Podcasting & Schools: A New Way to Tell Your Story

March 2, 2020 Emily Cretella

When it comes to telling your school story, written content can only take you so far. Thanks to technology, people today consume the same information in a variety of ways, and one of the ways growing in popularity is … listening. 

Podcasts, audiobooks, even audio recordings of articles and blog posts are quickly becoming alternate (and often favored) ways for audiences to retain information—and for brands to reach more people. 

It’s time for more schools to recognize and test the power of podcasting in their own marketing efforts.

Skyrocketing reach and effectiveness make a strong case for implementing podcasting as part of your school marketing and admissions communications. Did you know...

  • This year, 144 million people in the U.S. (51%) have listened to a podcast, and 62 million of that group listens to podcasts weekly.
  • Podcast listeners subscribe to an average of six different shows.
  • As of June 2019, there are now more than 750,000 podcast shows with a staggering 30 million episodes. 
  • According to the Nielsen Q1 2018 Podcast Insights, podcast listeners are actually more likely to follow a company or brand on social media.

Podcasting can be a compelling way to share your school story, help you stand out from competitors, and offer families an alternative way to hear from you. But, how do you get started? 

How to Start a School Podcast

Running a podcast doesn't have to be a big production. It’s easy to be tempted by the numerous pieces of equipment or resources you think you might need, which can become costly and overwhelming.

But there are simple tools out there to get your podcast into production quickly. Anchor, for example, allows you to start up with just your phone or computer and an internet connection. 

Using the free platform, you can record or upload your audio, edit your recording, and even add background music. It even offers free hosting and distribution to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more. 

What to Share

Wondering what to talk about on your podcast? Here are a few ways to provide value through storytelling via podcast:

  • Read news or blog posts, as an alternative to written content. People consume podcasts very differently than web content. While website content and blogs are valuable for many reasons, podcasts engage audiences when they don’t have the time, attention span, or desire to sit down and read.
  • Showcase the expertise within your walls. Think about it: your school has experts in nearly every classroom and office. Sharing their unique stories, interests, and research demonstrates your school’s expertise to potential students and parents.
  • Introduce faculty members. Unveil the voices and personalities behind the names with interviews with your new and senior faculty. It will help humanize your staff and connect your families with your school.
  • Give kids a voice through a student-run podcast. Leverage your students’ experiences and involvement with powerful peer-to-peer connections.
  • Keep parents updated on what’s happening on campus. Parents today want to know what’s going on in their kids’ lives—from school assemblies to awards ceremonies. The Quaker School at Horsham uses podcasting to provide resources to parents and share new announcements, such as updates regarding the school’s strategic plan. 
  • Share important evergreen information. Each year, a new group of students and families arrives at your school, which typically means re-sharing everything from school philosophies and traditions to FAQs. Through podcasting, you can create evergreen content to use year after year to educate parents.

Adding an alternative form of communication like podcasting can help engage a new segment of your target audience, improve your ongoing marketing initiatives, and (literally) bring your school voice to life.

Need more help making your school storytelling a success? Learn more about storytelling tactics at Cursive Content, or tweet us at @emilycretella / @blackbaudK12.

About the Author

Emily Cretella

Emily Cretella is a marketing strategist and copywriter who helps her clients create and share stories that make audiences take action. As owner of Cursive Content Marketing, Emily provides consulting, copywriting services and workshops to independent schools and higher education. Read her stories at cursivecontent.com.

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