The Office of Communications produces a flagship podcast, Better Off.

Podcasts at the Harvard Chan School should follow these best practices:

  • Podcasts should contain more than one episode. If you plan to produce only one episode, we recommend working with an existing podcast series to release your audio content.
  • Do not simply post audio from a lecture as a podcast. Record a “top” and a “tail” for each episode to provide context to the listener. For example, if you created a podcast from a monthly lecture series, your “top” would include the date and location the lecture took place, as well as the speakers’ names and titles. The “tail” might include information about sponsoring organizations and a preview of the next week’s episode.
  • Record high-quality audio for your podcast. Record in a quiet space, and use high-quality microphones.
  • Edit out long silences, noise, and “housekeeping” (such as time spent adjusting microphones before the conversation begins).
  • The Harvard Chan School’s Media and Educational Technology Services (METS) can provide assistance in selecting appropriate technology for recording and editing sound.

Podcasting accessibility

All Harvard University affiliates must provide transcripts for every podcast episode. We recommend using a podcasting distribution tool that allows you to upload a transcript as metadata for each episode. Simplecast is one tool that includes this feature.

Otherwise, the best practice is to post a transcript to your website as a news story or blog item and provide a link to that transcript in your podcast episode description.