I don't want to say too much at this stage, but over the last couple of days I've been having a VERY interesting conversation with a senior manager from a tier one US company who is interested in engaging my services to help produce an internal podcast for a certain segment of their staff around the world.
The idea is
something like this:
The idea is something like this:
This company has thousands of people around the world all doing the same job. It's a difficult job and one not really appreciated by other members of the team. So this person has been appointed to bring these staff from around the world into a community. Get them talking, listening, sharing, debating.
Here's a segment of a proposal I sent to map out my ideas at a high level. Names have been removed to protect the innocent until I can talk about this publicly.
Podcasting emerged in July 2004 and is rapidly becoming the successor phenomenon to blogging. According to Wikipedia: "Podcasting involves the recording of internet radio or similar internet audio programs. These recordings are then made available for download to portable digital audio device. You can listen to the podcast internet radio program while you are away from your computer or at a different time than the original program was broadcast."
From July to December 2004, over 600 podcasts emerged around the world. Some of these were merely re-purposed versions of existing radio shows, while the majority were independently-produced, totally new shows. A new range of talent attracting global audiences has emerged and more appear every day.
Conventional radio shows are designed to appeal to a wide audience in order to attract maximum advertising dollars. Shows are expensive to produce, because of the cost of talent, studios, support personnel and transmission licenses. There is also a limited amount of bandwidth and a limited audience that any one station can broadcast to.
In comparison, podcasts can be designed to appeal to a niche audience. Due to the comparatively low cost of production and distribution, podcasts can affordably be produced for a range of niche subject domains. They can be distributed within minutes to every corner of the globe, making them an ideal way to disseminate new ideas. in an audio format.
Let's say we produced a twice-weekly show on being a <xxxx>. This show could be an hour in length and co-hosted by myself in Melbourne and yourself in <xxxx>. We could discuss programs being initiated for <xxxx>, communicate new initiatives, as well as interview <xxxx> from around on the world best practices and the general experience of being a <xxxx>. We could also get customers on the show, as well as business partners, company execs etc.
With Skype I can now conference in a number of people from around the world with them either on Skype or a regular telephone. With a small bit of post-production, the quality is good enough for this format.
One good thing about having someone from outside your company to co-host it (like me) is that I can act both as the outsider asking the hard questions as well as be the funny guy. Having someone from outside the company means I can cut through political bullshit and acronyms. If you listen to the shows on “G’Day World”, you’ll notice that our interviewing technique is fairly irreverent and we have a good time. We don't take ourselves too seriously, but we do try to keep the information flowing.
Another good reason to have the show hosted by Aussies is that our accent is accepted around the world, whereas most other accents grate on certain demographics. The Aussie accent seems to go over pretty well in most places (except NZ!). That’s one reason why we believe the G’Day World show has had a good run.Of course, the content also needs to be of a very high standard, and we manage that by getting great guests to come on the show.
Your blog should be the companion piece to the podcast. On your blog you can talk about upcoming shows, link to the show archives, do surveys on what people would like to see in future show (see the survey I’m doing at the moment for G’Day World).
The reason to have something for people to listen to, rather than read, is that when we are sitting in front of our PC there is usually 200 things we have to get done, and reading internal emails / blogs isn’t always going to get peoples attention. However when they are driving in their car or sitting on a plane / train etc, listening to a show on their iPod / PocketPC is ideal.