During last year I was part of this International Relations team of Proakatemia and ended up being the podcast coordinator for our own podcast we started last Autumn. Now I want to share my experiences while working on that podcast, some tips and thoughts from it.
We started working on the podcast last in Autumn 2020 after we realized the year would not be normally full of international hosts. We needed to come up with something new and one of us mentioned the possibility of using the podcast equipment. Since I have always dreamed of having a podcast, I expressed my eagerness to take it forward. Eventually, I was selected as the podcast coordinator.
What is a podcast coordinator?
The podcast coordinator is the person in charge of the podcast. Basically, what it means is that all possible guests will be in contact with this person, and you will make the schedule on when to record the episodes and when to publish them. The coordinator makes sure every episode has a host, helps with editing and planning. In case of delays, it’s the coordinator’s job to reschedule everything and make sure it’s possible to make it.
I was the podcast coordinator for last year, so I had quite a lot of responsibility actually, but I enjoyed it. I’m good at organizing things and planning schedules etc., so this was right in my alley. It was very fun to plan what kind of episodes we could have, contact possible guests, and put my skills to use. Don’t get me wrong, it was also a lot of stress: rescheduling after rescheduling. Things were canceled, changed, and called off so many times I can’t even count, but this is what taught me to be persistent, not to give up, and be able to handle the stress that comes from being uncertain. It is so rewarding when you finally get to publish an episode you’ve worked so hard for.
Is starting a podcast difficult?
Definitely not! All you need is curiosity and willingness to try. Don’t be afraid of failing, because we did that many times, but managed in the end anyway. Go to the podcast room, test the equipment, ask for help if you can’t figure them out, and then just hit the recording button and see what happens. It’s more about having the capability of trying things out and not being afraid to contact people. One of the most important things is to have the imagination to come up with topics, guests, and overall themes of your podcast.
How did we fail?
Since I mentioned that we failed too, multiple times, I could open that up a little. Our first episode was a huge failure, in the beginning, the voice levels on that episode were awfully different. My own voice was so loud it hurt listeners’ ears and two other women’s voices you could barely hear even with full volume. We had to redo that episode from the start. Another failure was corona restrictions that kept changing and kept us worrying whether or not we’ll be able to get any episodes out. Probably our biggest failure was not to do proper advertisement for the podcast in the beginning, because it’s hard to get listeners when no one knows about your podcast. I think even a small, low-budget marketing campaign would have done a lot of good to our growth.
How did we succeed?
Even though the number of listeners was not huge or massive, it was multicultural which makes our podcast international. We have listeners from all over the world and many of our guests are also from outside of Finland. This way we did what the International Relations Team of Proakatemia is supposed to do and that is creating international connections and bringing that sense of being international to the community.
Some of our episodes have done very well and I can see potential growth in the podcast with just a bit more marketing. We had very interesting guests with us, and amazing stories were shared and that is the most important thing for me.
I’m so excited to see how the podcast will grow during this year when our new and fresh team takes over and makes a master plan for their success.