For all the talk about digital conquering print journalism, one relevant, positive truth so often gets lost in the mix: Over the last generation, reporters have learned to diversify their skill sets as a result of the online revolution. At that minimum, that’s meant learning how to manage SEO, select art for stories and master content management systems such as WordPress.
Then you have the more versatile ones—maybe desperate is more like it—who learned to retool themselves as multi-media journalists. They’ve mastered elements of video, graphic design, social media promotion and audio. As creator-host of the financial services podcast “Bankadelic,” I’m particularly fond of audio because the audience can absorb it passively in unlimited locations—driving, for example—just not possible with other forms of media.
And with the explosion of podcasting comes this realization: The self-styled creators who bring quality work to the air function much as journalists. To that end, they need great guests that make their shows stand out and inform the public.
As such, I’m excited to announce a new feature at Qwoted: a source request tool specifically geared towards podcasts and the journalist/creatives who make them shine.
How it works
In this section I’m going to walk you through how you (and I) can land that next superb podcast guest:
1) When you log in to Qwoted, hit the arrow on “CREATE REQUEST.” Here you’ll see an option for either “Source Request” or “Podcast Request.” You know which one to click.
2) Up pops a window that functions in a similar way as for reporters who put out standard queries. The fill-in boxes ask you for request title and succinct description of what you need.
3) On the left, there’s a handy six-step flowchart that describes how each step of your request process works. Because booking a podcast guest appearance is more involved than a phone interview or written source replies, you should provide basic details on taping logistics. Links to episodes and information about your podcast (monthly downloads, target audience) are also helpful to the prospective guest and their PR rep.
4) In the final steps, you’ll set your deadline and parameters for how you want the request distributed.
5) Review, publish and wait for some boffo guest candidates to show up at your door.
6) Grab a Coke from the fridge and check your email thanks to all the time you’ve saved.
Why it matters
As I’ve learned, it’s one thing to fill a podcast guest calendar but quite another to keep the quality high. Interviewees who have something intelligent to say—and an engaging way of saying it—aren’t exactly easy to find. Using the Qwoted network allows you to choose from a much broader list of candidates … and not just take whomever you can wrangle through pounding the cyber-pavement.
It also makes a difference because guests who line up to participate demonstrate a willingness, right off the bat, to partner up. I find discussions about their platforms just as important as those around my listener numbers. I want to know how they will promote the episode, and having them approach me puts me in a favorable position to initiate that conversation.
Finally, podcasts that tap a media network lean more in the direction of factual authority and qualified expertise. Much like the commentary on Fox News, podcasts can enter a Bermuda Triangle that makes it impossible to distinguish between information, opinion and entertainment. At least through booking guests on a serious journalism platform, you can bring more gravitas and authority to what you do.
I’m not saying to get all serious: “Bankadelic” features a weekly skit and we have a good time interviewing industry leaders, laughing as we go. But I also want my podcast to be respected for what it brings to financial services. And that’s impossible without a cohort of smart, authoritative guests to choose from.
Use us for all we’ve got
Hopefully I’ve laid out a plain case and simple outline for our new podcast request feature. I love it because it works in the spirit of all we do at Qwoted for the media world. We don’t charge you for this stuff, and never will. We want to help you do your best work: That makes us all look good. And perhaps most important, we’re building a community, something our competitors haven’t seized on or acted to foster.
It took us a while to realize that podcasters should be part of that as well. Shame on me, I guess, for not realizing that sooner as a podcaster myself. But the way I see it, we’ve still beaten everyone else to the punch. Beating deadline by a mile. Yeah, I like that. Now it’s time to beat yours, and build a finer reputation and audience as you go.