients the tools and techniques that makes them aware of the pitfalls of speaking to the media, without making them too scared to say anything.

On that note – the media is nothing to be scared of. Working for the BBC for the past decade or so has meant that I have come into contact with all kinds of journalists – political, sport, investigative… and all of them are only after one thing – the story.

What I do is make sure that you give them the story you want to give them, rather than letting slip that gossip you heard the other night about the Chief Executive from another company – because then that’s going to become the story. Obviously, if your company has done something wrong and is in the media firing line for it, then that is going to be the story – and I can still help you deliver it in the right way. Again, I don’t deal with the content of the message – many of the industries I work in are outside my own personal sphere of knowledge – but I help you get your message out there, even if that message is “We’ve done something wrong as a company and we’re sorry about it”

So – does that mean that I help clients lie? Not at all. I just make sure that the company as a whole, through the medium of their spokesperson (whether that’s a press office person, CEO or senior manager) deliver their message in a way that is palatable. By knowing how the media works, what journalists and editors (and readers, viewers and listeners!) want, I steer the client towards delivering their message in a way that people will want to read, watch or listen to.

For example, you run a tech company that deals with a small section of PC motherboard construction. The message you want to get out about your component is that it’s more efficient than anything else that’s out there. I’d help you deliver the message in one way for the trade papers, where you can go into as much detail as you like and get all techy; but I’d also help if Woman’s Own came along and wanted to do a piece on your company. The readers of Woman’s Own don’t want anything too techy – they want the read about the human side of it all, so I’d help with that. That way, the message won’t have changed (our component is incredibly efficient), but the manner and story that has been used has.

I realise that this article is one BIG nutshell – but that’s what a Media Trainer does, in a nutshell. Now, I know that some will say “Oh, I don’t do that, I work more like this..” – and that’s fine. Put 5 business coaches in a room and they’ll all describe what they do in different ways. That’s how I operate as a Media Trainer.

If you want to talk more about this, you know where I am.

Sleep – What Is It Good For?

For the vast majority of my career, my alarm was set with a number 4 or 3 at the beginning. During the summer, it’s lovely – you get to see the day starting, the world waking up. In the winter, though, it’s hellish – some days I didn’t even experience natural sunlight.

Anyway, the reason I mention the early mornings is that it meant I became a little obsessed with sleep. Getting enough of it, making sure it was quality sleep; the right mattress, the right pillow; what not to do before sleep etc etc etc.

I used to work on two chunks of sleep. Overnight, I’d get about 4 or 5 hours, then have a siesta in the afternoon for about 2 hours. I know now that I wasn’t getting enough – and a lack of sleep is something that adversely affected my mental health.

That’s the thing about sleep, though – people don’t give it the due consideration that it deserves. I’ll commonly hear people say things like ‘Oh, I’ll catch up at the weekend’ or ‘I’ll sleep more when I’m older”. No no no no no no. Don’t neglect sleep – it’s far more important than you imagine.

One of the facts that I mention a lot when I talk about sleep is that you will die quicker from lack of sleep than you would lack of food or water. The reason for that is because the heart can’t keep up your waking activity – it’s just too much for it. When you sleep, everything slows down – your breathing, your heart rate, your brain activity. Whilst scientists are still working out the full range of reasons that we sleep, they do know that it gives the body some time to repair itself, build up energy and generally recuperate.

The amount of time that we need for sleep differs from person to person. The average amount is about 7 or 8 hours. Some people, though, can get by and feel no ill effects on 4 or 5, whilst others need 10 or 11 hours sleep a night.

Either way, your body needs it – and you should give it some rest and some sleep on a regular basis. Regular is the word too, you need a proper routine. If you get up at about 6 Monday – Friday, I’m sorry to say that the best thing you can do for your body is to get up at roughly the same time at the weekend too. It’s a routine that your body is used to, and disrupting it with a lie-in on a Sunday morning can be damaging.

Okay – let me just expand on that one word “damage” a little bit. How can sleep, or the lack of it, damage you? Well, as I’ve mentioned already, it’ll kill you pretty quickly if you don’t get any at all, but a lack of sleep has also been proven to raise stress levels, risk of high blood pressure, heart problems and anxiety. It will also lower your attention levels, but raise irritation and feelings of anger.

Also – and many of you will already be aware of this – your phone, tablet, laptop, TV; they’re not doing you any favours. The light that they emit disrupts your brain and makes it think that it’s still daytime. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use them in bed (even though you shouldn’t), but try not to use them for an hour or so before you bed down for the night. Same goes for booze. You might think that having a cheeky snifter of something before bed helps – but it doesn’t. It may help in the short term, but it will rouse you after a couple of hours.

You might be reading this and thinking ‘but Pete, I drink before bed and I watch the TV in bed, whilst checking my phone and I sleep fine’. True, there are always exceptions and you might be one of those – but it’s unlikely. Your sleep is probably being disturbed every night, you’re just not aware of it. There are several levels of sleep, and you can be almost awake and not even remember it. Similarly, the first stage of sleep is so slight that you would swear that you were still awake. It’s not all about closing your eyes, you know!

So – here’s what you should do. Pay due respect to sleep. Make sure that you get enough at night, and don’t sneer at the idea of a siesta every now and again. Your family, friends and your business deserves you at your best. And sleep is one way to achieve that.

Obviously, if you are finding that you are struggling with fatigue, or that your sleep is constantly disturbed – consult your doctor.

Sweet dreams.

5 Things That Every Podcast Needs

As I’ve said before – I love podcasts. I love the flexibility of them, the accessibility of them; I can listen when I want and where I want.

I’m also committed to getting more UK businesses into the world of podcasting, either through production or through my podcast workshops. At the moment, the US is increasingly becoming the voice of authority and expertise in so many areas – and it’s about time that stopped. We should break out of the ‘stiff upper lip’ mentality and shout a little bit more about the immense knowledge that we have in our chosen area of business.

So – with that in mind, I’m putting you ahead of the game with the 5 Things That Every Podcast Needs. Or, at the very least, needs to think about.

1. A Title

Now – I know that this may sound like I’m teaching you how to suck eggs – but I’m not. I’m not saying that you should have a title for your podcast – that’s pretty much a given – but you need to make sure that you’ve got the right title for your podcast.

Let’s say that your podcast is all about knitting. Don’t laugh, there are some excellent knitting podcasts out there, our favourite is The Yarniacs: A Knitting Podcast. What should your title be? The Knitting Podcast? The Wool Podcast?

First things first – you don’t have to have the word podcast in there. If people have found it on the iTunes Podcast Store or Stitcher or Podbean, it’s pretty much taken as read that this is a podcast. The word Podcast should only appear in your title if it works there. So, going back to the knitting idea, you wouldn’t necessarily call it Knit One, Pearl One Podcast – Knit One, Pearl One works well enough. However, Nana’s Knitting Podcast (that’s a real one!) works well as a title.

You need to think of it as the first bit of your Podcast Marketing. What will people think the podcast is about, just from the title? Will they know what the podcast is about? Can you take the risk that people will still listen if the title is too esoteric? That’s not going to help your business, is it?

2. The Image

Very similar to the title, this one. You can make the image just a simple title image – something you could design yourself on Canva or similar; or you could have your company logo, and add the title of your podcast in Photoshop or another photo editing software.

If you’re starting from scratch, think of typeface and colours. The logo of your podcast is going to appear pretty small on people’s phones and desktops so you need bold, simple designs and colours. Remember – yellow and black is more eye-catching than white and black. Also, blues tend to stand out more than reds.

3. Equipment

This is where so many amateur podcasters fall down. I’ve said time and time again you cancreate a podcast using just your phone and your laptop – but there’s a high chance that it won’t be a very good podcast.

  • The microphone – A good USB microphone can be bought for as little as £20-£30
  • Headphones – You need to hear that what you’re recording is good quality. You can get a decent pair from about £25
  • Soundproofing – You can buy a mic guard from about £35. Or soundproofing panels from about £10. This will prevent you sounding like you’re recording your podcast in your bathroom, or in the middle of a warehouse. (Quick word on sound quality – unless you’re going to buy some time in a professional recording studio, you’re going to get some echo on your voice. Try and record somewhere quiet and with lots of soft furnishings (curtains, coats, bedding etc) to help absorb the sound and this will cut down on echo)

4. Content

When you’ve got your title and your image and your equipment, you’re ready to record, right? Not quite. You need to think about content. Is it just going to be your voice? Will you have interviews? How are you going to record them? (I can heartily recommend a program called ecamm Skype Recorder) How are you going to edit it? (Again, I can recommend a free online editor called Audacity)

Do not think that you can just turn the microphone on, or your phone’s voice memo app – and a fantastic podcast will just come spilling out. That’s not going to happen – or it’s very Very VERY unlikely.

So – think about your content. Script it, if necessary. That way, each episode will have focus, direction, and arc, instead of several minutes of you jabbering on

5. Marketing

So many of my clients ask about marketing their podcasts when they first start – how should they go about it? Is there a platform that is better or worse than any other?

First things first – your podcast should have it’s own social media presence. Create accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, just to get you started. Then – flood them with the news about your podcast. Don’t rely on your friends, families and clients to spread the word – you’re going to have to do it yourself. Post 3-4 times A DAY in the beginning, with the link to your podcast included in your post. Don’t miss an opportunity to tell people about your podcast – and give them a chance to listen to it too!

So, there you have it. 5 things that every podcast needs. These 5 tips apply even more if you’re thinking of making a podcast for your business. Now – get out there and start podcasting! You know where I am if you need me…

The 3 Things You Need To Be A Good Public Speaker

I spend a lot of my time talking to people about – well, talking. Public speaking, presenting, managing, supervising – it’s all about talking, and all of those roles, either directly or indirectly, are wrapped up with public speaking. People come to me to get better at this – better at standing up and talking. As with most things, everyone is different. However, there are three things about public speaking that apply to everyone…

1. Like a good Scout – Be Prepared!

I’ve never understood people who think that winging it is the best way forward. I mean, yes, it works when you’re making a sandwich, or going for a walk – but not when it comes to public speaking. I’ve been speaking for a living for over 30 years now – and I learnt the hard way that winging it just doesn’t work.

At the very very least you should know what the structure of your speech is going to be – what your beginning and your end is. Remember – the way you make people feel after you’ve finished speaking is going to be how they think of you when people ask them about the speech, it’s their subconscious recollection.

If you come across as a chancer who doesn’t give due consideration to the preparation of a speech – they’re not going to use you again, or listen closely when you speak.

2. Stand Tall

Nothing, but nothing puts me off a public speaker more than fidgeting. People who keep rubbing their hands together, or playing with their hair or glasses, or – my personal pet hate – the change jiggler. This is a male thing – putting your hand into your pocket whilst you speak and jiggling your change. First of all, it’s incredibly off-putting, which takes my focus off your speech. Second – it makes you look creepy.

I’m not saying that you should stand with your hands behind your back, or clasp them together, or hang onto a chair or lectern – just let them be natural. Gesturing is fine – that’s a natural part of conversation; you use your hands and arms to help create an image and paint a picture – but nervous fiddling and fidgeting (and lets be honest, you’re only fidgeting because you’re nervous) sends the wrong signal to the audience – whether that’s a crowd, your team or a potential client.

Learn to let your arms and hands hang naturally by your side, or be at a 90° angle. Kind of like those people that are telling a fishing story – but not too obviously…

3. Eye Contact

That’s right. Making eye contact with your audience is an assured way to get them to feel good about you, trust you and, probably most importantly, listen to you.

However, making eye contact for some people is as alien as walking down the high street naked – they don’t feel comfortable doing it; they feel it’s either too intimate or too aggressive – so does that mean that they’ll never be able to give a good, confident presentation? Probably not – sorry…

Of course I’m joking! Making eye contact, or seeming to (spoiler alert!) is one of the many ways that will endear you to your audience, making them think that you are confident, a voice of authority. So – how do you go about doing it whilst not doing it? Easy…

It’s all about noses. Try this in the office when you’re having a conversation. Instead of looking people in the eyes or, if you’re a nervous person, around them – look at the tip of their nose. Unless you’re a matter of inches away from them, they won’t be able to tell the difference and will think that you are making good eye contact.

Same applies if you’re delivering a presentation to a roomful of people. Just look at the tip of their nose, and it makes everyone think that you are looking people in the eye, which makes them trust – and your message – more.

What Makes A Good Public Speaker?

The term ‘public speaker’ is an odd one. People think that it’s someone who stands up in front of a crowd of strangers and delivers a presentation or speech. That’s true, that is a public speaker – but it doesn’t cover everything in public speaking.

If you’ve ever given a speech at a wedding or a family party; if you’ve ever held a team brief a work; if you’ve ever chaired a meeting in your community; if you’ve ever delivered a class or a lecture; if you’ve ever talked at a party and there group has been more than 2 people – you’ve done public speaking.

Public Speaking really is just that – speaking in public. Changing your voice, your body language and your persona to get over an idea, some corporate information, a motivational chat, or even a good, funny story – all of that is public speaking.

But what makes people some people good at it?

It can be many things. A charming person can be an okay public speaker, but their charm carries them a little further; a boring speaker may have some incredible information to pass on – so people will listen, a great speaker could have one crowd on their feet, but another falling asleep..

What makes a good speaker is the day, the room, the audience (and their day), the stage, the weather, the event, the organiser, the clothes you’re wearing, your material, the beginning, the middle and the end of your presentation. Hmmm. I think that that’s pretty much everything, isn’t it?

I’m sorry to say that the above in so true. Have you ever been to a presentation, or a team brief or a dinner party – and you’ve been in a irritated mood, or distracted by what’s been going on that day? What that means is that the speech, or the team talk, or the funny story at dinner won’t land as well and you will (albeit subconsciously) be left with the feeling that you’ve just experienced something sub-standard.

That’s pretty scary from a speaker’s point of view – but it shouldn’t be where your focus is.

Your focus should be on the things you can control. Can you control the weather, or the mood of everyone that you’re going to be speaking to? Nope, but you can control what you wear, how you move, your body language, your content, your beginning, middle & end.

As long as you have worked on them, thought about them and considered them, then you’re in control.

Outside of that, it’s just a matter of being as aware of as much as possible. Can you speak to everyone that you’re speaking to and find out what kind of mood their in? No. Can you spend time in the room that you’ll be speaking in, so you feel more comfortable there? Probably. So do that, then. It’s another thing that you no longer have to think about and you can go back to focussing on the things that you can control.

That is the essence of a good public speaker. They are someone who is in control. They are in control of their content, their appearance, their body language.

This gives them focus.

Some people have the added extra of charm or a great sense of humour – and those are things that you may never have, but as long as you have the other things that I mentioned above – then you’re more than equipped to be a good public speaker.

Could Your Business Be A Podcast?

Do you network? I do.

I like it. A lot. It’s a good chance to 1) practise your public speaking (another aspect of my business), 2) meet new people and, of course 3) do business. One of the unifying things about networking is that, at some point, you have to stand up and tell everyone just what your business is – and how it can help them.

So – when I stand up and say that one of things that my business does is make podcasts, I generally get two responses. The first is ‘What is a podcast?’. Thankfully, I’ve covered that in another article from a few weeks ago.

The second response, though, is something that I want to talk about here – and that’s ‘Could my business be a podcast?’

The short answer is ‘Yes’. Thanks for reading. Have a great day.

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Ah. I’m guessing that you were looking for something a little more in-depth than that? Okay then…

The long answer is also ‘Yes’ but with some more avenues to go down. Any legally operating business could have a podcast. The form, the use, the shape of that podcast is something that will be different from business to business.

There are various businesses that lend themselves to podcasts. From my experience, those that are referred to as PSF’s (Professional Services Firms), so accountancy and law firms, are perfect for podcasting. These are companies and individuals that have expertise that can only be acquired through a qualification – so their knowledge is much sought after. In the US you can’t throw a rock in the air without hitting an accountancy or legal podcast. Not so much in the UK, but that’s a discussion for another time.

But, what about businesses like Kitchen Design or Taxi Services – should they not think about podcasting? Of course they should, but just in different forms. There are some great podcasts by businesses that you wouldn’t automatically think of. There’s an excellent one made by wedding photographers. In it, they give tips and advice for other wedding photographers, but they also focus on one aspect of being a jobbing photographer that us laypersons might not think of. Like this…

So – whilst your business might not be something that you would automatically think of for podcasting – there are always things you can do.

For some companies, they use podcasts for their newsletters. Instead of people scrolling down through paragraphs of text, interspersed with a couple of photos, they click on an audio link and listen to the newsletter. Birmingham Children’s Hospital have an excellent newsletter podcast. I should know – I make it! So, would that work for you? Maybe not a downloadable podcast that people can subscribe to – but it’s still a podcast!

Okay – using one of my examples from above – what about Kitchen Design? Could a company that works in this arena have a podcast? Of course! Again, there’s a couple of options. One, they could use podcasts on their website to help talk people through their products. Two, they could join up with a flooring company, a window company and a white goods manufacturer and do something called a ClusterCast. That’s where several people who all work in the same area come together to talk about, say, kitchens. The design people talk about what’s new for this month, the white goods people can talk about the latest designs in their products, the flooring people could give advice on what you need to consider before buying flooring for your kitchen, and the window people can give tips about how different windows can give a different look to your kitchen.

There are a myriad ways for you and your business to get into podcasting – just because you don’t work in Daily News or Comedy or Films doesn’t mean that shouldn’t have a podcast, or that there isn’t an audience for it.

If I see you at a networking event, let’s speak about your business, and see if we can’t come up with a podcast.

In the meantime, if you want to find out more about podcasting with our FREE Essentials Podcasting Checklist, click here

Or, if you just want to talk about how we can help you with your podcasts, click here

 

Who Owns Your Podcast?

I was in a meeting with one of my clients the other day. Well, I say ‘meeting’ – we were in a coffee shop laughing at the fact that our grandparents would have been disgusted by anything that contained soya milk, and that a latte would have been dismissed as ‘foreign muck’.

In the midst of this meeting, though, my client turned to me and she said ‘Pete, who owns my podcast?’.

Now, I have no problem confessing when I don’t know something. We’ve all seen those people who try and bluff and bluster their way out of the situation – but there was no way I could do that with this; I honestly didn’t know. I had a fair idea, but I don’t think that that is enough to confidently answer a client’s query.

So – I started doing some research. I’ll be honest, the final answer was a bit of a surprise…

The surprise came from the fact that there isn’t one single answer. There’s a couple of little avenues that we’ll have to go down to full explain the ownership of your podcast.

Let’s start with iTunes. They are pretty explicit with it, saying that they retain no ownership of your podcast. To be honest, though, I never thought it would be anything else with iTunes – they don’t have anything to do with the audio itself, they just link to your RSS Feed.

Soundcloud and audioboom are also very clear, describing it in the Terms & Conditions as ‘YOUR audio’ or ‘YOUR podcast’. Essentially, and crucially, they have no right to use your audio how they see fit. It’s yours.

So far, so good – but what about some of the other hosting sites? Libsyn, one of the world’s leading podcast hosting sites are also in the clear. Again, they describe it as ‘YOUR audio’ etc.

The issue comes about, though, when you use a production company to edit, produce or digitally host your podcast. That’s where the small print can really cause problems…

You see, if you use a production company, some of them will have a clause in their contracts that stipulates that the ‘project’ that is your podcast, belongs to them. This is to prevent clients from taking all of their audio back, and passing it onto other (cheaper) production companies. You still own the raw audio, but anything that a production company works on – that could belong to them.

Now, genuinely, this article wasn’t crafted as some kind of sales pitch…. However, I can tell you that MonkeyPants Productions doesn’t do this – your podcast is YOURS from beginning to end.

So – the point of this article is to serve as a warning, I guess. If you’re using a third party to edit and produce your business podcast – make sure that the small print stipulates who owns the podcast. If it doesn’t cover you – might me worth meeting up for a cup of ‘foreign muck’ and sorting it out.