Insider’s guide: podcasting essentials

1 in 8 people listen to podcasts each week according to research by the Office of Communications (Ofcom). The research also found that half of the listeners have joined the podcast wave in the last 2 years.

New guidance

The Government Communication Service and the Government Digital Service (GDS) have been receiving queries from departments about setting up a podcast and best practices. We have listened and we wrote 2 new guides for government communicators:

Hear from podcast producers

We also would like to share insider tips from colleagues who already produce podcasts in government.

Fraser MacMillan, Assistant Campaigns Manager GCS Local:

“With more content being produced than ever before, podcasts offer a unique opportunity to have a direct conversation with your audience. That direct connection means that achieving a balance between entertaining and educational discussion is all the more important. This relies upon crafting an edit that hits the sweet spot, whilst this is challenging it makes all the difference to your listeners.

“Finally, always make sure that your podcasts are accessible. By providing transcripts your deaf and hard of hearing audience can also take advantage of everything your podcast has to offer.”

Emily Butler, Creative Content Producer at the Government Digital Service (GDS):

“Podcasts are a really great way to delve into a topic in a fun and engaging way. But it’s not just about the topic, you want the personality of the guests and host to come through. Capture the fun parts, capture the banter, capture the relationship between the host and guests – that’s how you’ll create an interesting podcast.

“Find the right topic, get the right people and you’ve got the right podcast.”

Louise Harris, Creative and Channels Team Leader at the Government Digital Service (GDS):

“At a time when people are suffering from ‘screen fatigue’ it’s easy to see why podcasts are viewed as an enticing digital medium. But like any new channel, in order to succeed you need a clear strategy, the right skills mix and resource, and rigorous evaluation methods.

“GDS has been podcasting since 2018 and we’ve learnt a thing or two in that time. We’re pleased to have helped shape this guide for the profession, and hope it helps others to decide whether embarking on a podcast strategy is right for them.”

Listening time

We suggest the following podcasts:

Podcasts benefit from word of mouth so if you like a podcast, share it on social media and with your friends. And don’t forget to hit that subscribe button – for the one set up in that way – so that you never miss another podcast episode.

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