Communicating with employees doesn’t have to be a tedious experience on an intranet that never gets visited. Startup Dive.fm wants to help companies create relevant podcasts for employees.
At some point, companies get so big that you can no longer gather all your employees around one table. And as the company grows, it becomes both harder and more important to communicate values as well as overall progress to employees across teams, departments and locations – so everyone is pulling in the same direction.
For many companies, the intranet has been the main channel for that task for decades; an internal communication tool that has become almost synonymous with uninspiring and dry information. And as new channels like Linkedin and Slack have made inroads, the intranet has become less and less relevant.
“The intranet is really there for employees to get news from the company – when there’s news in other departments or a new strategy. But many employees find out about new initiatives on Linkedin or in the press – not on the intranet,” says Vlad Gidea.
That’s why Vlad Gidea founded Dive.fm, a company that aims to help companies make communication with employees more effective and exciting by using podcasting as a channel.
The basic idea behind Dive.fm is a closed digital universe where companies can publish different podcasts for their employees. But early in the development of the platform, the startup discovered that they shouldn’t just build the management and distribution of podcasts in a closed forum. They also needed to make it easy for the company to actually record podcasts.
“We started focusing a lot on creator tools early on, because without them we would just be a closed Spotify for companies,” says Vlad Gidea, founder and CEO of Dive.fm.
In practice, Dive.fm helps from the planning stage – before the record button is pressed. Here, the user can build their story around a slideshow, noting the main points and defining the length of each point.
When recording starts, the slideshow is displayed directly on the phone as a kind of teleprompter, so the host can continuously see the planned topics and follow the time.
After the recording is in house, the audio file is already divided into bites corresponding to the planned points from the slideshow, so it is easy to cut or rearrange at the back. At the same time, the platform has a few technical aces up its sleeve, eliminating background noise and improving voice quality. And it automatically transcribes the entire recording, which helps in the editing phase: if you remove a sentence from the transcribed text, the software itself cuts the corresponding chunk out of the audio file.
“We want to make it so easy that every employee has the skills to record a podcast that is relevant and sounds good – it shouldn’t just be one person at headquarters who is the originator of it all,” says Vlad Gidea.
More than just an intranet
With its tool for producing engaging audio, Dive.fm hopes to take the intranet to a new level, where employees actually want to listen in on news or motivational prompts from management on their way to work. But the startup also believes the audio format has the potential to be more than that.
“We see it not just as internal communication, but as a tool to engage employees in a meaningful way more generally. For example, as a tool HR can use for onboarding,” says Vlad Gidea.
The solution from Dive.fm is free to get started with for small teams, while it costs a subscription per user if the whole company is on. The startup is currently testing the solution with a number of large Danish companies that already use podcasts internally or externally.
Dive.fm was a finalist in last year’s Slush100 – as one of the youngest startups pitching on stage alongside other European startups that already had venture capital behind them.
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