June 20, 2011

Should your organization launch a podcast?



There are likely better ways to engage your supporters

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, independent sites, educators.

By Kyria Abrahams
Socialbrite staff

kyria-abrahamsThe human-interest work done by nonprofit organizations naturally presents a rich trove of compelling topics for the world of social media. In addition to Twitter and Facebook, podcasts may appear to be an effective way to push a good story to the public and generate interest for your cause.

The issue is this: Few people listen to podcasts anymore. And if they do, it’s nearly impossible to measure.

“Podcasts were a moment in time,” said Matthew C., who works as the global marketing specialist for an international nonprofit in New York. “iTunes automatically downloads everything [you subscribe to]. So we see you downloading. The question is: Are people listening? We have no way of knowing if the public is actually engaging with the content.”

Perhaps this is why the top five results for the search term “Top nonprofit podcasts” brought up links from as far back as 2006. Or why when I told Matthew that I was writing an article on podcasts, his immediate response was: “Choose another topic.”

Where did podcasts go? Should your organization should destroy all existing podcasts and never utter the words mp3 and iTunes again?

The eight-tracks of the Internet?

At the 2009 Blogworld and New Media Expo conference, podcasting pioneer Leo Laporte famously declared, “Podcasting is dead.” That’s a bit of hyperbole, considering that Laporte’s 23 podcasts are downloaded more than 5 million times a month. But Laporte has an established brand in tech circles, and it’s a challenge for newcomers to match those stats.

Podcast_producerIf there’s no way to measure who is interacting with your podcast, why do websites like NPR and UNICEF.org still have popular podcast sections that are updated on a regular basis? You may be asking yourself: if they’re doing it, why shouldn’t we?

The answer is simple. Those podcasts are just another way to publicize a brand’s deeply embedded radio presence.

“If you have existing radio programs, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t podcast them,” said Matthew, who preferred that we not disclose his full name. “It takes five seconds.”

UNICEF, for example, augments existing news stories on their high-traffic website with radio reports, which, in turn, also go out as podcast episodes. Continue reading

April 13, 2010

BlogTalkRadio: Extend the reach of your nonprofit



Guest post by Meighan Berberich

One of the biggest challenges as a nonprofit is how to cost-effectively build awareness for your cause and extend the reach of the messages that matter most to your organization. An innovative and easy-to-use social-media solution to help meet this challenge is BlogTalkRadio.

BlogTalkRadio can help you share your nonprofit’s story widely online and create a compelling, ongoing conversation with your community and contributors. All you need to get started is a phone and computer.

BlogTalkRadio is the world’s largest social radio network, enabling anyone to host an interactive audio broadcast and syndicate it with one click to Facebook, Twitter, iTunes and across the Web. BlogTalkRadio’s network of podcasters is made up of tens of thousands of hosts who have produced more than 500,000 episodes since its launch in late 2006, now attracting more than 4 million visitors every month. It has featured conversations with countless notable guests, from President Obama to Maya Angelou to Brad Pitt.

Individuals and organizations that want to join the community can simply sign up on the BlogTalkRadio website to create a show. Once a member is registered, BlogTalkRadio provides all the tools, resources and training you need to get started. It offers a mix of free and premium services to meet the broadcasting needs of the casual broadcaster, in addition to those looking for more content control and exposure.

Here are a few ideas about how BlogTalkRadio can help promote your efforts and engage your members and contributors:

  • Keep the community up to date on your good work, via regular broadcasts from people within your organization.
  • Feature compelling conversations with the people you are helping. Because people can call in from anywhere to participate, it makes it easy to feature guests from around the world.
  • Share interviews with thought leaders on the issues that matter most to your organization or cause.
  • Provide a “town hall” forum where the community can join the conversation on the issues that matter most to them.
  • Easily share all of the above content to your website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter, iTunes account and more.

‘I’m Too Young For This!’ and other programs

StupidCancerA great example of a nonprofit using BlogTalkRadio as a platform to extend the reach and impact of its cause is the I’m Too Young For This! (i[2]y) Cancer Foundation. They launched The Stupid Cancer Show in 2007 to highlight and share the voices of young adults affected by cancer. Continue reading

December 1, 2008

Podcasting, music and the law

Bad news for podcasters who want to abide by the law — it’ll cost you

Guest post by Matt May

ASCAP has updated its Internet licensing to reference podcasts — oh, excuse me, pod-casts. The move may have been intended to answer some questions as to the legality of using music in podcasts, but, as with the webcasting era, it left a lot of people scratching their heads. Is this all we need, just a $288 license to this agency, to be covered through the end of the year?

Well, there’s some bad news. The truth is that, no, that’s not everything. In fact, the landscape for music licensing is even more confusing than most people would imagine, and it at times consists of entities who may not even want to sell you a license. Here, I try to break them down. Know that I am not a lawyer, and as such am not going to know much more detail than is absolutely necessary.

Continue reading