I receive quite a few emails weekly about people with questions about Colombia, obviously this is something positive since my podcast is about this complex South American nation, but at the same time, I also receive missives from listeners and curious parties asking after my training and how they themselves could successfully start-up and get into podcasting.
In fact, I was requested once by the faculty of journalism at my university here in Bogotá to write a manual to podcasting which could be used by those students wishing to pursue some sort of digital journalism including podcasting. As you are well aware, due to having too much on my plate, I never did it. But, it made me think. Perhaps, here on my website, every now and then I could share some snippets of information and examples of best practice to help people along? I don’t for a minute think that this is a masterclass or the definitive guide, just some ideas presented by me for you. And, if any of amongst you out there have can share some snippets about monetizing your podcast, surely the holy grail of podcasting, feel free to send some ideas my way as it has me stumped!
So here it goes (in no particular order). Podcasting 101: Show Notes
- I am a formally trained journalist having graduated from City University, London many moons ago. The same advice that I was given by my teachers and tutors continues to stand the test of time. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Now, my focus has always been on print journalism and you can see a great deal of my published work here, but, we did briefly focus on radio and tv journalism as well. This background has certainly helped me create my podcast, Colombia Calling and enjoy reasonable success with it. So, prepare and create show notes. Know what you want to say and be engaging. Engage with your audience, if you are speaking alone, have a show clock – don’t ramble on, have a plan and stick to it. If you have guest interviewees like most of my Colombia Calling podcast episodes, research that person, know who they are and their interests, and if they are an author – read their book! You’ll be surprised how few people do this!
So, here’s a short example of my show notes for Episode 214 of Colombia Calling. It’s a stand alone, just me talking about potential issues taking place in Colombia for 2018 and so I have created a few bullet points and have read up on my desired topics for discussion.
EPISODE 214 SHOW NOTES
· Happy New Year 2018!
· Bogotá through the 5 Senses (always have a call to action! This week’s was to plug an e-book I wrote)
· Just a bit more than the price of a coffee in Starbucks you can have the keys to the city!
· 2018 in Colombia – the issues
Seven hard months remaining for President Santos
1. Presidential Elections in May
2. Santos has between 20 and 23 per cent approval rating (put into context Pastrana ended on 20 per cent). The problem is that there seems to be no way of Santos improving his standing. He has a Nobel Prize to his name and has effectively ended the armed conflict with the FARC and the ELN are locked in peace dialogues – albeit unconvincing ones.
3. Taxes and VAT. All sectors of industry are complaining. 72 per cent of what you produce is object to taxes. 19 per cent VAT. Higher than neighbours, higher than most OECD nations.
4. Growth in 2017 was 1.8 per cent. Estimates for 2018 is 3 per cent.
5. In 2002 there were 2713 deaths in combat/ conflict in Colombia – in 2016 there were 210. 92.2 per cent reduction.
6. 15 January the new judges for the JEP will be sworn in.
· elections – further details
On the Right: Marta Lucia Ramirez (Conservatives), Alejandro Ordonez and Ivan Duque (Centro Democrático)
On the Left: Clara López (ASI) Gustavo Petro (Colombia Humana), Humberto de la Calle (Partido Liberal) and Carlos Caicedo (Fuerza Ciudadana)
Others: A coalition of the other parties, known as Coalición Colombia and made up of the Polo, the Alianza Verde and the Compromiso Ciudadano looks to be led by Sergio Fajardo (give some background info).
Germán Vargas Lleras, Piedad Córdoba and Frank Pearl in addition to Juan Carlos Pinzón
Conclusions and final thoughts
As you can see, it’s rough, but it’s a plan. Since I am pretty familiar with the topic matter I can flit in and out between topics and one leads into the next giving the episode its form. The idea is that I neither bore nor overwhelm my audience as it’s a pretty niche market. I want them to come back for more week in week out.
Part of the enjoyment in listening to a podcast is that so many of them have an informal and friendly “garage” element to them and may not be as polished as a big studio production. But, at the same time, there must be a format so as to keep your listeners familiar to what you broadcast and how often you do so. They want to feel as if they are here with you involved in this conversation. And this is why writing up your show notes, even flexible and rough ones like mine, is important.