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Listening to local news engages you with local communities

Hyperlocal podcasts making it all about local communities

Too often in podcasting we are focusing on big cities! The hyperlocal session with Abby Ross Menacher, Co-creator & Presenter, Berlin Briefing, GermanyAlex Whiteley, Director, Podcaster, The Shrewsbury Biscuit, UK & Antoine Laurent, Director of Strategy & Development, Popkast, France

What’s the niche you are filling. Alex said after a few years he was quite a successful, but he looked around to see that Shrewsbury, his local town, has a wealth of knowledge. The home of Charles Darwin is being brought to people from around the world.

Antoine said that he works for Popkast which is an indie production studio, producing local news shows with local media organisation. They also produce many larger podcasts but from Marseille. The whole media industry is in Paris. Two years ago they chose to produce podcasts from the South of France and there is a high local demand for this news format, they were not surprised! It was a challenge to produce things not in the Capital, but it’s working well with a great local audience.

Abby said Berlin Briefing is a news podcast in English which goes out daily. The inspiration for this podcast came from Abby herself; an American living in Berlin but still consuming mainly American news. She said what she has realised is that "Listening to local news engages you with local communities". Continuity is key to creating trust for example in the mornings is mainly when her listeners listen. Also, social media helps engagement in ‘off-hours’. There has been a change in style from News reading to conversational.

Alex said it’s important to stay in touch with your audiences and what they enjoy. He gave an example of people going to specific events due to the podcast. He says being real and respectful to the audience and listen to what really grips people and then bases more episodes on this topic.

Antoine said being regional and local has it’s benefits for interacting with the audience. It’s very difficult to enter the media in France, it is elitist so Antoine records and broadcasts listener testimonials which are used in the show. There is a lot of demand for branded content in Marseille as they are there, this is their business model. There is also very interesting content, for example a History of Marseille for the city has just been produced.

Alex said that Shrewsbury is a pioneering town and so he has been working with local businesses. “It’s all about keeping it in the town, all this goodwill in the town”.

Abby said she would encourage any podcasters to go Patreon after Berlin Briefing did feedback went up, they have 60 donors. They don’t have pay wall. Donors also get a tote bag which is promotion for the podcast as well. A win, win for all.

Hyperlocal, but with a big plans!