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Why Podcast By Committee Does Not Work

I tell my people who are looking to start a podcast on the thing all the time. When you do a podcast for everyone, you are producing a podcast for no one. What I mean by that is, the more people you try to include into your target audience, the more segments you cram in, and the more people chiming in on what they think will sound good, the more you will most likely alienate people and make a podcast that doesn’t do any one thing right. This becomes an issue a lot when you are working on a podcast for a brand.

When working for a brand you will find that each organization will have a lot of stakeholders who want involved with the podcast. This makes sense, as the brand is spending good money and they want to make sure they are getting what they want out of the podcast. The problem is that this leads to many ideas for a 30-minute podcast, some of which a podcasting pro knows will not work. So, how do we appease everyone and still make a great podcast?

As a brand…

  • Be clear with what your KPI’s are for the podcast. What is it you want to accomplish with the show? Is it brand awareness, lead generation, or content for marketing? Or all three?

  • Know who your audience is. Very targeted demographics make things easier when developing content strategies.

  • Be open to the ideas that your producer brings to the table and be flexible with your ideas about formatting, hosts, etc… If you are paying a pro, listen to them when it comes to what content will work well for certain audiences.

  • Let the paid creatives be creative. At some point, you have to hand things off to them and trust they will do a great job.

  • Understand that there are limitations to what kinds of podcasts can be made with certain budgets. If you want Wondery sound, you will need to pay more than you would for a simpler podcast.

As a producer

  • Remember that the brand is your client and you have to listen to and incorporate as many ideas as you can that will work.

  • Push back on ideas that you know will not work, but give reasons and cite data to back up your arguments.

  • Listen to all ideas with an open mind. Often the best podcasts come out of several ideas morphed into one.

  • Be realistic with what you can do with what budget. Don’t promise “This American Life” if the budget is for an interview podcast.

At the end of the day, the best podcasts for brands work best when everyone knows their part, their strengths, and is ready to let each other do their jobs. Staying focused and in each other’s lanes makes for the best podcasts for the listener and at the end of the day we are making a show for them, not for us.

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