How To Host A Podcast: with The High Low
We've got a New Year on our hands, dear readers, so what better time than now to dive headfirst into that creative project you've been tentatively planning - and putting off executing - for all of 2017. Last month we learned How To Publish A Book, and this month (or at least part of it) will be dedicated to the ever more pressing issue of How To Host A Podcast. We're extraordinarily pleased to say that here to help us all on our road to podcasting success are the wonderful Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton, whose podcast The High Low is a stalwart of our Wednesday mornings. Over to them...
Why did you bring The High Low into existence?
P: We wanted to work together - and it was a medium that our newspaper had then not yet explored. We started with the PanDolly podcast and when I left The Sunday Times (where I was an editor) we started a new, independent one, called The High Low. We spotted a real gap in the market for a current affairs and pop culture podcast, hosted by two young women - pitched somewhere between Women’s Hour and Loose Women, but with a younger audience. There was also something tonally that we really wanted to do with The High Low, which has remained our mantra: to elevate the low brow, and make the high brow relatable, by using the same smart tone when discussing any topic, big or small.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known early on?
P: To not let ourselves be rail loaded. To know that we have an excellent product and that we don’t need anyone else to legitimise that.
D: to have the confidence to tackle any subject matter with sensitivity, grace, curiosity and intelligence – it took me a little while to realise I’m not “underqualified” to talk about certain subjects.
How much time do you dedicate to running the High Low?
P: It’s about 2 days a week work - not the recording, but with the e-mails, meetings, contracts, social media and event brainstorming.
Is it imperative that you know how to use high-tech recording gear?
P: Yes we want it to sound really slick. That’s why we have a producer, too, rather than cutting it ourselves.
D: Some people don’t mind a more home-grown, on-the-road tone and atmosphere, for us, we like it to sound more clean and studio-based.
How did you monetise the podcast?
P: By working with partners. We’ve been lucky to work with some brilliant household names like Nars, Sainsburys, PopChips and Google. We think really hard about good brand alignments, as they are key to building The High Low as a business and a media platform.
Do… your research.
Don’t… waffle for Britain. Editing is key!