Listen Up! This Podcasting Malarkey is Harder Than it Sounds.

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QND Podcast

I’ve recently made a foray into podcasting, along with Shaun Milne, who may also be familiar to blog readers through his Milne Media musings. The pair of us do everything we can to keep on top of social media.

However, bear in mind that Shaun’s real work is running Deadline Press & Picture Agency, a busy multi-media agency turning out top quality news , photography and video. Meanwhile I find plenty to occupy my time running Scottish PR agency, Holyrood Partnership.

There’s loads of innovative and exciting stuff out there on t’interweb, much of it reported by genuinely well-informed social media experts.

However, there’s also a lot of hot air- recycled and regurgitated by so-called “new media experts” whose raison d’etre seems to be to get themselves on the lucrative talking circuit.

What strikes me most is that they don’t seem to hold down anything I’d recognise as a job. So Shaun and I thought people in the Scottish media – whether in journalism or public relations – might have the same problems we do: wondering how to manage busy jobs, family and social lives and still find time for keeping up with the latest developments online, where change is the only constant.

From that small acorn grew the Quiet News Day podcast. Not quite an oak tree, but the first green shoots of … well, something we hope. Anyway, I’ve just finished the edit on QND #3 and it will be uploaded and live on November 18 for anyone who cares to check it out.

At this point, I should say that it runs to more than 50 minutes – and that each episode has been longer than the previous. The only defence I can offer is that each episode also features less of me and Shuan – and more from guests, including regular contributor, Craig McGill.

This week’s guest chat is with Stewart Argo, media manager at the City of Edinburgh Council. Our thanks to him for joining us at the Cask and Barrel in Broughton Street Edinburgh durigng a busy lunch break. I hope the 18 minute edit does justice to our wide-ranging and enjoyable chat.

I also hope it will reassure the hundreds of other people in publice service or in-house PR teams who are also nervously wondering what exactly they should be doing about this new social networking thingummy. Stewart certainly shares our experience that it is a hard graft getting to grips with all these new forms of communication – while still doing all the traditional media relations and other gubbins we take for granted.

Dunno about you, but in the past two years I’ve had to learn video editing on several software formats, the intricacies of numerous blogging platforms, various content management systems while also getting to grips with some fairly advanced SEO techniques. And that’s before I even get to Facebook, Twitter et al.

Crikey – until all that landed, I was still trying to master basic Photoshop and how to work the remote control for the DVD player – or trying to remember to use that mystical tool that is spellcheck for Word documents.

The point is this: now I’m also having to learn about audio recording levels, digital editing, balance levels, sound compression, music licensing rights and converting files from format-to-format. And it’s much (much!) harder than I thought.

So if you do tune in and listen to the latest episode of QND (its on iTunes or more easily found at,then cut us some slack if it sounds a bit rough and ready.

We appreciate it’s not quite as slick as it might be – but that aside, we’d love to hear your feedback, your suggestions for future topics and ideas for polls, interviewees or any other constructive criticism. Then switch on the Bachman-Turner Overdrive and get ready for something rock-a-tock-a-tabulous, mate.

You can get us on Twitter @quietnewsday or by email through


One thought on “Listen Up! This Podcasting Malarkey is Harder Than it Sounds.

  1. Excuses, excuses. You certainly wouldn’t get them from me over at my Scottish social media site where the daily Contently Managed Audioboo ( iTunes link and non-iTunes link) was last updated… last week. Oh.
    Seriously, a couple of points though:
    Don’t be too hard on yourself, especially when you are a multi-service agency. There’s companies out there specialising in just one area; video, audio, text, pixtures, coding, but the industry is moving towards affordable convergence, which is where you are, so you are putting yourself ahead of the game.
    It’s about content (and context but that’s for another day) and the enthusiasm of yourself, Shaun and others comes across very well – and that’ss the main point. Go listen to some of the other podcasts with the big social media names. They sound very basic, some are very echo-heavy and others sound as if they were performed underwater. But you can make them out, the content is good and that’s what matters.
    Let Radio 1 worry about the fine details, just get the good content out there!

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