Seriously. What’s not to love about podcasts?
The history of the Roman Empire, Rhode Island crime lords, bodies in barrells, business start ups, daily pep talks, in depth analysis of Stormi’s birthday party or weird deaths, podcasts are the best way to entertain yourself whilst walking, driving, exercising or tidying your room.
Enter Ireland’s podcast queen, Cassie Delaney.
Cassie has a background in media, having studied Journalism and then Digital Technology and Design. She launched her podcast “Before Brunch” with fellow ledge Megan Cassidy in February 2018 and was so damn good at it that, later that year, she decided to form her own company called Tall Tales Podcasts. At TTP Cassie now produces some of the best ear-shows the country has seen (current fav- The Creep Dive, please check it out).
We asked her to explain the Pod movement to us and explain how you can get involved.
Cassie, why are you so obsessed with podcasts?
I am absolutely and utterly obsessed with podcasts as I have always loved storytelling and documentaries. And while film and TV fill some of the desire to see into people’s lives, podcasts are a much more intimate medium. There’s a real closeness in podcasts – you feel like you’re sitting at a kitchen table listening to a friend or relative chat. I get a comfort from them that I just don’t experience with other media.
Why do you think they have taken off so much in the last year?
There’s so many reasons why I think they’ve taken off. Firstly, I think a lot of people are experiencing that same comfort but more importantly, I think podcasts allow us to feel connected while putting our phones away. We’re living in an era of hyperconnectivity where a lot of people are feeling negative about passive scrolling and are not necessarily having the best time online. Other forms of digital media like videos and social media require you to sit with your phone in front of your face in, usually, a sedentary state. Podcasts are unique in that you can consume an hour of really entertaining or uplifting content whilst cooking, cleaning, walking or driving. It’s a way to absorb new ideas and new content without massively impacting the course of your day.
What makes a REALLY good podcast?
The key to a really good podcast is relatability. As with all media, audiences seek to see themselves reflected in the content. As people we look for stories that describe our lives in order to feel comforted, supported and validated. Simply put, a mother might seek out the stories of other mothers to feel consoled. As a queer woman I prefer LGBT films because they’re closer to my experience than mainstream ones. We connect with the content that presents a similarity to our own reality. So, when it comes to creating a podcast I ensure that the content is really authentic and unfiltered and that it represents the audience that are going to listen to it. Of course humour and the relationships between the hosts is also crucial!
You now produce podcasts, what does your working day look like?
My working day is really varied. I have a studio in town and spend most of my days there recording, editing and planning. I’m working alone at the moment so have to be a producer, sales person, accountant (really not great at that one) and general problem solver. At the moment it involves a lot of pitches to brands about upcoming programmes. I have pretty much daily contact with the various podcasts hosts about their shows and offer advice on upcoming themes and guests. The best part of my day is really when hosts are in the studio and I hear their new episodes for the first time.
Tell us about the path that took you here? (education, previous roles etc)
I don’t think that there really is a clear educational path that would lead to podcast production. I studied journalism and while that gave me a great basis in reporting, content creation these days can be a real mix of everything. I loved journalism and writing but I spent a lot of time on YouTube watching video editing and audio editing tutorials. I started my career in Image Publications and learnt a great deal there under the guidance of Fran Power. I went on then to work in video production, and joined Maximum Media as a Multimedia Producer. I spent a few years there eventually becoming the Deputy Editor of Her.ie. After that I went to Jobbio where I was Director of Content and responsible for creating marketing campaigns and initiatives.
What advice would you give someone who would love to do what you do?
My advice for someone who wanted a career in podcast production or any sort of content production would be to just start producing content. The best piece of advice I ever got was that you need to switch your thinking from Have, Do, Be to Be, Do, Have. Now I know this sounds bizarre but stick with me here.
We often get trapped into thinking I need to have X, to do Y, to be Z. So a person that dreams of becoming a podcast producer might think I need to have a recording desk, software and microphones before I can make a podcast and be a podcast producer. In reality, we all have smartphones and access to pretty decent equipment as is. You can record a pretty good podcast on your phone and start from there. Be a producer, make a podcast and then opportunities will come.
Finally, what are your all time favourite podcasts?
This American Life is my go to podcast purely because it’s so beautifully produced. I also adore StoryCorps and Modern Love. I love any podcast with a good human interest story. Recommendations always welcome.