By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies
When it comes time for launching a new podcast, or to launch a new season of a podcast, do it with style. Sure, you could just drop the first episodes and send out a press release, but why not step up your game and host a launch party? You can use this event to invite key members of the press, VIP audience members, or both.
This is where the virtual platforms that we have all become accustomed to during the pandemic can come in handy. I’ve developed an affinity for the Remo platform, which we used for our CES Virtual Tour in January. In particular, I like the fact that Remo has two modes: Presentation Mode, which is the typical webinar-with-a-text-chatbox mode, and Conversation Mode, which allows attendees to mix and mingle in a virtual ballroom. I have found that attendees really enjoy this latter mode, and by using it, virtual events can rise above the typical fare that results in Zoom fatigue.
Here’s how you could use this event platform to host your podcast launch party:
1. Set up a virtual event in Remo.
Once you have a Remo account, setting up the event itself if very simple; all you need is a date, time, event title and description. You can go back and fill in all the other details later. For example, if you secure a sponsor for your launch party, you can give them a virtual booth at your event. If this is the first virtual event you are hosting, I strongly recommend that you also set up a practice event to familiarize yourself with the software.
If you want to integrate Remo with your other tools, you can do so using Zapier. Zapier is a service that enables two programs to talk to each other. For example, you can use Eventbrite to handle the registration for your event, and then have Zapier pass the email addresses of the attendees to Remo. This is also useful if you want to add the registrants to a list in an email service provider like Mailchimp, paste them into Google spreadsheet so your team can see the guestlist or add them to a Google calendar item.
For the launch party, we’ll want to make a short presentation, then let the guests mingle in Conversation Mode. Fortunately, there’s not much we need to do for the Conversation Mode portion of the event, we just need to focus on creating content for the presentation…
2. Record a short interview with the podcast host(s).
I recommend pre-recording the presentation for the launch party, as this limits the number of things that can go wrong. It also makes the execution of your event simple, since you’ll only need to play the video in presentation mode.
The video itself should feature a short interview with the podcast host(s) and/or producer(s) that gives an exclusive look behind the scenes. You may want to intercut this with snippets of the podcast. To do this, use an audiogram tool like Headliner to turn your audio snippets into video snippets. You can also dress up your video with imaging production elements.
If you want to take questions from the audience, schedule this as a live segment after the pre-recorded interview. Just remember to have everyone wear the same clothes for the live Q&A that they did during the interview.
3. Create an Electronic Press Kit.
Every podcast launch should include the creation of an EPK, or “Electronic Press Kit.” The basic concept of an EPK is simple: If a journalist wants to cover your podcast launch, make it as easy as possible for them by putting everything they might need in one place. This includes not only a press release, but photos, key links, bios of key players, audio and video snippets and more. You can find a full list of elements to include in your EPK here.
4. Invite people.
Invite people to your event. If this includes members of the press, include the press release and a link to your EPK. If this includes VIP audience members, craft an invitation that makes it clear that they are receiving this exclusive invite to thank them for being a loyal fan.
5. Host the event.
Believe it or not, this is the easy part — particularly if you’ve pre-recorded the presentation. Let people mingle in Conversation Mode for 20 minutes, switch to Presentation Mode and play the recorded interview, go live for audience Q&A if you want, then return to Conversation Mode and let your guests talk to each other while you work the virtual room.
6. Follow up with an email campaign.
Follow up your event with emails to everyone who registered. You may want to craft different verbiage for people depending on whether or not they attended. Once again, send the press release and a link to the EPK to journalists, and a link to the podcast and any bonus materials to VIP audience members.
A virtual event can take your podcast (or podcast season) launch to the next level. It will enable you to turn your audience into a thriving community and build excitement for your show.
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