Audio with Passion – Earshot Strategies is Born
It was The Moth that drew me in! I am referring to the Moth storytelling podcast, rather than the insect. I began listening to it on my phone and became irresistibly attracted to its rich stories told by everyday people, and through it picked up the podcast habit.
At the time I was a senior communications officer at the World Bank and would catch up on my then favourite podcasts (Serial, Radiolab, Reply All), commuting to work, in the gym or while walking the dog.
As a one-time BBC radio producer and reporter, and as an avid listener, I love the emotional connection that comes with good audio and the way in which it excites the imagination. As the saying goes ‘the pictures are better on radio’.
The more I listened to podcasts, the more I began to see how they could play a far greater role in communications; in connecting people and communities.
Podcasts have proven they can attract mass number of listeners, but they can also serve niche audiences. They can be the ‘audio campfire’ around which people with professional or personal interests can gather to share knowledge and experiences.
Technology has made this idea a reality. Programmes are now cheaper to produce; cumbersome audio and editing equipment has been supplanted by digital recorders and easy to use software, studios and transmission masts have become superfluous. Technology has democratized high-quality production, taking it away from the established networks and placing it in the hands of the innovators.
In addition, podcasts are the ideal medium for a world in which we are assaulted by endless sources of information. They engage our thoughts without demanding our complete attention – unlike the written word or video. In our non-stop lives, podcasts offer reflective stimulation that can be consumed on the go.
With this in mind, I produced my first podcast series while at the World Bank. Bookmark was aimed at World Bank staff. I wanted to make a programme that illustrated the diversity and differing talents of the people working for the organization.
Each episode consisted of a short interview with a member of staff who had written a book unconnected with their work. Contributions included a children’s story by a former World Bank treasurer, a collection of Cambodian recipes compiled by an administrative assistant, and a communications official’s memoir on living through the Iranian revolution.
Bookmark spawned a further series that I was commissioned to create and produce for the World Bank on international development and data. The result was Between Two Geeks which brought to life subjects such as demography, education and cell-phone masts. It attracted over twenty thousand listeners and proved that the audience on development-related issues, was bigger than first imagined, and eager for relevant programming.
I have now founded a consultancy – Earshot Strategies – to promote and make podcasts for niche audiences. I am bringing together my experience in journalism along with my work in strategic communications to ensure podcasts achieve their potential, and demonstrate the potential of the organisations we make them for.
There are numerous businesses and groups that can benefit from the content podcasts bring directly to their clients, members, staff and others.
Earshot Strategies is a business with a passion – to create great audio, and help others use podcasts to make connections.
We embrace both the opportunities and challenges that the new world of podcasting brings, and are excited to begin work for all those who want to make themselves heard in this golden age of audio.