Skills: Interviewing, Strategy, Copywriting, Relationship Building, Research, Ideation
Barnardo's is the UK's largest national children's charity. It has over 700 shops and 800 services across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It has 7822 paid staff and over 14,000 volunteers. In 2019-20 it worked with 360,000 children, young people, parents and carers. It's pretty big.
For a digital storyteller, this size - while it allowed me to collaborate with an incredible range of amazing and passionate people - demands a constant 'churn' of content. There was always another case study to be gathered, another personal account to be written and another image to be taken. It sounds sterile but that's what how it was.
We never stopped to think, is this always the best format for these experiences? Sure, they certainly have their use. But some experiences need more than the written word to do them justice. They need to be heard.
The first step was to conduct research. I was an avid podcast listener, but knew nothing about this specific podcast space. So I looked at what was out there, what other charities/ NGOs were doing, how they are telling their stories, what are their themes, tones, and strategies. I also looked beyond just 'charity podcasts', drawing inspiration from across the podcasting spectrum.
Inspired, I began ideating with my team on what a Barnardo's podcast would look and sound like. What would it be called? What about branding? What would the episodes be about? Series or one-off episodes? What platforms would it be on? Is there a host?
Next, I drafted the podcast strategy. This was an especially important to get internal buy-in as there was initial hesitancy from senior leadership. They weren't podcast listeners and so needed to be clearly convinced of the potential value this would bring to the charity. This strategy included information about episode structure, possible themes, target audiences, hosting platforms and promotion strategies.
With the strategy signed off, I started to building relationships with the relevant stakeholders - the most important being the the FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) Centre, who we partnered up with to create the first series.
I then began writing episode scripts and questions. These had to be signed off by senior leadership and the FGM Centre.
Time to interview. This was pre-Covid so we did it in person. Each time, we converted a room in our head office into a make shift recording studio!