This series is all about libsyn’s podcasters. Its sole purpose is to introduce these awesome podcasts to the world as well as share their podcasting insight to empower the community!
Q & A with Alistair from The Europe Desk
When did you start podcasting?
I started planning out the concept for the show in November 2018 with the wonderful staff at the BMW Center for German and European Studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
We began to build a team, then recorded some pilot episodes, experimented with different ideas and possible formats, and released our trailer in July 2019. Our first full episode came out at the end of August.
If you are thinking about starting a podcast, I would recommend creating a short trailer to get some content on your feed and to generate a buzz before launching the first episode. This was a great tip I received during the initial planning phase.
Why did you start podcasting?
We are a regional studies research center focused on Europe and transatlantic relations, and we host a lot of events and speakers who are experts on European politics, history, and culture.
I thought it was important that we started the podcast to highlight the Center’s research interests and to expand the audience for our events beyond those who were able to attend in person in Washington.
The podcast allows people to listen to in-depth interviews with policy experts, and experience events virtually, in their own time and when they are on the go.
What’s the name of your show and what is it about?
Our show is called The Europe Desk, named after the section at a newspaper or foreign ministry that deals with European issues. We bring our listeners a mixture of event coverage and interviews with political leaders, think tank experts and diplomats, on issues ranging from emerging tech to Brexit to gender equality in Europe.
What’s your podcasting set-up? Hardware, software, CMS, etc.
We have a very low-tech, low-maintenance set-up. We record using a Blue Yeti microphone into GarageBand, edit it there, and mix using Auphonic.
Over the past month during the pandemic, we have been able to keep the content coming by recording our interviews over Zoom. It is important for us to have a nimble and portable tech configuration, as we do a lot of interviews on the sidelines of events or travel to people’s offices to record.
How have you promoted your podcast?
We use social media extensively – both Instagram and Twitter – both to promote the podcast, but also to engage in conversations and share interesting content about European and transatlantic relations. We try to serve a journalistic role in that sense.
We also promote using both personal emails and the BMW Center’s mailing lists. To reach new groups we have partnered with organizations like the German Marshall Fund and the Delegation of the European to the United States to cross-promote on each others’ podcast platforms and to produce joint episodes.
I also run a blog called The Transatlanticist, which sometimes features the podcast too.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
I wish I would have felt more confident to reach out directly to new followers–especially other journalists–on Twitter via Direct Message to start building a brand and new connections that way.
The personal touch goes a long way, and even high profile people often get back to you, listen to an episode or two, and even promote the podcast themselves.
I also underestimated the role of word-of-mouth promotion, and I always need to remind myself and the team to focus on that form of outreach wherever possible.
If you are in any way interested in European news and transatlantic relations subscribing to The Europe Desk is the way to go! Don’t delay! You can start with this episode in which the U.S. correspondent from the Tagesspiegel newspaper, Juliane Schäuble, discusses covering American politics, the primaries, and the COVID–19 pandemic, produced in partnership with the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Let the Europe Desk team know your thoughts by reaching out to them on social media or over email via [email protected]!
If you’ve been feeling called to create an news podcast why not host your podcast with us? We have fantastic podcast hosting plans. If you aren’t quite ready to pull the plug and feel like you need a bit of a podcasting how-to – we have a FREE Podcasting Quickstart.