Yale Digital Conference: So You Want to Launch a Podcast? A Case Study from Yale SOM

Yale Digital Conference: So You Want to Launch a Podcast? A Case Study from Yale SOM


– I guess we can get
started, hi, everyone. Thanks, for coming and spending some time with me today, and talking podcasts. I see a lot of familiar faces, so thanks. For those who don’t
know me, my name is Amy, I work at the Yale School of Management, I’m Director of Digital. I wear a lot of hats within
the Communications Department. I often, I sort of describe that as sort of part product, part project, social, and now, sort of
like a work side hustle being a podcast producer. I’m really lucky, in
that we have a broad team with lots of talent, and so, we’re able to kind of job craft as we go. And so, podcasting is just
something that sort of came to me recently, and I absolutely love it. So why am I, the Director of Digital, talking to you about podcasts? And actually I’m gonna talk
about my commute a little bit. I commute about two hours a day. And I’ve been working here
for almost seven years, so I’ve done the math, and
that’s 2688 hours of commuting, which is a lot of podcasts. I can’t tell you exactly how
many of podcasting that is, but I love podcasts, I
listen to them often. And a lot of us within
my, you know, within SOM have just thought, we should
really launch a podcast. So, you know, it’s taken
a couple years to go from let’s launch a podcast,
to actually doing it. So I thought I should talk
about it, I should share, share our journey a little a bit. And I want to stress I’m not an expert. So feel free to leave the
room, I won’t be offended, but I’m definitely not a podcast expert. I’m just somebody like
you who loves podcasts, who wants to promote and
celebrate the great work we do at my school, and has found that this is a great platform to do that. I thought I would share with
you our journey for that. But first, oops, first I wanted to, here are a few of the
podcasts I love and listen to. It changes all the
time, but, I don’t know, it’s sort of like looking
in my purse, or you know, this is if you open my podcast app, this is what you would see. And of course, Career
Conversations is what I’m gonna, is what I’m here to talk about today. So I probably do not need
to make a case for podcasts, because if you’re here,
chances are you’re a fan of the medium, or want to get to know it a little bit better. Podcasting is not new, it’s
been around for quite awhile, but it is professionalizing right now. There’s a lot of listening platforms, and innovations happening within podcasting that are pretty exciting. There was a recent, or sort of recent, Pew survey that shows that podcasts, the podcast audience is growing. 26% of Americans have
listened to a podcast at least once a month. And they tend to be more college educated, and that’s good for us at Yale. For those of us who
create content at Yale, this seems to be a great platform. They are college educated folks
who are probably interested in what we’re all doing And if you’re interested in
where podcasting is going, I actually just listened to
a really fantastic episode on the A16z podcast, about
where they think it’s going, some of the innovations
that are happening. So I encourage you to
check that episode out, I’ve linked to it in my presentation, which I can, of course, share. I’m gonna introduce you to our podcast, it’s called Career Conversations. And if you, if I find
you looking at you phone, I hope you’re subscribing
to our podcast right now. Wherever you get your podcast, just search for Yale Career Conversations, and you should find it pretty easily. Subscribe, rate us, if I don’t
say that, I would be remiss. So what is Career Conversations? It’s a podcast series
where SOM students sit down with alumni for a series
of candid conversations about career paths, industries,
opportunities for MBAs, and discussions on various career topics. They really range from work-life balance, to very specific opportunities
for MBAs within a field, challenges, and we also usually touch upon their experience at SOM, and even get some faculty shout-outs, and
course shout-outs, as well. And of course, because our
mission is educating leaders for business and society, it’s also a great platform to reflect that. And so, often a lot of our questions, whether they’re direct
or indirect, touch upon how they are leaders
within that confluence of business and society. So we’re just about to
conclude our first season of Career Conversations. We’ve had a total of seven
guests, there’s six here, because we’re just
launching one next week. But you’ll see where
we’ve sort of attempted to connect current students
with alumni across sectors, as well as demographic backgrounds. So kind of stepping
back, I thought I would share with you a little bit about how we approached Career Conversations. It didn’t happen overnight, obviously, in fact, it took quite awhile. But once we decided we
wanted to do a podcast, it happened pretty quickly. And I think there’s a spectrum of ways to execute upon a launch of a podcast. I think we landed right in the middle. We did a lot of strategy,
we, you know, several of us in the Communications
Department sat in a room, we brainstormed, and we narrowed it down. We found a co-producer,
and we worked through it. But I would say, you know,
the more time you can spend at the strategy part
of your podcast launch, the better you’ll be. That means you’ll spend less
time on the production side, which is probably also gonna mean that you’re gonna spend a lot less money. So as much time as you can
spend pondering strategy, and consulting with your
colleagues across Yale, there’s a lot of great folks that, that can actually help
you out in this process, and I’ll get to that in a little bit. So what did we think? So I’ll share a little bit about how Yale, how Yale SOM thought about
this, to hopefully help you on your own podcasting journey. So we wanted it to be a
community-building exercise, both in how we put the podcast together, but also how it lived out in the world. Meaning, as we produced
the podcast, we wanted to be connecting students, and
alums, and faculty members, using various parts of the university. And so, we really thought it would be a community-building exercise. We wanted it to sustain
and deepen the bonds among our students and alums,
and our fans of the school. I’ll say fans, because
they’re maybe not necessarily within our community,
but people that love SOM. And then, we also wanted
it to support our mission for business and society,
that’s always the lens for which we create
content, and share content. And, of course, finally,
if we’re doing all that really well, we’re probably
attracting the right folks to the school, right? So prospective students,
getting the right people to our programs. Sorry, I’m gonna just a, all right. So I talked a little bit about, that was a little bit
about audience, right, we have this kind of
internal, a lot of internal and it kind of builds out to the bullseye of kind of our fans and
prospective students. And then, we wanted to also understand what the competitive
landscape looked like. There’s a lot of business schools that are doing similar
things, producing similar audio formats. I’d say one of the most successful is MIT’s Data Made to Matter. If you’re looking to launch
a podcast, I feel like you should look very closely
to what you’re thinking about, but also look more broadly. I think logistically we’re
probably not gonna be competing with huge, you know,
five producer podcasts, but probably more like the HBS, Michigan Ross, or MIT models. And then, of course, what’s
your, what’s your USP, what’s your hypothesis for launching this, and kind of blending that all together? And so, I think that’s
kind of the final step in the strategy, after you’ve
done these sort of goal exercises, as well as,
checking out your audience and competitive analysis,
kind of distilling that into your hypothesis. And so, for Career Conversations, that’s when we came up with, you know, we really wanted this to be something that would reflect
our entire community. And so, we put students
together with alums currently at the school,
talking about different, with their experiences within each sector. So pre-production, so the first step in a podcast kind of launch
or, is your strategy, right? That’s kind of sitting in a
room, whether it’s an hour, you can take an hour, you
can bring some colleagues in, spend a few hours, a few months, or much longer. And then once you’re done
with that strategy process, what does pre-production look like? I have to say that I was not prepared for the amount of time
that this would take. In fact, so prepare yourself, right? It’s gonna take you much
longer than you think. These are just a few of the
things you want to think about in what I call pre-production. Did I mention I’m not an expert? (people laughing) I learned a lot in this process. You want to think about
your production schedule, and really kind of being
as, planning that out as much as possible. This is kind of a glimpse at what the production schedule looked
like for our season one. And you’ll see there’s various fields for, and this is pretty specific,
but I think it’s good to be specific, right? So you have when we’re
releasing something, who the folks are that
are being interviewed. In our case, you know,
we had to book a studio, we had to schedule Zoom calls, we had, sometimes we had a remote
producer, et cetera, et cetera. So this sort of represents
kind of the bird’s eye view. And then there’s a lot of in-person prep, and you’re developing
scripts and briefing docs. So let me talk a little bit about that. Our podcast, we paired we
a student with an alum. So the student’s usually on campus, the alum can be anywhere,
from we’ve recorded interviews with folks in San Francisco,
and London, and New York City. And so, that takes a little bit of prep. You know, finding a shared time to find a time to record would take a little time. But we like to do as much
in-person prep as possible. And again, this is sort of the
spend more time at the outset so that when you’re in production you’re saving yourself some time. So in-person prep is really important for all these interviews. Developing scripts and briefing docs. This is also something I
didn’t really anticipate, but which had really helped
the process, and I feel like by mid-season I was really good at it. I was really great at
creating a briefing doc. Oh, I guess you’re not
seeing what I’m seeing. Here we go. So creating briefing documents
so that both parties, wherever they were in the process, would understand what was going on. You’d be shocked to know
how many folks on the day of the podcast recording
thought is this video, or is this just, you know? It was still, you could
never be too specific to what you think is obvious. So I created a briefing doc,
and I would encourage you, and wherever you are in your podcast prep, to create briefing docs. Be as specific as possible,
and also, scripts. I think it’s sort of
obvious stating the obvious, but, I think scripts are really important, reviewing those scripts
as much as possible with your interviewer. Securing audio, tape sync, studio time. I think we’ll talk a
little bit about kind of your quality requirements, but I think that’s also really important. And then, also, Outlook reminders, I think we’re all fans, or not fans of Outlook, but we all use it. I ended up using Outlook quite a bit to sort of be that locus
for all that information to organize for everybody
that was involved, and that was really helpful. Here’s one of our students, Max Dworin, and he was interviewing somebody who was obviously not there. And so, most of our
episodes featured a student. In our studio at SOM, we’re
lucky to have a studio space and alum somewhere else. We thought most episodes
will look like this, happy students, seamless,
press a button, good-to-go. But, that was not really
not always the case. Sometimes, I actually had to, you know, the studio wasn’t available, the tape sync person canceled,
and I had to drag somebody in my office, run to the Apple
Store to grab a microphone, quickly setup a Zencastr feed,
and just record at my desk. You know, you never
know what’s gonna happen with these things. So for production, I would
say, you know, consider, ask yourself a few questions. What’s your audio style? What’s your tolerance for great audio quality,
or so-so audio quality? Which probably depends on your budget. And then have you consulted an expert? I think there’s some
folks here that work at the Yale Broadcasting Center. Guy’s over there. Of course, we have one at SOM, and I hear CTL also has one. Those are all great resources. I would encourage you
to seek out any resource that you can, as a consultant. But, I think also at the end of the day, consider that spectrum
of quality, and maybe DIY is the way to go, right? When it comes to post-production, your post-production checklist, there’s a lot of things to consider. Are you gonna be editing
and mixing this yourself, or are you gonna hire somebody? Hire somebody. (people laughing) What’s an MP3 file,
and what’s ID3 tagging? You should probably figure
out what those things are. Everything is available by Google. But again, get an editor. Show notes, I think this
is another important part of the process when it comes
to how you’re promoting and how you’re offering,
and kind of augmenting that content that you’re sharing. Transcripts are really
important, you know, accessibility at Yale is really important, it’s something we take into
consideration all the time, so absolutely, positively,
transcribe your episodes. When it comes to reviewing
and approving episodes, obviously, we want things to
be as seamless as possible, and pretty quick. But, I always like to
give a courtesy review to the folks that I’ve interviewed or were part of the process. And then, audiograms and promotion we’ll touch on a little bit. So this is, let’s see if I can play this. – [Michael] Having meaning in my work is really vitally important,
and it’s the main motivation for becoming and doing
what I do every day. Fortunately, in healthcare,
it’s been relatively easy for me to find meaning in the work. Being able to sit with
patients and their families, and really see the effect
that we have on their lives is a way that provide real meaning. But, I think… – So I just shared this
one example of promotion that we found to be successful,
which is an audiogram. There’s free apps to do
these sorts of things. Headliner app is one of
the ones that we’ve used, so that’s something that we’ve utilized. So publishing and promoting. Obviously, there’s so many
ways and so many directions you can go with this. We tend to write a news story,
and we’ve templatized it, so I don’t have to reinvent
the wheel every time we launch an episode. We’ve decided to launch a
new episode every two weeks, so rather than just dump them all at once. For us, we thought it
would be great to kind of slowly acquire
followers and subscribers, so that we can increase our listenership and create more opportunities
to promote along the way. However, if you already
have a great following, maybe just dumping a whole
season at once is the way to go, and then promoting it thereafter. We create news articles for
each one, I embed a SoundCloud listening tool within that,
and we often will link out to some other resources and show notes. You’ll see we post, we often
post on Instagram and Twitter. And then, in the case of Dr. Apkon, who was one of our, one
of our interviewees, he works at the Tufts Medical Center, so they were kind enough to promote that. And so, sort of coordinating
with your subjects, obviously, is sort of a great, a great thing to always do. So lessons learned. Set aside twice the
time you think you need to do anything, the whole thing. Strategy, twice the time. Production, pre-production, launching it, it’s gonna take three times the time. 3x your budget, if you can. Create a trailer. What I learned sort of halfway through the process of launching was
that getting your feed setup with Apple, for example,
takes quite awhile. It can take anywhere from
three days to three weeks, it’s sort of a black box. The trailer sort of is your test, your test episode, if you will. So if you’re gonna launch
anything through the Apple Store, I recommend you do a launch
with a trailer first. And it can be a 30 second, or a 10 second, a little bit of audio promoting your podcast. But then, usually, thereafter,
it’s a pretty quick, a couple hours at most. And then always have a Plan B, or a Plan C, and a Plan D. You know, I can’t… As my colleagues Emily and
Jonathan know, who are here, who have heard me kind of go
into your offices and say, “Can you believe Dr. Apkon’s
canceled for the third time, “can you believe?” There are so many variables, and if you can simplify your production, the better off you’ll be. I think going into it I
thought we don’t need a host, this is great, I can pair
a student with an alum, this is perfect! However, what I didn’t
anticipate was not having a host and I know you’re a host, right, host’s are great, they’re important, I sort of wish I had thought
that, maybe, we do need a host. So not having a host, here’s what happens. I have to prep in-person every student. When you’re in the studio with them, you need to interrupt them,
remind how to say something, how to do something. Some of our students don’t have, you know, English maybe
isn’t their first language. And so, you have to do
many, many, many takes. Which is fine, and I think
that’s important for us, we want that breathe of
international students are important to us. It just takes a little
bit more prep, right, when you don’t have a host. So a lesson learned Also, when you’re scheduling interviews with faculty members who are very busy, with alums who are eminent in their field, these are busy folks. They certainly want to help
out and engage with you. However, they’re probably
going to cancel on you at the last moment. Sometimes, with very little notice. And so, what does that mean? It doesn’t seem like a
big deal, you have a free, now you have a free hour in your schedule. However, when you’re
a producer, that means telling the studio, re-booking the studio, telling the tape sync
person, this happened to be with a person in London, I had to cancel the tape sync person in London. I had to cancel our on-site. I also had to tell our student. And so, there’s this whole series of dominoes that falls,
and you have to do it, in the case of Dr. Apkon, three times. He happens to be an
amazing, very nice person, so that helped. However, it made it, it
makes it extremely stressful. I will also kind of, you know, I mentioned budget, triple your budget. Now, you can bootstrap
this, and I encourage you to bootstrap it, right? Not everything has to be kind
of a very high-end production. You know, get Zencastr. Get a microphone from the Apple Store. If you walked out of here
today, you could probably launch your first episode in three hours, if you just sort of, kind of, again, spend a little bit of
time thinking about it. There’s enough tools and
platforms out there to do that. And I would actually
encourage you to do that first as an exercise, I think
that’s really important. I think so many of us think
we want to launch a podcast, and don’t really kind of think
through the amount of time that it will take out of
your kind of workflow. And it will take a great deal of time. – [Female in Audience] What is
your budget, Amy, for these? – That’s a great question,
and actually I had, I wasn’t able to add my slide, I can probably
pull it up in a quick sec, so I will actually share this with you. I created a pseudo budget I
wanted to share with you all. Think about your launch costs,
think about your annual costs and think about your recurring costs. So I would say it netted
out, it can net out to about $1500 an episode. And the reason being is,
if you hire maybe somebody to get you started, and
if you have a budget, initial budget, I think
it’s really important to spend a little bit on
hiring an external producer, which we did, to help get us kick-started. It gave us confidence. So I think that is really helpful. You’re gonna want to
think about music rights, or composing some music, or
you know, something like that. You’re gonna want to think about… Sorry, my slides aren’t
advancing as easily as I thought they would, there we go. So you’re gonna want
to think about design. You know, I didn’t come
up with that design. That was from a very kind of, another really fantastic graphic designer who created that look and feel for us. But we wanted this to be a flagship, so we wanted to invest into it, right? You’re gonna think about music, you’re gonna think about design, you’re gonna think
about hosting platforms. You’re gonna think about
maybe you want to do some paid marketing,
paid social marketing. I mean, time is an important resource. If you were to monetize
that, that would be a great deal of time, as well. So there’s kind of a launch budget. There’s a per episode budget, and then there’s some annual fees. So if you decide to go with,
say, Libsyn or Blueberry. I know Yale Broadcasting
Center uses Blueberry. We have been using Libsyn. These are platforms that if you want to disseminate your
episodes to many platforms, it makes it very easy. However, there are recurring costs, anywhere from $20 to $30 a month, to enterprise level can be about $3500. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that perhaps Yale at some
point might have sort of an enterprise offering
that we could all tap into. And I’m hoping that being
here today and talking with all of you from my
non-expert point of view, and with all of you, maybe
we can kind of think about who here is doing what we’re doing, who is planning to do what we’re doing, and maybe there’s some cost
savings in pulling together and appealing to Yale to
something kind in a shared way. And coordinating with
Yale Broadcast, and CTL, and all the other units across the school. So these are just a couple of platforms that have made my life really easy. This is not an exhaustive
list, this is, you know, this is pretty easily Google-able. I wanted to give you a really
short kind of crib sheet for, again, if you wanted to leave here today, to spend the rest of the
afternoon in your office, and just crank it out, you could do it with these things, right? Podcaster, that Apple.com
has pretty much any resource and every resource you could imagine, to know how to launch a podcast for Apple. It will give you the
aspect ratio for the images that you need for the square
of your podcast, a image. It will give for the banner ad, as well. Libsyn is a great
podcasting hosting platform that I mentioned. Headliner.app will handle
audiograms for you. Audacity will edit, if you decide
you want to edit yourself. I’m not that brave. Zencastr is great if you just
want to go in your office and capture some audio with a microphone. And we use Rev quite
a bit for transcripts. They’re super-quick, and within an hour or two, you can have, from delivering your file to them, you’ll have a transcribed file on your desk. – [Female in Audience]
Are there capabilities to have it translated
in different languages, either the audio or even the transcript? – I think we looked into it
for Chinese at some point. They are a little bit more expensive, but you can do it, yeah. So again, that was my pretty quick and not so dirty overview of podcasting, and sort of what we’ve gone through. I will share my, I have a
budget that I put together I meant to add to a slide,
but I didn’t do that. Not quite our budget, but you
can approximate something. Again, I hope that anybody… So who here is launching a podcast, or has launched a podcast? – [Female in Audience] Just
so you folks know who I am, I’m Marilyn Wilson, I’m the
Director of Communications at the MacMillan Center. I do a show for the past 10
years, and don’t quote me, I fill in for a variety of junior faculty When I originally started, we
used to strip out the audio and use iTunes to deliver the podcast. But that kind of fell by the wayside. But now, podcasts are so hugely popular, I’m looking at going in
that direction again. But then you said 1500
per episode I’m thinking I’ll just offer some
information that I’m gonna use, I am in the throes of revamping this whole non-record typecasting again. Media Services, I was
just, it doesn’t refer you at the moment. So you can glean from
those Media Services, (mumbles) Media Services,
use it or, you know, you’re on your own. A wonderful guy named
Ryan there, who will do all the editing and everything for free. Now, with that said, it’s changing, because I’m in the throes
of trying to do this. And also, to Amy’s point,
about Yale should really be looking at this from a
higher perspective, because they are gonna start charging, and I was given the cost of $200. – Yes. – [Female in Audience]
To produce one episode. I mean, that’s, I don’t
what your budgets look like, but that’s pretty much nothing. If you are interested. And frankly, I shouldn’t even say that, because I don’t want
people competing for– – Yeah. (people laughing) – But, now the cat is out of the bag. – Yeah, I know, so, yeah,
Ryan McAvoy is his name. – [Female in Audience] Yes. – Ryan is super. He does a lot of this across Yale. But I think his frustration,
and he shares a frustration, sorry, if I’m, sorry, Ryan. I hope I’m not saying, and Guy ends up. (people laughing) We share a frustration, which is, there’s a lot of excitement
around creating new things, but, institutional memory
being as it is, sometimes, the length of their
one-year, two-year programs, sometimes those initiatives
fall to the wayside. And so, there’s a lot of
focused energy leading up, and then things get left. And so, I think we all
want to kind of focus on the highest return on our investment, and those kind of long-lead, you know, flagship podcasts. I would say, if you’re gonna go to Ryan, he’s a great consultant. If you’re gonna go to some of the folks like Froilan Cruz at SOM. I don’t know the person at CTL. Sit down with them, chat with them. They’ll tell you everything. They’re so open and
collaborative, they’re great. But, I would love to
stress more the DIY aspect of some of the tools that are out there. Because although they’re
great, and right now they will do it, they will
be charging very soon. If you’re gonna spend, yeah, yeah? (person mumbling)
– That’s okay. – [Female in Audience] My subject’s about, I’m just time investment
plus budget investment. Where does podcasting fit into
your overall media strategy? Where do you see that
in terms of, you know, adding value, or not,
because it sounds like it is pretty intense labor wise, but also, physically, so, can you
can a little about that? – Sure, and I will say,
actually, we should think more about that, right, Jonathan and Emily? I think it’s something that we decided this would be really like a good test. We think it is flagship, we
think it speaks really well to, it tells a wonderful story that our, about our alums right now,
and about our students, and the fact that there is this wonderful kind of collaboration between them, and the sectors they’re going into. I think the hypothesis is
it will be a great flagship for that, a great part of our media. But I offerings, but, I don’t know that you can say, necessarily. I think we’re still seeing how
it fits in with the overall. I think we’ll continue to
invest in it in the near term, and in terms of the percentage
of sort of our offerings, it’s really minimal. I mean, it’s a pretty minimal part of it. However, it takes a lot of time. Budget wise, minimal. In terms of time for our, our folks and resources,
probably a little bit more than I had expected and anticipated. Lori? – [Lori] So, I’m wondering,
from what you just said, it seems like there will be a season two. Are you planning to make
any habit to have a host, to make it easier on yourself? Or are you happy with the
format that it currently is? – So that’s hard, yeah, so
that’s a great question, and I’m thinking about that right now. I think the challenge
that Jonathan, Emily, and I were talking about is if there was a host, who would it be? If it were a student host, we
lose students every two years, or every year. So there are some fantastic students. And in fact, I think it goes without saying,
that there’s a lot of folks that go into the making
of not just our season, but each episode. I’m just one of many
people, including students. There’s one student who really stepped up and helped me think through and reach out to other students. So to answer your question, I think I might keep it without a host. But, I think there are ways that we can simplify the production process of it. And I’d also like to find ways to get more of our faculty
involved, of some of the practitioners involved in
sharing their career advice, again, because that’s
kind of the theme of it. – [Female in Audience] And I
think it’s a great experience for the students, too. So (mumbles words) were supposed to be, all these students are learning. I mean, and that’s something
that I struggled with, too, should we use a student,
should we not use a student? But to your point, it’s a lot of work to try to groom a student
to sit down with faculty and have that come out that well. – It’s a lot of work, but for us, I think it’s probably a good investment. I will complain a little
bit here and there. But, at the end of the
day, I think that’s why we’re all here, and I think
that’s what we’re trying to do, is to educate, for us, educating leaders for business and society. And so, if that means doing a
lot more prep on the front-end I think that’s just gonna have, if that’s going to be
how it will be for us. But, what? – [Female in Audience] Can
you share a little bit about your analytics and who are your followers, what is your, I guess, a major (mumbles), what is your drop-off rate, in terms of the actual (mumbles) podcasts themselves? – So that’s a great question. I think we’ve had about
2000 downloads right now, which is not very big,
right, it’s not big. I would like to see that improve. But I think it’s important to
be honest about these numbers. I really want to increase our subscribers. Unfortunately, you know,
we lose students right now and over the summer, it’s pretty
quiet, so it’s hard for us. We’ve noticed, episode launches, you know, we peak with analytics,
and then it goes down, and then we peak with
every episode release. And now that the students
are out, the last episode we released after commencement
was a little lower than we had expected. So I’m still trying to
figure out how to grow that. I do think, though, that
there’s a value in saying that we’re doing this, that
SOM is supporting this, and so, maybe not all of it is
quantifiable at the moment. And I will also make a
note that, so Libsyn, the publishing platform, has
some pretty okay analytics. They’ll show you how many
downloads per episode when… However, Apple is sort of a black box, and they give you very, very little. So it’s been really hard to
see what the drop-off rates have been, and how many
people have actually listened. We consciously made our
episodes only 20 to 30 minutes, to try to like, again, a hypothesis, we just thought that a
45 minute conversation for our listeners maybe
wasn’t the way to launch. But I personally listen to
hour and a half long podcast. So it’s very, I feel, I’m
hoping that the innovations within the podcasting space
will include analytics, and some of them were, some of the, the insights into that. Yes? – [Female in Audience]
You mentioned thinking of pre-production, setting a tight script. How tight do you work, how close do you work with your guests? Can you just talk about that, please? – Sure. We have an alum and a student. And so, I work, I usually take
the first stab at the script, and then I share it with the student. And then I sit with that
student, and I walk them through, I actually have them
talk through the intro and outro with me, just so
they feel comfortable with it. I have them go through
almost every question. I’d say half of my students,
half of the students I worked with have been very proactive, and have asked a lot
of their own questions. I’d say the other half
didn’t do that, at all. (person chuckling)
Yeah. That’s just the way it is. The prep work, the in-person
prep work was really helpful. However, a lot of them are not
used to being in the studio, and so, it took, you
know, we usually allow for about an hour and a
half from start to finish, even though the podcast
itself, the final product is only 20 minutes, there’s
an hour and a half there. And so, by the end of the conversation, the student is warmed up. We usually go back and
rerecord the intro/outro. I see Guy nodding, yeah,
people, it takes awhile for us to get comfortable on… Yeah, does that answer your question? – Yes, yes, thank you.
– Okay, great. – [Female in Audience]
I’m just curious now, how did you identify your students? Was this, you know, somewhat
of a reward for them, or how did you find them? – That’s a great question. So I’ll mention that, I don’t even know if I remember exactly, but I remember I wanted to put together a matrix, so the first thing I did
was we put together an idea of the sectors that we wanted to cover. So we wanted to cover, for
SOM, we wanted to cover, at least in the launch season, we wanted to cover consulting,
finance, sustainability, healthcare, technology, venture capital. We knew we wanted to
kind of hit these topics. The pre-production
process took quite a bit for this exact reason. Because we were coming up with this matrix of students and alum, and
trying to connect them. That was probably the most difficult part of this whole process, and the
most time-consuming for us. So after we came up with these themes, I reached out to our
alumni office, and I said, “Can you give me a list
of alums that you think “would be willing to articulate “their experiences within this.” They gave me a list, then I reached out to a couple other people, both
my colleagues in the office, colleagues in the
entrepreneurship program, a couple students that
I knew, asking them, “Do you know any current
students, do you know any alums “that are in this space?” So I created this matrix,
right, students, alums, sectors. I tried to see where the overlap was, and then I made the asks. In some cases, I went to
the alums first and said, “Would you be interested in doing this?” and I matched ’em with a student. In a lot of cases, I had
a student in mind already, because I had one or two
students got me three or four students, so it
was kind of a lovely kind of network effect of finding
a couple great students. Find those champions within
the student body, right? So I had a student government president who was very, very helpful, and proactive. I had one student who did
the most recent episode, Michelle Kwon, who is
interested in venture capital. I think she’s gonna be more of
a producer this coming year, she’s really interested
in being more active. So it’s sort of piecing
it together when you can. In the back? – [Male in Audience] Intellectual
property and branding, when I, it must have been a few years ago, we had broadcasts and owned everything. But if we did deal with that
stuff, how does that work? I didn’t see a legal, if
you just kinda went off and did your own and hosted it somewhere? – Plausible deny… That’s a great question. I feel like, I work
with a colleague who’s, who can speak maybe more
specifically about that, who’s been working with,
you know, Yale branding for a lot longer than I have. And so he can probably articulate
that better than I could. He’s been able to help me,
again, this is not a… If I had brought everybody here who had participated in this
effort, there would this, you know, probably more
than you sitting there. So my colleague is sort of aware of what we should and shouldn’t
do with the Yale mark. The designer that we worked
with is also sort of familiar with that, so we had sort of a good, a good insight. But I would say, when in doubt,
I guess, ask John Gamble. I guess, if you need
to, ask General Counsel. That’s probably the best way to go. Did we do that? Ah, no. (people laughing) – [Male in Audience] I don’t
know if anyone was listening, or and certainly on the iTunes U, I never heard any feedback,
and it seems to be very gray. – Yeah. – [Male in Audience] In
terms of General Counsel. – So iTunes U is probably gonna go away. So if you have a podcast
and you want it to be listed within our iTunes U, or
within Yale’s brand… First of all, it’s very difficult
to get there these days, Yale has made it, or I’m sorry, Apple has made it very difficult. But that is actually probably
going to be going away. But in the near term, if
you do want your podcast or audio there, and you have
something in the Apple Store, you can send it to Ryan McAvoy,
and he will make it happen. He will also add it to
their SoundCloud play list, so that’s something else
you should be doing. Did you have a question here? – Yes, I work in communications
for the (mumbles) library, and we, actually I
started a visual podcast about a month ago, I’ve got about two, going on three episodes now. And the main reason we
have a visual podcast, is because we’re working
with actual manuscripts and material that we need
to see, and it’s here. Have you had any experience
with visual podcasts, and if so, I need any sort of input? I’m currently hosting
them, which does allow for more consistent, or to be put out, and it has to do with the
actual faculty working with YMT on-site, as well as off-site, and access service members,
preservation, all of that. – I don’t know anything
about visual podcasts. In fact, I’m sort of,
because we don’t have as visual a medium, I totally
get why you need that, right? For us, it’s more ideas-based, and so, there’s not as much visual accompaniment. In fact, we’re advising one faculty member who has video recorded
all of these interviews. We’re just going to also be
just releasing them audio only, and stripping out the video. That works for us, it
doesn’t work for you, so you have a unique challenge,
yeah, podcasting that, or making that audio-only, or yeah, wouldn’t really work for you. So I would probably say
you have more in common with my video colleagues. So connecting with John
Zebrowski and Ben Hecht at SOM might be a great, you know, if
you’re looking for colleagues to collaborate with, or
to just pick their brain, it would be a good place to start. Yeah, Emily? – [Emily] I just, I’ve been
reflecting on that idea of how this connects to
our low-content strategy, and our communications strategy. I think, (garbles words) that podcasts are kind of a MOOC, or kind of a, they’re a way for the vast
majority of people in the world who can never have direct access to Yale, to have it in their heads and to learn. One of our faculty may be
participating in one of that, so one podcast learner
said it’s like having her office hours, but
you know, for everybody. So people can, you
know, I think that we do a lot of that on our website, and in our media relations, and so forth. But this is just like pure,
uncut, (chuckles) you know, I mean it’s, physically
cut, you know, pure, you know, access. I think we’re all,
everyone in the university because the university
is full, and all the work (cough covers person speaking) openness, and to reach to more people. – I like that, I think that’s so perfect, and that resonates with
who you were just leaving that session with, and
Fiona said something, so one of our professors,
Fiona Scott Morton was just talking about how, you know, in the classroom she could
only reach so many people. But, when she’s on Twitter,
she can reach thousands. And being able to open up sort of what is, seemed like a closed box,
like the Yale classroom, is like really important,
and I think, I hope that that’s a hypothesis
that we’re using, and why, why it’s so important
to podcast and to share these stories between students and alum. Because that’s not
normally something that, it’s as if you’re sitting in on a informational interview, right? That’s why we are doing these recordings. And so, we’re hoping that by
doing that we’re demonstrating a lot of what maybe you
can’t see at Yale SOM, in terms of content. Yeah. – Do you have a budget
for promoting them to, by ads on Google, or, you
know, pages on Facebook, anything like that? – Some paid social, but,
like one of the things on my done items for the
next couple weeks is, is basically what else should we be doing? There’s a lot that one can do to promote. I mentioned creating a news
item, putting out social posts, doing some not just kind of native stuff, but inorganic stuff
rather, but like, you know, really doing some paid social. Transcripts help with SEO. There’s a number of articles
recently that have talked about the reasoning behind having your own, having a podcast’s own website. And Google now has some
tags that you can add to your website that
will allow your podcast to be found within their
Google, their algorithm. And what was I gonna
mention about SEO, as well? So SEO, I think, is really important. So, no, we don’t have a dedicated budget. It’s something that I’m
thinking about right now, after this first season,
and looking back at what worked and what didn’t work. Promotion is something
that we need to focus on. – Yeah, I just started to do
it for The MacMillan Report, and it blew it me away, at how many more impressions that we got. I mean, tens of thousands,
I mean, it’s shocking, for next to no money, for like $20. – That’s good to know.
– It’s totally worth it. – We’ve noticed, actually, we haven’t done as quite as much I’d like,
but we’ve noticed too, we try to include it in
some of our email marketing. So prospective students,
prospective student emails, alumni email, newsletters. I think that’s generated
a little bit of traffic. Yeah. – Hi, (mumbles words) first empower. (people laughing) From a hardware standpoint,
are you working with some of the equipment that you
already have in-house, or did you have any sort of
budget for an acquisition, how was the actual like that? – Yes, yes, and yes. We’re really lucky at SOM, we’ve got a dedicated team downstairs,
and at the moment, they’re willing to work with us. So I relied really heavily on them. I had, you know, we also
have, I have two colleagues who are video, dedicated
video colleagues, who have the equipment, and one of
them had to pinch-hit for me, because I didn’t have any
studios available for me. Which is another reason why
you should DIY, because, chances are, when your
subjects are only available in that one hour interval, like, then you can’t find a studio. So you should always
have that backup space, you should always have your
equipment, even you think you’re gonna do it in the studio. So we do have a little bit
of, they have equipment, my colleagues have equipment. Omnidirectional mikes,
which may or may not, they work out just fine,
though, in this case. And then, backups are really important. So he has, he had a
dedicated backup recorder. If you’re in a studio, they
already have a backup setup. So if you’re gonna buy your
own equipment, microphone, a backup recording situation. But you could also do that online. And so, I just relied on
Zencastr as a backup, too. I know the Broadcasting
Center has an ISD online, but I have a telephone line
that people can call in. We’ve been using tape
syncs, which is basically, what that means is… And again, I recommend using a tape sync. It basically is somebody
who will go to a spot that’s not where you’re at,
or maybe where you’re at, and just record that audio side of it. And so, we did that all,
we did that in each case. And it’s about $150 an hour. That’s not a lot of money, if you want really great, clean audio. (person mumbling) Yeah. So if you have the budget for
it, I think doing a tape sync for any of your off-site
stuff is important, yeah. – [Male in Audience] Thank you. – All right, well, if you can,
if you’re doing a podcast, if you’re launching
one, if you’re thinking about launching one, if
you could reach out to me, I’d love to kind of get a
group together across Yale, and just try to co, you know,
collaborate a little bit more. I think it’s something
that I know I hear a lot of people doing, and I’m learning a lot. I know I could learn a lot from you. Maybe you could turn me
into more of an expert. And, yeah, so thank you, for coming, and connect with me, so, thanks. (people applauding) (light bright music)

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