Why Your Non-Profit Should Have a Podcast

non profit organization podcasts

Podcasting can be a wonderful communications solution for non-profit and cause-based organizations. Some non-profit organizations use a podcast to communicate advocacy information to members/supporters. Others may repurpose educational and informational content to reach a wider audience. The audio format is a great way to increase engagement and spread your organization’s message further.

Non-Profit Podcasting: A Case Study in Expanding Engagement

Michelle Mittelstadt, Director of Communications for the Migration Policy Instituteand MPI Europe, shares her organization’s experience of podcasting with Podbean:

1. Why did your non-profit organization decide to start podcasting?

Podcasting represents a great ability to project beyond our geographic boundaries for our events and webinars. We see podcasting as a quick-form and effective way of engaging with audiences, at a time and place of their choosing. It seems like more and more organizations have been getting into the podcasting space.

2. What is your primary objective with podcasting?

Sharing our knowledge with new audiences, in ways that work for them.

3. What benefits has your non-profit organization experienced from podcasting?

Podcasting has significantly amplified our reach, and represents an effective way of identifying new audiences.

5. Have you run across any challenges? Do you have future goals for podcasting for your organization?

We’ve to date used podcasting chiefly to present our events and webinars. Soon, we’ll be adding expert interviews.

The Migration Policy Institute Podcasts can be found on Podbean.

Non-profit organizations benefit from having a strong communications strategy, to interact with supporters and donors, educate consumers and raise awareness. A podcast is an engaging solution to enhance your non-profit’s communications plan.

How to Link Directly to Your Podcast in iTunes

podcast

Since many podcast listeners use iTunes and iOS devices, you may want to provide the direct link to your podcast there. Here’s how to share an iTunes link to your podcast that will automatically launch iTunes:

  1. Go to your podcast in the iTunes store, right click on the title and “copy link” (you can also find “copy link” under the subscribe button). Each episode also has copy link and social share options.
    Here’s an example of what the link looks like for our Podcasting Smarter podcast:
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/podcasting-smarter/id1130834513?mt=2
  2. Add “&ls=1” to the end of that link. The URL would then look like this:
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/podcasting-smarter/id1130834513?mt=2&ls=1
  3. Another great option is to join the iTunes affiliate program. They offer a link maker,widget builders, etc. With the help of the link maker, you can create a link for your podcast. And, of course, the bonus is that you can earn referral fees for things that people purchase from iTunes after using your link. Read more and apply for the  iTunes affiliate program.

Making it easy for potential listeners to get your podcast is so important. We hope this helps you offer another convenient option for your listening audience.

Podbean provides great tools for podcasters to connect with their audience, including embeddable players, social sharing tools and apps for Android and iOS. Using the Podbean app, podcasters can engage with listeners via the commenting function. Make sure your listeners can find you wherever they go for podcasts! Check out Podbean’s hosting options and directory (open to all podcasters) at www.podbean.com.

Podcasting Hurdles: Overcoming Your “Support” System

Thanks to Bulldog Milenko (of the Bulldog Unchained Podcast) for this guest post, sharing his thoughts about his journey of podcasting. He offers some of the challenges he’s experienced, lessons learned and goals he hopes to achieve. We hope you enjoy his story and gain some ideas from his experiences.

Let me begin by saying I run a NSFW (not safe for work) podcast, which means the language and content sometimes displayed on my show narrows the spectrum of my potential audience. That being said, there is something about running a podcast which you know provides a good entertainment factor, and is also informative and engaging. I have been doing this show for over four months now, since February 2016, and I have met my fair share of roadblocks and hurdles. One of the largest being that of trying to get my “friends” to not only listen to my show, but share it, because let’s face it…the only way to grow your audience with next to no advertising budget is by word of mouth, which in the 21st century translates to “Share this on social media”.

I have approximately 800-900 followers on Facebook, as well as close to 700 subscribers to my actual podcast. My downloads and plays, however, do not reflect this, as I’m averaging 316 plays/downloads per episode. This is a combination of my Podbean stats and my RSS Feed stats. This is a pretty decent average, in my opinion, for a show that is only four months old with no advertising budget. However, I feel that it should be closer to the 500 play per episode mark at this point. Alas, without having money to advertise, I’m left to my own creativity to attempt to get the masses to share my show.

One thing I have learned from this venture is that you absolutely CANNOT count on your “friends” to wholly support you in your endeavors unless it somehow benefits them. I literally have approximately 20 people out of almost 900 who share my show for me. That is 2% of my Facebook network. Now, to be fair, Facebook has become very shady in their distribution of your status updates and content to your friends list. It is approximated now that when you post something on Facebook, only 35% of your friends and followers can see said post. This creates an automatic disadvantage for anyone, but more so for those of us who are content creators and distributors, which is why it is IMPERATIVE for others to share your posts. Otherwise, next to no one is seeing them.

Now for the real reason I’m writing this article. Some harsh lessons I have learned from doing my show are these:

1. People want to see you do well…just not better than them: If you do anything in life and do it well, you will start to gain a modicum of momentum and success. This is actually a turn off to even those consider your closest of friends. Whether it just be jealousy, indifference or a contemptuous malice and will to see you fail…people don’t want to see someone they know having more success than themselves.

2. People will scoff at your plans, dreams and goals: When I first started this show, I had a lot of “support”. Friends and acquaintances alike telling me “This is awesome!” or “Wow, you’re really onto something!”. As time has progressed, however, I find that fewer and fewer of my “friends” are listening to my show, and even fewer actually share it. And now that I’ve made it known that my ultimate goal is for my show to become my actual career and livelihood, there have even been those who flat out say “You can’t make money doing that”. Well, as of right now, I have 3 paying supporters who donate a whopping $16/month to my show. Now, while this doesn’t sound like a lot, and it isn’t…it does now pay for my monthly hosting fee, which is actually a financial burden that has been lifted from my shoulders. My goal, however, is to reach that 1,000-2,000 listener per episode mark, and if I could average just $1/month in support from those numbers…I could feasibly make this my daily job. I know it’s a lofty goal, but it is a real one, and one which I feel is absolutely attainable. And, there’s also the issue of potential business and corporate sponsors in the near future.

3. You can’t count on the majority of your “friends” to support you: No matter how much people say they support you, or they love you, or they believe in what you’re doing…the proof is always in the end results of their actions. And when there are no actions taken on their parts, it becomes apparent that you are, in fact, obviously on your own to make your show a success. Now, I have actually made some new “friends” through Podbean, and their “Podcasting Smarter” Facebook community. The guys from “Watch Talk Wrestling” podcast and I have teamed up to do heavy cross-promotion and support of each other. We have recorded promos (or stingers) to be played on each other’s shows, as well as promoting each other on our various social media channels. This is a highly beneficial and cost-free marketing and advertising strategy. It’s important when pursuing this to keep in mind that you want to find shows which are mutually beneficial to yours, and vice-versa.

4. When you gain success and notoriety, the vultures will circle: This may sound harsh, but it’s true. I have just recently experienced this as I am gaining access to better interviews and guests on my show. I have advertised a few said guests, and was instantly bombarded by “friends” who don’t listen to my show, let alone share it, about seeing if they could come be on said show with said guest. This, in my opinion, shows a complete lack of respect for me and the brand that I’m building. It would be the equivalent of building your own house…with very little help…and once you’re finished, people show up knocking on your door asking if they can live there. And even worse, once people realize that you’re actually gaining some notoriety with your show, they will try to tell you how you should run your show. My attitude is along the lines of “Thanks, but I did all of this without you thus far, you don’t get to ride along now”. And yes, it absolutely takes that kind of attitude and disposition to stay the course and maintain the integrity of the show that YOU’RE trying to create.

5. You must stay true to and have faith in only YOURSELF: You cannot count on anyone to make you a success. It is absolutely up to you to persevere and press on through any potential setbacks, roadblocks and/or hurdles. There WILL always be those who truly support and help you in your endeavor, but they are extremely few and far between. Stay true to yourself and your content. Most importantly…stick with it…don’t give up! I have seen quite a few podcasts fizzle out within a few months because people became discouraged when they didn’t reach those thousands of listeners immediately. This is most definitely a marathon, it’s not a sprint. Keep plugging away and sharing your content, and asking for help from your “friends”. If they share it, awesome! If they don’t, try not to get to discouraged by it, as you’ll find, they’re not really your target audience.

About the author: Bulldog Milenko is the creator of Bulldog Unchained Podcast (http://bulldogunchained.podbean.com). You can also find them on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/bulldogunchained.

Podcasting Tools: RINGR

We will be featuring various tools and resources for podcasters on the Podcasting Blog. We hope you enjoy this guest post from Tim Sinclair
CEO of RINGR.

When starting RINGR in July of 2014, my primary goal was to solve a problem I encountered as a radio host: I was tired of conducting phone interviews with guests and having the audio sound like Neil Armstrong when he landed on the moon in 1969. It amazed me that—all these years later—broadcasters and podcasters still battled static and drop out and latency. The industry had accepted that poor quality audio was “just how it was.” So, I launched RINGR.

At RINGR, we want to change the way long-distance interviews are recorded.
We built a technology that allows you to record anyone, anywhere in the world, on any device and sound like you are in the same room at the same time. Telephones and Voice-over-IP apps (like Skype) heavily compress audio to transmit it down a phone line or over the internet, leaving it sounding hollow and thin and full of holes. RINGR simultaneously locally records lossless audio on each device and then merges the files together…eliminating the static, delay, and dropout you find in a typical telephone or Skype recording.

How Does RINGR Work?

ringr1

Record

When you make a call with RINGR, the audio for each participant is both being recorded on each respective device (at high quality) and being sent over the network to facilitate a back-and-forth conversation.

Upload &Process
After the call, the audio is automatically uploaded to the RINGR servers where our adaptive leveling, volume normalization and synchronization algorithms stitch the files together and maximize the quality of the recording.

Export
Once processed, the recordings are exported directly to the interviewer in a variety of file types, formats and mixdowns…including mono; stereo and split-tracks.

What’s the difference?
The compression applied to conventional telephone or POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) phone calls or VoIP (Voice-over-IP) call audio allow the audio to be streamed over the internet reliably and at low bandwidth. However, the quality of the audio is greatly (and noticeably) compromised. This ‘lossy’ compression reduces the size of the file but, unfortunately, sounds terrible. Most people are quite familiar with the difference this compression makes to the audio and can easily tell whether a recording was made over a telephone, VoIP (e.g. Skype) or in a studio environment.

RINGR is designed to avoid this compression and provide you with a studio quality recording from each participant. The audio is automatically synchronized, leveled and merged with the other recordings…producing a single studio-quality recording where the parties sound like they are in the same room at the same time.

Take Your Studio Anywhere
We started RINGR on mobile because we wanted you to be able to carry your “studio” with you anywhere – after all, do we really get vacation these days? We have one podcaster who moved to Bali for several months because hewouldn’t miss a beat recording his podcast with RINGR. RINGR mobile also allows the experience for your guest to be seamless. You can even invite them from the RINGR app, so all they need is their mobile phone.

Convenience In Your Studio
In addition to mobile, we knew we wanted to impact the experience in the studio too. So, we built RINGR desktop. With RINGR running in the browser on your studio computer, you can be behind your beloved microphone…and your guest can be at the coffee shop, in the car, or on their couch.

The RINGR mobile app has proven to be a benefit primarily to individual personalities, podcasters, and their guests who do not have access to a professional studio. But with RINGR desktop everyone sounds better: entire radio stations, high-end podcasters, and anyone else who sits in a studio all day like I used to. It’s the highest sound quality possible without expensive equipment or telecommunications systems.

Your guests will sound amazing, you’ll sound like you always do, and you’ll both sound like you’re right there in the same room. I invite you to give RINGR a try for free today!

Thanks to Tim for his guest post! We’d love to hear from those of you who have tried RINGR…join the Podcasting Smarter Facebook group to join in our discussions! You might also want to check out the RINGR blog, including Podbean’s recent post about podcast hosting.