When formatting your podcast episode, intro, Outro and segments and depending on the content you are broad casting, you may also want to consider content warnings on sensitive topics like suicide, sexual assault and domestic violence. Understanding how your podcast will be rated including opinions and language used is important to build trust with your listener. Finally as a form of media and an influencer, yes that’s right, hosts are influencers, there are certain responsibility and a level of accountability when it comes to the landscape of media, marketing, advertising, endorsements, sponsorships and paid content agreements. There are a number of Peak Body’s in Australia that oversee public content and whilst podcasting remains largely unregulated, it’s would be wise to know what these policies are.
Here are some tips and information that can only help you to build credibility through transparency.
“content warning” and “trigger warning.”
The purpose of a content warning is to warn audience members about types content in the episode that are unusual for the show which they may find harmful or disturbing.
The podcasting industry has been exploding for a couple of years now, and there aren’t any hard and fast rules for podcasters. I don’t hold it against a host or producer if they fail to provide me with certain information before an episode, but I can see how other listeners might find it irresponsible. Media is a tricky business, and podcasts are just one cog in the wheel.
Delving suddenly into things like body horror, gore, disturbing violence, bereavement, intense depictions of oppression, abuse, sexual assault, sexualized violence, suicide, drug use, and explicit sexuality can bring up painful personal struggles and trauma from people’s lives. In addition, sound effects like explosions and gun shots are trauma triggers for some people.
Content warnings help build trust with audience members by giving them the tools they need to make effective choices about when and how they expose themselves to content which personally impacts them.
- “Hey it’s __________ here. We do talk about suicide in this episode, which I know can be distressing. So if you need resources or support go to beyondblue.org or you for 24 hour free counselling in Australia, the number for Lifeline is 13 11 14, please look after yourself.
- “Please note that this episode contains depictions of violence that some people may find disturbing.”
- “If you want to avoid this content, skip the second half of the episode (or nominate a time stamp). Or “Exact times are given in the show notes .”
- “I’m about to give a content warning for this episode which contains mild spoilers. If you would like to avoid this, you can skip forward one minute.”
- “Content warnings for this episode are listed at the end of this show notes page,”
- ‘This is just a reminder that this episode comes with a content warning. This is simple to empower you, our audience, with the knowledge you need to make healthy decisions about how and if you should consume this podcast content.
- ‘This episode contains content that may be alarming to some listeners. Please check the show notes for more detailed descriptions and take care of yourself.
- ‘Content Warnings: Mentions of Death, Suicide. A brief but deadly traffic incident and descriptions of its aftermath occurring from 13min20sec to 15min20sec.
- ‘Content Warnings: General discussions of violence against minorities. Specific discussions of violence against minorities from 10min15sec to 10min45sec.
- ‘Before we jump in: a note on our content. This is created for adult audiences only. We advise listener and reader discretion for graphic depictions of violence, frank portrayal of sexuality, discussion of mental illness and existential struggle; and some downright filthy language. It gets might be a lot to take in, so if you need a breather— take a break or come back later.
- ‘Please note that this podcast features themes of violence, cursing and descriptions of sexual acts and desires, and is not suitable for listeners under the age of 18. Some episodes also contain themes which may be triggering, and feature content warnings. Please take care of yourself, and don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it.
- **CONTENT WARNING** This episode contains a scene with emotional abuse and homophobia, from 5.20 to 9.10. Please take care of yourself, and if you need to, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Don’t hesitate to use our resources on our website. www.insertyourwebpagehere.com
- ‘So this week we have content warnings for emotional abuse and homophobia. We have a resource page on the website, where we have tried to list as many hotlines, info-pages and support things we could find. So if you feel you need any resources like that, go to our website resources pages and hopefully you will find what you need there. Please take care of yourself, and if you need to, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.
- ‘A quick warning: This episode contains discussions of PTSD, and the depiction of traumatic events, including sounds of an explosion. Listener discretion is advised.
- ‘Content Notes: Ghosts Collective auditory hallucinations (inc. SFX) Past trauma & grief Intrusive telepathy (malevolent) Discussions of: death & afterlife Mentions of: mild language, pandemic & disease, human remains SFX: high-pitched drone
- ‘Now, on to a second and slightly more upsetting note. Today’s episode carries a trigger warning for body horror, trauma, sexual assault. Don’t worry, we don’t go into too much detail, but if you are uncomfortable about that kind of thing, you may want to avoid the second half of the episode. So, with that in mind, we hope you enjoy it.
Ratings are often required at the time of submitting to the main streaming platforms and currently there are two ratings. Clean and Explicit.
General content that informs, educates, shares and persuades about topics that are considered to be within the normal conversational range, I like to use the rule of thumb, of being able to speak with my Grandmother about it.
It may contain, ‘Sensitive Content’ issues in which you might ant to first state or disclose in the show notes – may be triggering or disturbing. By offering support or referring to services will also express to your listeners that you care about their wellbeing.
If you rate your show as clean you’ll get a ‘clean’ label.
You can also rate individual podcast episodes. This will place the ‘clean’ or ‘explicit’ label next to that episode in Apple Podcasts.
By rating your on show with disclosures that sits Between Clean ( Middle or Below ) Explicit is often rated ’PG’ and contains mild threat, and mild language.
If you tag your entire podcast as explicit you’ll get a label next to your artwork telling people parental guidance is advised.
The horror comedy audio drama, mild threats and mild language incorporates the film rating system into this short content warning that they have in the beginning of each episode.
If you are broadcasting graphic details and conversations that are naturally deemed to be distressing and would cause distress or psychological harm them disclosures are essential. I recommend an clear disclosure at the beginning and a follow up one at the end.
“If any of the content in this podcast has brought anything up for you, please reach out or speak to someone you trust.
Sponsorship, Marketing, Advertising and Influencers.
The government regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, offers a mechanism for complaints about broadcasting and whilst podcasting remains relatively unregulated, it makes for good relationships to follow ethical guidelines, policy and recommendations to avoid any legal liability.
Do not allow advertising or other commercial considerations to undermine accuracy, fairness or independence.
Do your utmost to ensure disclosure of any direct or indirect payment made for interviews, pictures, information or stories.
On July 1, the newly formed Australian Influencer Marketing Council (AIMCO) released an Influencer Marketing Code of Practice in an aim to build greater transparency and trust for the industry.
The required minimum disclosure is to use
- #Ad or
However, the following additional hashtags could be used in addition to, and not instead of, the minimum disclosure:
- Client requested # such as #brandname, #campaign
In a first for Australia, social media influencers must now abide by an Influencer Marketing Code of Practice.
And from 1 February 2021 a new advertising Code of Ethics developed by the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) will take effect which impost obligations on influencers to disclose commercial relationships in a clear, upfront manner that can be easily understood.
The two codes are closely aligned.
Sponsorship disclosure activates conceptual persuasion knowledge, which results in the use of attitudinal persuasion knowledge and ultimately lowers eWOM. (Electronic Word of Mouth)
Choosing how to disclose advertising or sponsorship contracts
As outlined above, some arrangements require you to disclose when you have any financial, employment, personal, or family relationship with a brand.
This can include everything from being paid and receiving a gift, even if you think your evaluations are unbiased or you weren’t specifically asked to review a product.
Basically, it all comes down to transparency.
There are two types of disclosure
This is a segment of the podcast that is formalised with the wording, differentiated by music or sound in the background and is of a different tone to the content being presented. Usually 30-90 seconds long. This is known as an Ad Roll.
This episode is sponsored by _________________. We are grateful for their support and recommend ………
This series is brought to you by ______________. They are an international brand with a fan base that we are proud to support and serve. They have been a driving force by the elevation of women in the media and have raised the awareness and participation rates of women in this space with financial loans and education scholarships………_____________ is our preferred choice of banking.
This version is where the host make reference/s to the product or service either having personal experience or an opinion. It seamlessly slips into the content you are presenting and endorses or recommends usage.
Now just on that topic, I want to tell you about Stylist Boating Supplies. Not only are they friends in the industry and I see them every year at the boat show, but Stylist have only just recently brought out their new range and this summer we are looking forward to a splash of seasonal colour. The new range features ……….. and offers the best durability for the harsh Australian Sun. I’ve bought our outdoor chairs five years ago and the colour hasn’t faded and it has stood the test of sea salt and storms.
See this great article by later.com
Acknowledging and Honouring Country
An Acknowledgement of Country is a way to acknowledge and pay respect to First Nations peoples as the Traditional Owners and ongoing custodians of the land.
A Welcome to Country is done by a local Traditional Owner or Elder who holds the authority and knowledge to share a welcome from a particular local region. This can be done through speech, dance, song or ceremony.
Today, inviting an Elder to perform a Welcome is a way to recognise their unceded sovereignty of ancestral lands. But it’s not always practical or necessary.
Acknowledgements are often made at the start of an event – such as a meeting, speech or formal occasion. An acknowledgement can be made by anybody – First Nations or non-Indigenous. An Acknowledgement of Country will often highlight the unique position of First Nations people in the context of culture and history, and their intimate relationship with the land.
There are many ways to make an Acknowledgement of Country. It can be spoken, written, or signed (Auslan – sign language). The words can vary and people are encouraged to do an Acknowledgement in a way that is personal and specific to place. It’s easy to copy an already scripted Acknowledgement, but it’s more meaningful to write one in your voice.
- “I would like to acknowledge that this meeting is being held on the traditional lands of the Gadigal people of the EORA nation, and pay my respect to Elders both past, present and future.”
- The Cadigal, also spelled as Gadigal and Caddiegal, are a group of Indigenous people whose traditional lands are located in Gadi, on Eora country, the current location of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
- The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance use this : ___________________(Insert Organisation name) acknowledges the traditional custodians and cultures of the lands and seas on which we live and work. We pay our respects to all First Nations peoples, elders and ancestors. We acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded, and stand in solidarity towards a shared future.
- “We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we gather, the Whadjuk people of Noongar Boodjar. We recognise their continued connection to the land and waters of this beautiful place, and acknowledge that they never ceded sovereignty. We respect all Whadjuk Elders and Ancestors, and any First Nations people here today.”- Perth WA
You can also thank First Nations people for caring for our environments and ecosystems in your Acknowledgment of Country.
You could arrange for a pre-recorded Welcome by an elder. Talk together to decide the format of the ceremony and how the person performing the Welcome will be recognised and remunerated for their time and commitment.
For more information on Formatting your podcast episode or Interview check out other posts here on Shire POD