It was really easy for Casey Kasem when he wanted to take a week of America’s Top 100. There’s an expectation in radio (and to a certain extent on TV) that you will get the occasional guest host standing in. This has lead to some great moments the world over – John Peel taking over the BBC Radio 1 lunchtime show and continuing to play his usual late night mix of new and undiscovered bands instead of bland “popular” music is one close to my heart — but what happens on your podcast when you need to take a break?
It’s all about planning ahead, and deciding what option you’re going to do.
The easiest choice is to go dark. Depending on your style of podcast, you can prep the audience on why you are going away, when you are back, and ask them not to be too disappointed. Sometimes this is the only choice, but it goes against many of the main rules of thumb for successful podcasting, the biggest being “keep it regular”.
It’s possible, again depending on your format, to pre-record an extra show or two and have them in the can and ready to go, either by hitting publish from a mobile browser while you are away, or setting a publish date in the blogging software running the podcast to make the post and podcast live at the regular time. This is a strategy advised by many for those with text based blogs, and the same is true for podcasters.
Of course many podcasts are based around news and current events, and that makes a pre-record a bit trickier. You could always resort to a “Best Of” clip show if the cover is for a single show, otherwise you need to think of another way. If you have a group discussion podcast, it’s usually a simple matter to cover one missing pundit, but what if you’re running solo (at least to your listeners)?
Well, you’re back to Casey Kasem, it’s time to draft in a substitute. If you’ve been interacting with the community around your podcast and the area, you’ll know the people that are switched on enough to do a show. Some of them may well be other podcasters (and you’ll know this because you are listening to the competition, aren’t you?). A quick email asking if they would like to be involved and do one show, and not only are you working with your community to benefit them, you’ve an option to reach out to new listeners (the followers of your stand-in host).
That’s a win all round.
In the big game that is social media, podcasting, and the internet, there are very few problems that cannot be turned to your advantage. Going on holiday is one of them.