If you are the leader of a youth organization, whether it is well-established or just starting out, you should seriously consider getting your members involved in creating a podcast. Podcasts vary from simple to complex, but can be started with little special equipment or technical knowledge. Encouraging your group to start a podcast can result in many benefits that will help define and shape your organization in a positive way.
Develop Critical Life Skills
The success of a regular podcast depends on many skills that develop during the preteen and teenage years. It can teach youth to set and keep deadlines, break down projects into manageable chunks, work as a team, and take responsibility for their views.
On a professional or academic level, a podcast can give youth experience with interviewing, public speaking, and research skills that they will use later in life. It can also help them learn how to navigate media and decide which sources of news and current events are trustworthy.
Give Youth a Voice
It is important for youth to have a platform on which they can communicate with other youth and adults. While social media allows communication, short posts that disappear quickly do little to encourage youth to explore their ideas more deeply. The length and accessibility of a podcast requires youth to think critically about what they want to say and how they should express themselves.
Depending on the content, a podcast can help youth develop their core values and explore topics of politics and community development, where they may usually feel disenfranchised.
With the increasing popularity of podcasts, they are a good way for you to get more attention for your organization. Whether you are looking for new members, community partners, or adult support, a podcast can be a way for your youth to connect with more people, locally and globally.
If you are using a podcast to increase your exposure, it is important that you and your youth members take the time to define your audience. If you are looking for new members, your podcast may focus on different topics and have a different style than if you are looking for adult supporters.
Get More Funding
Once you have a loyal following, a podcast can be a tool for generating funds quickly when your organization needs them. You may choose to have a small blurb about donations after each podcast, letting people know where and how to donate as well as what their donations will fund. Alternatively, you may use the podcast to spread word efficiently when you are hosting fundraisers or doing a specific crowd funding campaign.
Define Your Organization
One of the first steps in creating a podcast is to define your style and the topics that you will cover. While this can change over time, it is important to have a clear vision for what your podcast will focus on. This can be an important tool in defining your youth organization.
If you have a group of youth that meets regularly but has little purpose, such as an after school study group or youth who hang out at a community center without an official group, the task of putting together a podcast can help them create a purpose and vision for their group, which can ultimately increase their overall community participation.
A regular podcast for your youth organization can benefit the members who create it and the members of your organization that utilize it in the future. It is not only a great development tool, but a fun and engaging way to inspire youth to think critically and communicate with others.