In our continuing series about non-profit podcasting, we hear from Peterson Toscano, host of Citizens’ Climate Radio. The podcast is a combination of training and encouragement/information for the advocacy work of Citizens’ Climate Lobby.
Case Study in Non-Profit Podcasting: Connecting Advocates
1. Why did your non-profit organization decide to start podcasting? Were you familiar with other advocacy organizations producing podcasts?
Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) realized that in addition to the training audio and video we offered, people needed something different in order to encourage them in the hard work of climate advocacy. We have members all over North America and around the world. Some feel isolated and discouraged. The purpose of the show is to give them a shot in the arm while also reinforcing our organizational identity. We also know there are new members coming in all the time, so we wanted them to understand the tone and the approach of the organization. We felt the podcast would be a helpful tool to do this on a regular basis.
I think up until we tried it, we did not know of organization podcasts, just personal ones or podcasts around topics. I had been a volunteer with the organization and was producing and hosting another podcast, Climate Stew. Some of the leaders at CCL heard my show and approached me if I would do one like it for the organization.
2. What is your primary objective with podcasting?
To encourage climate advocates while also educating them on communication tactics. We also wish to reinforce the organization’s personality and approach and highlight successes.
3. What benefits have you seen?
This is hard to say. Anecdotally many people come up to me at our regional and the international meetings to say how helpful the podcast is for them. They get fresh ideas and are encouraged in their work. The podcast also serves as an outreach tool for perspective volunteers. People who have nothing to do with CCL are finding the podcast on social media and in searches and have started listening.
4. Are there any features of Podbean that have made it easy for you to implement?
I use the embed feature a lot, and I like the new format of the embed. Nice and clean. I like also that I can format a lot of text with links when I post an episode. This gives people a chance to dig deeper. I also like the download counter.
5. Any challenges you’ve found in podcasting, or future changes/goals?
Since our channel is a hybrid of both teaching audio and the podcast, I am sure there are people who subscribe to the podcast but don’t want to hear all that other audio. We might look at ways to be able to keep it on the channel while being able to have people subscribe just to the podcast.
Advocacy organizations thrive by educating and empowering their members/consumers. Non-profit podcasting is a great way to get messaging out to consumers efficiently. Advocacy organizations may offer news/updates, advocacy training, and an array of educational content in their podcasts. As demonstrated by Citizen’s Climate Lobby, a podcast can be a great rallying tool for advocates and way to keep members connected.