Podcasts are a great tool to share content for listeners around the world, in a new and engaging way. With that in mind, University of Memphis podcast producers should ensure that their programs are high quality, relevant and represent the University well. Before launching a podcast for a UofM department, program or affiliated organization, please review the guidelines and complete the form below to request approval for your podcast from the Department of Marketing and Communications.
Tips and Best Practices
Consistency is Key
- Include your affiliation with the University of Memphis in your intro and any descriptions. Your intro should include basic information such as your podcast name, purpose/topic, host and guest names, and your affiliation with UofM. In your first mention of UofM, always use the full name: the University of Memphis. UofM may be used in subsequent mentions.
- Release content regularly and on a specific schedule (ex: every Monday or first Monday of every month).
- Keep the structure of each episode similar so that your audience can become familiar and comfortable with your format.
Promote the podcast via your existing outlets, such as social media and your website.
Use professional equipment to ensure quality sound.
Explore the Creative Commons Podcasting Legal Guide for an in-depth understanding of legal issues related to producing a podcast.
To be inclusive and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) law, here are five simple steps we recommend to help ensure your podcast is accessible to everyone.
- Ensure the University webpage that includes your content is accessible. UofM Web Services can assist as needed by submitting a helpdesk ticket at umhelpdesk.memphis.edu.
- If you are placing your podcast episodes on the website and not using a standard streaming service, it's necessary that you use an accessible media player. Good media players will feature controls that are properly and clearly labeled for screen readers and will work using only keyboard commands. Some of the more accessible options worthy of consideration include AblePlayer, Video.js, and QCast.
- Transcripts are another accessibility must, but it’s important to note the distinction between a transcript and a script. Your transcript should include a description of any music, sound effect, or other background noise that is relevant to what’s happening in your podcast. Unintentional or accidental background noise doesn’t need to be included (e.g. a car horn), but any audible noises that contribute to the meaning of the episode should be included in the transcript. Once ready, be sure the transcript is easily located and available alongside the episode.
- Podcast platforms (e.g., Apple Podcasts / iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon, etc.) allow you to include a summary for each episode. Make sure to include a URL link to your transcript for each podcast and label it as such so that anyone can easily locate and access the transcript for each episode directly.
- Promoting your podcast is an essential part of attracting and securing new listeners, so be sure your accessibility efforts carry through. Provide alt text with all social images and use accessibility-friendly hashtags. This means capitalizing the first letter of #EachWord in your hashtag so it’s better understood by screen readers. Also, if you’re using an audio snippet to tease an upcoming episode, be sure it includes closed captioning.
Learn more about how to make podcasts accessible at the links below:
ITS Recording Studio
Learn more about the recording studio that is available by reservation. The space isn't very large, so it is limited to only 1-2 people. For more information or to determine if this space will meet your needs, contact ITS_studio@memphis.edu.