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Slay It by Ear

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A marketer and two PR pros at the University of Connecticut decided to leverage their journalism and storytelling backgrounds with a wide-ranging institutional podcast, without sounding institutional. Here's how and what we've learned.

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Slay It by Ear

  1. 1. Slay It by Ear Building a Better University Podcast UConn – University Communications #heweb19 | #COM9 Julie Bartucca Kenneth Best Tom Breen
  2. 2. “The UConn 360 podcast is indeed the best UConn podcast in the known universe, hands down.” -Apple Podcasts review “To me, it was a thinly researched, poorly presented piece of shoddy journalism.” - An unhappy alum • Launched Feb. 2018 • 43 episodes • 11,500 downloads
  3. 3. 4
  4. 4. The quest Creating a podcast that ... • Elevates the brand without feeling like marketing • Engages key audiences • Tells UConn’s story in a new way • Provides a peek into lesser-known areas
  5. 5. Getting blessings from the king and queen • Expertise • Freedom • Variety • Benefits
  6. 6. Setting forth MAKE A PLAN
  7. 7. • Make a plan, but stay nimble ○ Weekly > Biweekly ○ Slickly produced segments > Q&As • What tasks will you need to perform? ○ Reporting ○ Recording ○ Editing ○ Uploading ○ Promoting Setting forth
  8. 8. The Knight The Wizard The Facilitator of Sorts Choose your heroic role
  9. 9. Provisions for the journey
  10. 10. Provisions for the journey
  11. 11. • Behringer Xenyx X 1222 USB 16-channel mixer • Heil Pro 20 microphones (4) with 6-foot XLR cables • Atlas desktop mic stands (4) • AKG 4-channel amplifier headphone box • Good headphones (AKG K 92 and Sennheiser DH 380 pro) • Zoom H2n portable recorder with accessory kit • Mini Mac computer • Comrex audio-to IP link for connection to radio stations Total spent = ~$1400 Provisions for the journey
  12. 12. • Editing - Audacity • Hosting - Podbean ($108/year) • Website - uconn.edu/uconn360-podcast • Music - Universal Production Music subscription • Logo - in-house graphic designer • Twitter @UConnPodcast Provisions for the journey
  13. 13. Beware: Dragons! Ogres! Bad audio!
  14. 14. Bad audio
  15. 15. Institutional voice
  16. 16. Crossing the line
  17. 17. Spending too much time having fun on the podcast
  18. 18. Not knowing your limits
  19. 19. Homogeneous voices and topics
  20. 20. To avoid bad interviews: • Prepare • Be quiet • Full sentences • Open questions, active listening • Think inverted pyramid • Remember you’ll have to edit this later, Julie • Is there something you wish I asked? Interviewing flubs
  21. 21. Obsessing over every breath you take
  22. 22. • Content that works in many different venues ○ WHUS student radio ○ UConn Today posts ○ Social, newsletters • Faculty promotion/Media relations • Awards! • Praise/positive feedback/engagement Slaying the dragon
  23. 23. • Always be promoting – social, digital and bus ads, WHUS • Metrics • Guarding against burnout • Accessibility • The future Happily ever after … (or is it?)
  24. 24. Slay those dragons Make that podcast 25
  25. 25. The end Tom Breen tom.breen@uconn.edu @tjbreen Kenneth Best kenneth.best@uconn.edu Julie Bartucca julie.bartucca@uconn.edu @juliebartucca uconn.edu/uconn360-podcast @uconnpodcast

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