19: Launching a Podcast at Skidmore College w/ Jackie Vetrano

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Jackie Vetrano, Social Media Coordinator at Skidmore College, explains the storytelling, content and brand benefits of launching a podcast, and why your college or university may want to launch your very own.

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...welcome back to an Roman GrowthUniversity, Imericleson AVP of marketing, AF, helics education andwe're here today with Jackie vetrano social media, cordinator at skinmorecollege and Co host of the highered social podcast, Jackie welcomed to theshow hi. Thank you so much for havving me. I'm really EXCLITEDD, thanks forbeing here. So much weare going super podcast inception today to this isskidmore a podcast that Jackie and her team launched at skimmore college.That's three seasons in now we're going to talk about lessons, learned impactand why your college or university might want to launch a podcast to, butbefore we do get too deep into that Jackie. Can you GE the listeners alittle bit better understanding of both skinmore and your rule? There yeah, soskinmore college is a small liveralart school up in Sarah Tova Springs NewYork, which is best known for its horse racing, but we're about three and ahalf four hours north of New York City for those who aren't familiar with NewYork state, so there at skitmore Iam as social media coordinator.Unsurprisingly, in charge of all things: Social Media for the College, I run allof our main accounts and I also basically support other folks on campus,who are running their own social media...

...channels. I focus on engagement. I getto do some really fun stuff and I get to look at data and then I kind ofpicked up this podcast thing. So I am the producer host promoter, as it were,of this is skidmore and it's been almost two years three seasons of thisshow, and it's been really great. I Love I love it excited to talk to youabout it today when I first started. Listening to this is skit more, Ithought. Oh, this is definitely a prospect tool. Jackie has designed thisto aid in the recruitment process, but, as I kept listening, I realized boy.This is a great internal communication vehicle as well, though, and then Ithink I heard one of your faculty guests and I realize wow. This isabsolutely a faculty recruiting tool as well. What actually were and and areyour audience schools for the podcast, so I hate answering this questionbecause, as a marketer, I feel like you're supposed to have a very you know.You have a very specific audience. It's awful. When someone comes in and says Iwant to promote this thing to everybody. You know everybody's not an audienceright, but truly we struggled in the...

...beginning with when we wanted to enterthis space of you know. Who is this podcast? Actually, for- and you know wethought about- is it just an enrollment, you know initiative? Is it just foralumni to promote more participation and giving? Is it an internal tool? Wesaw all these pros and cons to all these different audiences and Sowe saidyou know what we can craft really great content that will be relevant to atleast two audiences for each episode at least so we figured. We could use thisas really like a brand awareness piece and promote each episode individually,based on the content to the proper audience. So when we talk aboutathletics on campus and what athletes are participating in as well as theirstudies, that's a great perspective student tool, but we can also sell thatto our alumni because they may have en athletes themselves and they canreminisce about how great it was to be a part of Gid more athletics. So I wantto say we have a specific audience, but we really do popro podcast to everybodyalove. Let's talk about that promotion...

...in terms of three seasons in two years.Now, how is the podcast Coron of the last two years and where are youpromoting, as specifically yeah? It's definitely grown in regard to the stories that were telling in thefirst season we kind of grabb the low hanging fruit, which I'm not ashamed of.You know we talked about. We talked with our tour guides about you knowlike what does it mean to be a tour guide on campus and what's yourexperience like we talked to some faculty about their classes? We talkedabout things that were relevant to the time, so we grabbed our women'sbasketball, coach and a math professor who studies sport statistics andactually put them in a room together doing Marc, Tadne Awso. It's reallygreat. You know we really had the time to think about the stories that we'retelling, because it's a bi, weekly podcast. We get a little bit of leewayin between ch o those episodes to think about what's relevant now, but alsowhat can we talk about? You know in Thi Kit, more experience, so it really hasgrown. It's obviously grown in listens...

...in downloads episode over episode. Soit's been a success. I would say I really love that idea of the basketballstats episode during March madness. It Super Fin. How conscious are you abouttrying to strategically newsjack things like that versus he kind of creatingeverygreen content? That's still relevant, you know three seasons inyeah, it's a it's, a balance that we've tried to figure out and we'redefinitely getting a lot better at it. We, for example, during women's historymonth, we decided to put out podcasts that were relevant to women. You knowstrong women on our campus, so we talked about a class with a professorand one of the students in the class called disorderly women, which was areally interesting episode. I definitely think to listen to it. Thatprobably was my favorite one for sure it was really cool backcrafting. Ourprofessor is amazing, so it was just a really great. You know nod to women'shestory month at wasn't like hey everyone. You know we're here, it'swomen's history months, so we're going to talk about women, but it wasrelevant at the time we've done. Like I...

...said March madness during the fifteen year anniversary ofnine eleven, we actually did a podcast episode about where our students andour faculty in our staff were at the time of the attack. So we have thisbalance of things that are timely in the global or even the localconversation, but we also want to highlight the great things aboutskidmore, because we also want to think about our perspective. Studentsaudience as well as our alumni audience and our current student audience. It'sreally awesome. Jaggie, most podcast launches start really fast, and thenthis siys a lot. I believe I've heard that the average podcast only everreleases three episodes and total they get excited. They have a hard timefinding traction or knowing what to create next May lose interest. How haveyou managed to personally maintain your own enthusiasm to where your recordingseason three now and what keeps you wanting to keep it up? I think part ofit is because I'm actually only two years into being a skid more. You know,members of a skimmore community. So a...

...lot of this when I get to interviewfaculty staff students, I'm learning a lot of things for the first time, andso I think that's what makes me so excited to keep doing this and also beable to tell the story to all these folks who either have some sort ofconnection to skit more through their own studies there. Maybe their childwent there. You know whatever or say: Hey High School student, see yourselfhere. Listen to these students, talk about their experience and think abouthow this could be in one day. So it's really exciting and I mean big oncollege campus were lucky. We have a ton of stories to tell you know: We'vegot Amazing Faculty Theyre Doing Awesome Research. Our students areparticipating in that research they're winning these amazing awards not onlyin the classroom but in things like athletics or out in the community. Sowe don't really run out of things to talk about and really podcasting iseasier than writing up a textbased story. Sometimes you know, sitting downwith someone and saying hey talk to me...

...for a half hour is a lot easier thantrying to put that down on paper and it's lot more engaging. So I reallylove doing it. It's really fun as awesome, and I love seeing how you'retaking the audio from the podcast and you're repurposing that content, likeyou mentioned, for instance, I've seen you in bed stories within relatedarticles in your website or create new articles from the stories alltogetheryou're, not just creating a podcast you're, creating great audio contentand great stories that you can repurpose throughout your college,communications, yeah and that's kind of how I see the podcast and I won't sayall podcast are kind of storytelling. But really this is skinmore is just away to tell our story in an engaging way. The same way that we would look atlike a video or a photo gallery. This is just another tool that we have atour disposal: Jeggi any audio equipment or production advice, or lessons learnthat you wish you had known before. You started yeah a big lesson learn, so Imyself and my cohost at the time didn't know anything about audio, and so wesaid, Oh, we have this snowball Mike.

It's an Ominie Directional Mike,meaning that it will pick up any sound. That is around it three hundred sixtydegrees. So let's just put that in the middle of everybody. That's talking andit'll. Be Fine. Don't do that. It is not a good idea, so it took us about a season. I think,to really figure out that that was not the best way to capture clean audio,and so we connected with our teamment media services and they said Yeah.That's that's really silly. You know there's a much better way that you cando this. So all of our guests, we max out at four people on a podcast episode.I think I need more than that. It just gets hard to keep it within areasonable amount of time, and let everybody have a chance to talk, so everybody in the room has their ownmicrophone. I don't even know what they're called to be honest with you,but they're. Basically, the type of microphone you'd have it like Karaokether're, nothing super fancy. You know. As long as you have a pretty solid roomand a good setup, you can get really really clean audio. So now thateverybody has their own Mike, you could...

...tell if you listen to episode, oneversus one that we just recently released. He'll definitely be able totell the difference between the two microphones, it's awesome, and so sofrom an initial cost requirement to get started and a a management editingrequirement on your part. But what kind of investment would colleges inuniversitis be looking like before pursuing starting a podcast? Really nota lot of money? To be honest, you know the microphone. The cost of thatdefinitely varies, but they're, not expensive and odds. Are Your MediaServices or anyone? That's doing audio on your campus. Probably has amicrophone or two that you can use, or you can connect with them and say thisis something we want to invest in. You know, can you help us, so that's prettycheap and then the only other cost associated is wherever you're hostingthe podcast to provide the RSS feed. You know sound cloud has like a monthlysubscription, there's other ones out there that have either one yearsubscription based or a monthly subscription base. But in the the grandscheme it is not a huge investment to get started. Awesome, Jackyou, reallygood stuff. I think you've probably got...

...folks really starting to think aboutwhether this is right for them. Any finaly advice you have for fourlisteners who are thinking about thinking about starting a podcast iththeir institution. What should they keep in mind before pressing recordyeah? I think you definitely want to have a plan. I think it's hard to. Ithink when you say that most podcast only launch about three episodes. It'sbecause you haven't really thought that far ahead, like yeah, you know, there'sall this energy behind it, but you really do have to make a plan about.What's the goal of the PODCAST, how frequently are we going to put U Thispodcast? You definitely want to be on a schedule. Ultimately, we chose byweekly because we knew that there was no way we were going to be able tosupport a weekly podcast, along with all of our other actual job,perspoctibilities yeah, because you know I'm not hired to produce a podcast.So those are two things and then really there's going to be this point, and Ithink everybody feels it when theethey're starting to come up with apodcast idea where you are just thinking all about it. You've made thisplan and you're trying to you go over the plan. There's all these details.You switch up your mind and there's...

...going to be this point where you feellike you're overthinking it and that's the point where you should record yourfirst episode and really when you record it doesn't mean you have tolaunch it right away and I would recommend launching it actually, whenyou have a couple kind of ready to go so that you're not trying to keep upwith yourself you're, always a little bit ofhead and listeners really likethe opportunity to binge listen. So if you were to release you know the firstthree episodes right away and then start yourself on your schedule, kindof that following week your listeners would appreciate you know theopportunity to binge. You know here in this this world of Netflix and Holo,and you know all this ondemand type stuff. Now people are used to sittingand listening or watching for a long period of time. So if you did releasemore than one at once, that's actually not something we did, but going back. Iwould probably try that check you the best such good stuff. What's the bestplace for listeners to connect with you if they have any followed questionsyeah, you can fin me on twitter. I'm there all the time, I'm at JackieVetronto. If you want to connect with me on Linkeddon, please let me knowthat you heard me on this podcast...

...because I don't like quick people. Idon't know, but definitely let me know I'd love to connect with you and youcan find me ot my website, Jackie vetronnercom. If you want to shoot me amessage or see anything else that we're doing at kid war awesome thanks againso much for joining a SA Jackie Ture thing: You've been listening to enromentgrowth university from helics education to ensure that you never miss anepisode subscribe to the show in Itunes were your favorite podcast player.Thank you so much for listening until next time.

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