Tag Archives: podcasting

The Scoop from Sree on Good Talks, Listening and Journalistic Integrity



As we crave connection during these isolating times, Sree Sreenivasan has stepped up to bring people around the world together, sometimes several times a day. While almost 80 straight days in a row of recording his Global COVID-19 show drove his family to furlough him from his own home during livestreaming hours, this social and digital media expert, known by many as “@Sree”, has an expanded family of connections that faithfully gather round for a dose of positivity.

And every Sunday, they tune-in again for his New York Times “readalong,” now five years running, with his own scintillating and scholarly guests perusing the paper and op-eds alongside him. So, that’s 80 days in a row and literally twice on Sunday. Did I mention his 21 years of conducting Social Media Weekend gatherings to educate on the latest tools and tactics? How about his frequent appearances on radio, or CNBC as a tech-expert?

Hear why this the former chief digital officer for The Metropolitan Museum of Art is now focused on the art of generous content both altruistically and, candidly, as a business development vehicle for his digital marketing and virtual event business. Less generous, perhaps, in his opinion of social ISSUES, Sree’s stories – from adjusting to new countries and his quirky love of comic strip Calvin and Hobbes to how he adopted new communication tactics to connect people through every crisis of the past two decades – are equally passionate. The throughline is also his ardent belief in journalistic integrity, veracity and humanism.

We joke about how his livestreams and social sharing are the perfect outlet for a man who likes to talk, but with Sree, people want to listen. He’s learned the art of that, too.

Listen to the inaugural Marshall Loeb visiting professor at Stonybrook University, and former Columbia University journalism professor,  Sree Sreenivasan, and you’ll hear why.

We also discuss:

  • His humble and sometimes humiliating path to acculturating to America
  • The evolution and promise of his Global COVID-19 Show
  • How reading the New York Times out loud on Facebook Live become bigger than he could have imagined
  • How he competes with – or defers to his wife, Roopa
  • How that love for Calvin and Hobbes has played a role in his life

Claude Silver on Having a Heart at Work

The Scoop on Being Heart at Work – VaynerMedia’s Claude Silver



Phrases with the word “heart” in them are too many to count; it’s our most treasured reference as it aligns with love, soul, happiness…basically anything positive (unless tied to “attack”.) But tie it to “Silver” and you have a whole added meaning for positivity, because then you’re talking about Claude Silver, Chief Heart Officer of VaynerMedia, a full service digital agency “built for the now.” It’s a fairly unique title, but trust media trend-shaper Gary Vaynerchuk (AKA Gary Vee) to assign that role to his “number two” person. And so, I couldn’t help but bookend my podcast interview with Silver with a serenade, because her actual job is to encourage “courageous conversations” to ensure the whole company works towards the goals of empathy, heart, speed, hustle, and winning.

Silver’s background in positive psychology and leadership positions in strategy at leading ad agencies in the US and UK make her uniquely qualified to inspire healthy attitudes at work, among all people, and encourage transparency. With that mindset, I braved a tune or two, but in between asked some serious questions. Here are the time codes and topics we covered, but I encourage you to hear all the parts in between, because, as the song goes, one is silver and the other’s gold:

5:50: Silver describes a day in her life as the person in charge of “people and experience”

7:20: The difference between classic “HR” and the VaynerMedia approach

10:30: How to “scale culture”

13:00: The VaynerMedia difference versus other agency holding companies

17:00: What VaynerMedia looks for in candidates

19:00: Ageism – at Vayner? In the industry overall?

21:30: Career Pivots

25:35: Silver’s suggestions for brands in a COVID-19 world – and beyond

31:30: Silver’s (s)heroes and thoughts on leadership

35:10: Personal thoughts on parenting today

And, you might want to fast-forward starting at 36:30, because that’s where I sing to Silver again….


Global Branding Meets Customer-Focused Creative – Dell Technologies’ Rachael Henke



Rachael Henke’s short title is just “brand” at Dell Technologies. Her formal title is long, but it’s a big job, for a big company: Director of Global Brand Advertising Content and Customer Engagement Storytelling. That means, per Henke, “everything we do is to elevate the brand.” While most everyone has heard of “Dell,” her job is to ensure everyone knows the larger entity – created from the merger with EMC some three years ago — is actually “Dell Technologies” and that it’s gone from primarily computers to being “an end to end essential technology partner”.

While computers are, as Henke says, “still a very critical part of our business, we really want to focus [on the] B2B space, showing how we’re driving innovation and emerging technologies across areas like cloud storage and AI.” For Henke, that means that while being part of the brand team for a 150,000-person global company is impressive enough, she’s also, necessarily, a woman who can use “hyperconverged infrastructure solutions” in a sentence. But it’s still a human-oriented brand, evidenced from top-down actions like Michael Dell donating $100 million dollars to pro social initiatives during our current COVID-19 crisis. So, in Episode 6 of Insider Interviews, Henke explains how her team approaches brand storytelling – turning complicated offerings into human-oriented content. Here’s a topline of our conversation, edited for clarity:

“Every day is different”:  Henke’s days involve “conversations about what products are going to launch… and how that will turn into the vision where we’re going… a lot of conversations around messaging and with customers to understand how our technology gets used.”

Applying Those Conversations To Content: Like TV spots that take the figurative (“is your business going in circles?”) and make it literal, like spokesperson/actor Jeffrey Wright going in circles and upstairs and coming back to the starting point, their B2B brand campaigns aim to showcase how they deliver on solutions, what’s innovative, “and connecting that solution to work for sales teams, too…And If there’s a consumer campaign that works really well, it provides lift to our business side as well.”

That applies to small business as well: One example is working with ad agency MediaCom and audio company Entercom to create a virtual podcast conference, The PodFerence, to spotlight podcasts on relevant topics for customers.

Rinse and Repeat: Henke names brands and marketers she “keeps an eye on” and describes  her own goals to balance creative and data: “One of the challenges that any brand marketer has is how the heck do you measure brand advertising, because you’re not necessarily tied to a click, a call, a transactional sale. So we do a lot of measurement …and also make sure we’re not just looking at data in a silo [but working together with other divisions.]”

The Media and Marketing for Tomorrow: Will one of the world’s largest tech companies continue to put budget in linear? Henke is bullish on balancing linear and digital, especially when it comes to now on paused live sports. “It’s really timely to ask that because we are a PGA sponsor and have Dell Technologies Match Play which was supposed to take place in March. But I still feel like sponsorships will still be something strong and that we will continue because let’s face it, people want sports more than ever.”  We’re looking at continuing with linear, but figuring out where are people still watching? I think CTV and On Demand will absolutely be part of that mix as well.

For the future? “We truly believe that because of what has happened globally companies are looking at how they digitally transform in a way that makes sense, but also in a practical way. …We want to make sure that our brand is there to be that partner for our customers as they need to make changes because the world will be different.

Balance and Togetherness: Balance – between divisions as well as between work and home – is a continuous theme for Henke. Her bio describes her home life as including one horse-loving child and one gaming-loving child. But she acknowledges, “I don’t know how we all do it. In a moment of vulnerability I’ll just say every day is a challenge. One of the things that I have to harp on myself about is self-care, especially when you work from home”. So, this tech brand expert also relies on tech to remind her to get out and exercise…. “and making sure that I have those moments where I can go and retreat and think and take a step back.  I don’t get every day perfect, with two kids running around, but I always have to try to reset with myself.”

And Henke seems to be succeeding.


The Why and How of B2B Podcasts – a 15 Minute Download



Those tracking the uptake of podcasting, such as Triton, Edison Research and Podtrac, have encouraged advertisers to embrace the medium, especially since it hit critical mass of 100 million+ monthly listeners! But what about brands who want their OWN podcast for B2B purposes?

In 15 minutes I’ll walk you through the WHY and the HOW of creating a B2B podcast for your company. And if you’re still overwhelmed let me know and we’ll handle it all for you! Here’s the scoop and the Episode 5 topline:

Why a B2B podcast?

  • You have to be everywhere your customer may be, including in their ears, even if you’re speaking to a vendor, an agency or a potential new hire. “Picture a company’s most savvy seller whispering about a value proposition in the prospect’s ear”!
  • Humanize an executive to drive trust and transparency
  • Leverage the best platform for explanatory journalism!
  • Attract employees by painting an audio picture of the company environment, like Xandr did with their Unsponsored Content show, or provide a thought-provoking platform to spotlight divisions or clients, such as the Floor 9 podcast from IPG Media Lab does!

Caveats:

  • Expectations should be managed: this is a longtail marketing tactic with a limited pool of listeners
  • Start with the strategy! WHO do you want to have listen? WHY? WHAT with your content me? As Gimlet Managing Director, Matt Lieber, was cited, “What makes for a successful branded podcast are a lot of the things that make for a successful podcast period. If a brand wants to make a commercial that’s 20 minutes long, it will fail.”

The What:

  • Most B2B podcasts are interview style, except for those companies who may have a high-profile personality at the helm. (Think Gary Vee of Vayner Media!)
  • What informative content is endemic to your brand’s expertise? (Example: ReWork podcast on productivity, from SaaS platform Basecamp).
  • Recording a B2B podcast for A+E and The Knot

    How will you grow your podcast to help you grow business? (Example: The Wealth Without Wall Street team invites high profile guests , like Pat Flynn, in their work wheelhouse, and appear as guests on other podcasts, too like this episode of Dave Jackson’s School of Podcasting!)

The HOW:

  • It starts with your microphone! There are lots of suggestions you can easily Google, but here’s a snapshot:
  • You might have had a studio at your offices…even an editor… but as we #WFH think bedroom! Think closet! Think where can you find sound absorption…Listen to Shelly Palmer’s advice to me and the sound difference in Epi 2 of Insider Interviews. You can record on an editing platform like Squadcast or Descript… then you’ll need to UPLOAD the audio file to a hosting site. If you want to try Blubrry use MOSSAPPEAL as your promo code for a discount, or look at Libsyn, BuzzSprout, Captivate and more.
  • ..MARKET THYSELF! More hints and suggestions are in this 15 minute dump and download, from my experience to you.

And again, I’m here to help. If you’re in the media/marketing world with a senior executive who is guest-worthy please drop me a line or reach out on social media! If you want help creating your own podcast from scratch, happy to exec produce or host! LMK!

E.B.


The Scoop from Shelly Palmer on WFH Tech and Keeping Connected



One of the smarter ideas I’ve had recently was to invite the even smarter Shelly Palmer to guest on this episode of the Insider Interviews podcast. I had an ulterior motive: I’d been challenged by my work-from-home (WFH) tech set up and he is the go-to guy for keeping us all on point. 

Palmer, of CNN, CNBC, Fox 5 NY contributor fame, advises companies on their “digital transformation” and was also a LinkedIn Top Voice in Technology. And I needed help.  Our conversation went from scientific explanations to fun anecdotes about his own podcast on the Westwood One network, Think About This with Shelly Palmer and Ross Martin, to the topic of his most recent interactive online chat, hosted on his new tech-focused social network, PGX: what a post-Corona Virus society might look like. Palmer is not shy about airing strong opinions without much prompting.

You’ll hear thoughts, recommendations and advice on:

On Choosing One Tech Tool Over Another:  (“In some cases, it’s just personal preference. In others it has to do technologically with where you are and what you’re trying to do.” He uses Zoom for meet-ups with 150 or so attendees and Webinar Jam for one-to-many.)

On Adapting to Technology: (“People have been accepting of technical glitches that they never  would have before… like when smartphones [drove] vertical video. It’s been fascinating to see how fast people are willing to adopt bad lighting, camera angles, and bad hair. It’s fantastic because the most important thing is that we figure out how to be social animals in a time when COVID-19 is forcing us to be less social.”

On Using A Personal Tech Stack More Personally: (If you’re working for a bigger corporation, they’ll likely dictate the VPN and office suite you’re going to use. [A good choice] for small collaborative companies is Google Suite and have Slack running to interact with clients without having to send email. But a lot of clients are using Microsoft Teams. But when you’re working totally by yourself right now, the most important thing you can do, I think, is send an email or a text message to everybody you know in the world — and find out how they’re doing.”)

On AI (replacing for journalists?!), and “Truthiness” in media, and if we will continue to Zoom like crazy?: That you’ll have to listen to the podcast for. Bonus: you’ll learn which recording platform I picked too.

And visit shellypalmer.com for his very robust list of resources for your own WFH tech set up. Whether or not it involves a podcast.


The Scoop on Success in Radio and Podcasting – with Gary Krantz



With more media consumption projected during our current crisis — and radio and podcast hosts perceived as companions — I thought it was a fitting time to speak with someone who has spent an entire career in audio – from on-air in college to the C-Suite of major radio networks, to delivering multiplatform content aligned with high wattage personalities:  Gary Krantz, chief executive officer of Krantz Media Group LLC (KMG).

Proof positive? One of the last times I hung out with Gary was alongside classic rock legends like Alice Cooper, Jimmy Page and Brian May, in London. But I digress….

Conal Byrne of iHeart Podcast Network with Gary Krantz

Krantz has taken entertainment companies and brands from conventional broadcast to digital business models and helped fuel the radio careers of such notables as Carson Daly, Ryan Seacrest and Rachel Maddow. In a conversation for Insider Interviews podcast, he explains how he leveraged his stick-to-itiveness to go from unpaid “gopher” to ultimately help run MJI Broadcasting (later acquired by iHeartMedia, where he became executive vice president of their Premiere division), on to president of Air America to chief digital media officer at Westwood One. We learn how his gut instincts led him to syndicate some of the biggest names and events on air and ultimately adding to the utopian landscape of podcasting, with the launch of half a dozen new podcasts, some in conjunction once again with iHeart, including The Fred Minnick Show and Politicon, hosted by Clay Aikens.

You’ll want to listen to the whole conversation to get the inside scoop on radio from the 70s to today, and making moves in podcasting and syndication.

Here are the pictures, as promised in the episode!