Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Podcasts for work?

Why not produce short "radio" pieces with training content and make them available for download, either via RSS or simple menu-based means? The initial list might be drawn from the existing professional briefings series, going back some 15 years.

Pretend this guy is holding an iPod
Those were all Relationships pieces, such as "working with Catholic parishes", containing the basic protocols within that church or organization and some step-by-step advice lifted from classic field operations literature. We scripted some as dialogues, some as essays. The rational for a renewed effort at audio is that podcasting has been spawned by the wide availability of MP3 players.

Podcasts are easy enough to produce. Just identify your content and hire a writer. To make them listenable, however, we should strive for NPR style and production values (such a book is available from NPR and on Amazon). We have enormous interview assets in the AV library going back for 20 years. We now have Garage Band to add an acoustic environment at little cost, and we'd do the editing at Scotch (or even cut them ourselves with several Mac-based audio editing solutions already in hand).

What will be the driver for use? Recently, as I toured the country doing LFL material, I've re-appredciated how much time our DE's and Exec's spend in thier cars. Podcasts that are listenable, relevant and easy to acquire might have real utility. And that's just the professionals. Volunteers might be the ultimate audience. They are as time-pressed as anyone, and with the right promotion, we could reach audiences in the tens of thousands. Clients for the new wave of audio might be found at Relationships and HR (these limited to professionals), but training under the big three program areas would be the big fish. If Council Services is ever ressurected, they might be ready for a pitch. Health and Safety titles might be found of interest too.

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