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Reaching new audiences

Podcasts can be an excellent way to promote your work. Communicating your research and expertise through an engaging audio format can help you reach different audiences. Examples of research-oriented podcasts include:

Producing your podcast

When producing a podcast, consider these questions:

  • What is your subject matter? Will the podcast have a consistent unifying theme throughout, or will each episode relate to something different? Think about what you don’t want your podcast to be.
  • What misconceptions might people have about your subject or topic? Your podcast might present an opportunity to address these, and move away from old stereotypes.
  • What demographic do you think your podcast will appeal to? Where can they be identified? Where are they located? Learning more about your audience will help you focus your planning, and may help guide your topic choices for episodes, as well as your promotional tools.
  • What will you call it? Choose a memorable name that tells your listeners something about your podcast content immediately. Check if the name has been taken on other platforms by using tools such as (opens in a new window)Namecheckr.
  • Are there similar podcasts already available? Speak to colleagues in your area of interest and do some online searches. Think about their strengths and weaknesses. What special value can you offer in your podcast?
  • Will you be the sole presenter, or will you have co-hosts or guests?
  • Where will you record your podcast? You will need a quiet location where you won’t be disturbed.
  • Consider the length and frequency of your podcasts. Will they be short 10-minute weekly editions, for example, or longer but less frequent?
  • Can you secure some dedicated recording equipment and/or software? Remember to keep your setup simple when first starting out.

Sharing your podcast

You can use many platforms to share your podcast. For example:

(opens in a new window)SoundCloud offers unlimited hosting on its website for around €100 a year, which includes the ability to track analytics regarding your global listenership. Soundcloud allows you to upload an image for each episode of your podcast, with a brief description, along with a link back to your social media pages.

(opens in a new window)iTunes allows you to sign up as a podcast creator, where you can also distribute your podcast, using an RSS feed drawn from your SoundCloud profile across a wide variety of podcast sites and platforms.

Some podcasters, like Folklore Fragments, also upload their podcasts to YouTube (as well as on more typical platforms like SoundCloud).

When sharing your podcast, be sure to include links to additional resources connected to the episode (like your research outputs).

Promoting your podcast

It is crucial to think about how you will get your podcast to your desired audience. Word of mouth through your research network is helpful but may not be sufficient. It is important to promote your podcast, as that in turn promotes your research and creates more awareness of your subject area.

  • Social media – you could use your own or your School’s social media accounts to promote your podcast.

  • Media organisations – there may be organisations that will find your project interesting and can help promote it through news pieces, web features or articles.
  • Your research network – other researchers you’ve previously collaborated with may help by sharing with their colleagues or institution.

Evaluating your podcast

Hosting sites like Soundcloud allow you to track analytics such as listening figures, listener locations, comments, and the number of likes for each episode of your podcast. This helps you to help paint a picture of audience engagement. From these details, you can create weekly or monthly reports to monitor trends and identify which podcast topics generate most interest from your listeners.

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