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8th May 2019 Jacqueline Haxton

Why do video when a podcast would be better? #DigiLab

Kyra CrossAudience Development Officer at Ideas Test, explains how a Digital Lab session on podcasts inspired her to create podcast content as part of her #DigiLab experiment.

If you asked me a few months ago about how I felt about my Digital Lab project I would have probably sent you a gif of Michael Scott from The Office (US version) looking visibly worried.

My colleague Jade, who is also on the Digital Lab programme had the brilliant idea of creating an ‘Instazine’, a mini Instagram magazine that is posted each month. Due to some major events and projects, which seemed to all happen at the same time, I felt that I hadn’t progressed very far. The feeling that I was lagging behind my peers I think was partly the impostor syndrome I think everyone one has at one time or another.

But … you’ll be glad to learn that I’ve had a breakthrough! 

Originally my idea had been to create video content about our organisation and the projects we do. This was a bit of a daunting prospect for me. I have some experience with video but I was concerned that it may not look professional.

In the meantime I took part in all the sessions Digital Lab offered. One session in particular caused me to have a startling revelation about my project, which I think has not only improved it, but has the possibility to continue beyond Digital Lab. During Hannah Hethmon’s podcast session I had the thought: “Why am I doing a video when a podcast would be better?” It’s a growing medium, a great way to communicate with people.

One of my colleagues once said that if I could talk to everyone they would understand what we do. A podcast is an ideal platform to create that. Also we have a few community radio stations in the area that we could offer the podcast to as local content.

Hannah’s session was so thorough that I didn’t need to ask any questions as she already answered them. Issues around accessibility were a concern, but Hannah showed that podcasts can be transcribed in various low cost methods. Plus I already have experience in audio editing, and Ideas Test has quality audio recording equipment, so the initial costs would be lower. All I needed was a great story to tell.

That story is going to be about our Youth Programme project: Swale’s Big Music Takeover. It’s a programme funded by Youth Music for young people that includes music performance, production, and other opportunities connected to the music industry. Through the project’s Audiocamps workshops, young people will learn about radio presenting and production, with visits to radio stations, and the chance to make their own show. It seems a perfect fit with a podcast.

But I always feel that there should be a back up plan in place, just in case something happens and I can’t record audio during the Audiocamps workshops.

I’m creating a trial podcast (an ‘Episode 0’) where some members of our team have informal chats with each other about our jobs and what we do. Not only will it demystify and humanise our organisation, but it will be good to assess how long the podcast will take to make, trial the uploading and RSS feeds, and to make sure everything runs smoothly for future episodes. I’m looking at keeping this podcast short, around 15 minutes or so. 

After talking to our amazing mentor Seb Chan, I’m already coming up with questions that I can use analytics to answer, not only in my podcast project but across the whole of our organisation.

So as my second blog comes to a close you find me in a much better place. I have a plan, now to make a podcast!

 

Image courtesy of Sound and Music © Dimitri Djuric. Christina Kubisch, Electrical walk at Cut & Splice by Sound and Music, 2017.