Strategic thinking from two first-time podcasters

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Efficiency, decisiveness and clear goals can be the key to success.


By Josh Adley, Director of Commercial and Client Relations

Lots of our podcast clients are big brands, organisations, platforms or agencies. We also produce a lot of podcasts with celebrities and work closely with their agents and managers. On occasion, we produce podcasts for notable individuals who might not fit into any of the above categories.

What I noticed early on in my conversations with David Morley and Professor Laura Empson was that they were as strategic in their thinking as any agency or brand we’ve worked with to date. This shouldn’t come as a surprise — after all, they are a best in class business leader and academic in their respective fields, but the way that David and Laura approached the podcast was refreshing and inspiring.

In the early conversations we identified which areas David and Laura were best placed to lead and which areas Listen could provide expertise and guidance. This simple, important task of outlining roles and responsibilities is often missed and can cause issues down the line, making the production process inefficient.

Heading into production, David and Laura had firm views on the topics and guests that should feature in the series. This was never going to be a series that was led editorially by our team. That wouldn’t have made sense. David and Laura understand the professional services world better than anyone. Where the Listen production team come in is through providing structure, a format, guidance to those ideas, the technical recording, editing and mixing as well as the production elements around the conversation to bring it to life in as engaging a way as possible.

This podcast is a good example of one that has a specific audience. It’s a fairly niche offering. But for those who it is targeted at, it’s incredibly valuable. The lessons learned, and stories heard are relevant to business leaders of some of the biggest corporate professional firms in the world. For David and Laura this isn’t about topping the Apple charts, it’s about sharing their knowledge with their established network of professional leaders and it’s about establishing new relationships with professionals who might seek their advice in the months to come. It’s also about producing a high-quality podcast that reflects their (sometimes extremely demanding) professional standards.

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Understanding the goals of a client is key. Some of our clients want to top the charts or change the perception of their brand. Others want to drive sales, introduce new talent or do something different entirely. If we don’t know what the client is looking to achieve, we can’t produce the right podcast for them.

On the promotion side, we held a session with David and Laura to discuss all options available and focused in on where we, collectively, thought would produce the best results. David and Laura have fantastic professional networks and are incredibly well respected in their fields. It was clear that LinkedIn and professional publications were going to be a key driver for the podcast. We also pitched the show to Apple and secured a featured slot in the Business category which was a great way to launch and add reach.

I’ve worked with a lot of agencies and brands over the past 10 years and I feel that a lot of those projects could have benefited from the clear and strategic approach taken on this series. Direct and efficient meetings, clear goals (that don’t change), decisions made. More of that please!

You can listen to ‘Empson & Morley — Leading Professional People’ wherever you get your podcasts.

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