Celebrating Gold at the British Podcast Awards: The making of a stand-out corporate podcast

At 18Sixty, we’re still riding high (and still pinching ourselves) on the thrill of having our client’s corporate podcast win the gold award for the Best Business Podcast at the 2023 British Podcast Awards. The Third Angle, outshone stiff competition from the likes of the FT, The Economist, and the BBC.

The judges said “This is how to do a corporate podcast, it’s a perfect example of how business podcasts can tackle subjects beyond the usual productivity buzzwords with style and depth – and the fact that it’s also an excellent demonstration of the power of branded podcasts is just icing on the cake. I love the fact that they get more from the guests than just a simple interview. The tours and interactive parts bring this to a different level. It’s a blend of geeky and clever – but also really accessible.”

I’m really proud of this achievement, and of the whole team behind it as it shows that corporate podcasts, made with flair and with a solid strategy behind them, really can stand out. So, I wanted to share some of our production process.

A Unique Perspective on Design and Engineering

At its core, The Third Angle explores the world of design and engineering. It gives the listener the chance to get inside the innovative minds behind some of the world’s leading products. Proudly produced for PTC, who are an industrial software company, trusted by the engineering and design circles of global giants, this podcast was never about being just another corporate show.

The challenge with corporate podcasts can be trying not to fall foul of veering into advertorial territory or giving the listener the impression they’re eavesdropping on a conference call rather than listening to an exciting piece of journalism.

The Secret Sauce of The Third Angle

Every podcast we make begins with a simple question: Who is the target audience, and why would they listen? Without answering the audience question – who’ll be listening to this podcast – the podcast is likely to be purely self-serving.

For The Third Angle, we aimed to not only spotlight PTC’s technological contributions to companies like Volvo, Airfix, M&S, and Casio but also to craft those stories so that they resonate with curious minds in the engineering and design fields (and potentially beyond). We want to create a memorable podcast that people are likely to tell their friends and co-workers about.

We intentionally avoided the often-tread path of two experts conversing over Zoom. Instead, we take listeners to the heart of the action, that means going on location, with the people who work with PTC’s software daily, across continents and industries. That could be a lab in Denmark, a workshop in Essex, or a factory floor in Nairobi.

Recording on location for The Third Angle with host Paul Haimes

From brief to episode: The importance of planning and research

Our commitment at 18Sixty is to tell compelling stories in a distinctive way. For The Third Angle that means meticulous planning, rigorous research, and the crucial pre-interview are all vital parts of the process. As we’re using our network of producers all over the world we need to make sure they’re fully briefed. So for each episode we’ll have a fact-finding call where we’re scoping out the background on the guest and what drives them, but also details about the product, and importantly where we can go, who we can talk to and what we can see, and if possible, demo!

Back in the edit, we use the immersive audio and interview content we’ve gathered to craft a narrative that helps the listener feel like they’re there, experiencing the product.

Every element of The Third Angle, from custom artwork to social media posts and assets, is thoughtfully curated to create a memorable identity for the podcast. We even composed a distinctive soundtrack for the podcast, the brief was to make it sound futuristic, ‘pop-science’, and fun.

Not Just Another Corporate Podcast

The success of The Third Angle serves as a testament to our belief at 18Sixty that corporate podcasts can be both insightful and engaging whilst still conveying what a brand stands for. We love to push boundaries and ask ‘how can break from the norm and do this differently?’ and a massive shoutout to our partners at PTC for totally embracing that ethos.

The business podcast genre is one of the most exciting and inspiring, but it’s also one of the most crowded, so it’s never been more important to embrace uniqueness, and memorability. So, if you’re reading this and contemplating starting a new podcast – challenge yourself, ask ‘how can we make this different?’ and always aim to stand out.