Updated Nov, 15th 2012
I'm a longtime public radio reporter who's recently launched a podcast all about women and the workplace - it's called The Broad Experience. If you'd told me a year ago I'd now be hosting a podcast I'd never have believed you, but earlier this year I was a fellow on CUNY's entrepreneurial journalism program, and that's where The Broad Experience got its start. I am doing this on top of the rest of my life (I receive no payment for this) so it is not nearly as developed as I'd like. I've produced nine episodes so far. Each is short - between eight and 13 minutes.
I am still very much trying to work out how to build an audience, appeal to people etc. I really don't have any photos other than those of a couple of contributors. The famous 'we can do it' picture is a temporary ID for the show's Facebook page. It sums up what I talk about on the show: that women are half the population but we're not nearly in nearly as many top positions as we should be (but that we can do it), and there are many reasons for this, some obvious (babies/child rearing) some far less so (you don't shed thousands of years of socialization in a few decades of feminism!) What I try to do on the show, with my interviewees, is bring thoughtful analysis to the reasons why women aren't doing as well as they could in the workplace and, through the insights offered in our conversations, provide a takeaway for listeners, an 'aha' moment. I have been told by a number of listeners that they find it 'inspiring'. I do have some male listeners but obviously I expect to appeal to women more than men: smart women who like ideas and care about this stuff.
One big thing I want to work on: when I hear the word 'gender' I think 'uh-oh'. My big concern with my show is that when a lot of people hear 'women' or 'gender' they automatically think 'worthy' - i.e. something they *ought* to be interested in but that will probably be preachy. My show is not like that but how do I convey on the homepage and elsewhere that this podcast is not about whining? This is a a challenge and I'd really appreciate any input you have on this.
I know this show could have a potentially large audience but it's a question in part of letting them know I exist. I did start to go down the path of getting a logo designed but didn't like what the designer was coming up with, so dropped it and due to other commitments haven't started the search again.
This is the site: http://www.thebroadexperience.com
I'm pasting the homepage copy here:
The Broad Experience is a new podcast that brings thoughtful conversation, ideas - and a little attitude - to the subject of women and the workplace. You'll hear interviews with influential women (and men), lively debates and stories that illuminate women's complicated role in modern life. Listen here or subscribe via iTunes. You can find the most recent episode below. Check out the links above for previous episodes, a bit about your host, Ashley Milne-Tyte, and the Broadly Speaking blog.
So far we've covered topics like why so few women work in tech (and why it matters), how race can play out at work, whether the glass ceiling still exists and whether female entrepreneurship is all it's cracked up to be. We dig into all this while giving women some of the tools they need to navigate the workplace and find success. Which isn't always as straightforward as it sounds.
Women still have a very different experience of work than men. We're doing brilliantly in the education system and out-graduating guys. But although 60 percent of women work, only three percent of CEOs are female. Sure, not everyone wants those top jobs. We all define success differently. But many women are ambitious, yet we don't quite reach our full potential. Often the debate about why is boiled down to one thing: babies. It's more complicated - and interesting - than that.
The workplace needs to change and so do we. Join the conversation.
That's The Broad Experience.
I have fiddled with the copy on many occasions. I have also asked listeners/friends for feedback. I made one change after a woman said she had no idea what one sentence meant and I realized it was fairly British in tone (that's where I grew up). I took the sentence out. Right now I'm fairly happy with this but I am too close to it to have proper perspective. Also, per my note above, does it say 'non whiny' to the extent I want it to?
The 'about' section I am also OK with. I want to come across as warm and myself. I AM the brand so it has to sound/feel like me. But again, my perspective is off. All the other stuff you need can be heard in the shows themselves, which are all on the website.
As for language to speak to differnet consituencies, I really don't have many constituencies - as far as I can see I only have the audience, i.e. listeners or site visitors. Investors - ha! Press, I honestly had not thought about that yet but I am not sure I would change anything specifically for any press. I am not a company, only a podcast. I can't even pay myself. There is little hope of hiring anyone in the near future.
TOUCH POINTS: www.thebroadexperience.com
Broad Experience Facebook page
My LinkedIn account
My twitter account @ashleymilnetyte (haven't made up a TBE Twitter handle. Am torn about it but I'm already overwhelmed and it's taken me 18 months to get to 570 Twitter followers myself. How many 'yous' do you make? It's about all I can handle to keep up with the social media I already do).
www.ashleymilnetyte.com - some people may come across the show that way
Panels I've spoken on
It also airs once a month on WLRN, the Miami public radio station and has aired on WINGS, the Women's International News Gathering Service
As I've said before, investors aren't an issue for me. The people I am most concerned about appealing to are potential sponsors or outlets that might broadcast my show.
- How is The Broad Experience different from any other women's career destination? Aren't there websites for this kind of thing?
Answer: There are indeed, but TBE is more than a show about careers. Sites like The Grindstone, The Daily Muse and others all offer a lot of advice and articles that suggest '7 ways to wow your boss' - that kind of thing. Mine is a show about *ideas* - ideas about WHY women are still lagging career-wise and HOW we can change that. It offers listeners a takeaway but also informs them in a thoughtful way - that really is the big difference between me and others, the fact that this is thoughtful, thought-provoking content delivered by someone who is a professional broadcaster and knows her stuff. Also because this is audio it's extremely convenient to listen to - whenever and whereever you want. And audio is an intimate, engaging medium. You pick up insights that really only come from a conversation between two people.
- Market demand?
Fewer than 4% of CEOs in the US are female. 14% of senior executives are female. Yet women outgraduate men at the undergrad level and, now, the graduate level as well. So women are clearly interested in having fulfilling careers. And look at the reaction that Atlantic article by Anne-Marie Slaughter got on women not being able to have it all. This topic is clearly of interest to many. Something is going wrong, and it is not all about babies. There are many subtle and not so subtle reasons for the gap and I talk about all of them with the guests on my show. Women and the workplace has become an even bigger topic since Slaughter wrote her piece yet no radio show or podcast discusses this on a regular basis.
- How are you building audience?
Through a combination of channels: tweeting and sharing on the show's Facebook page and sometimes my own account as well, sending out an email to my list once a new show is made, having other people share it, speaking on panels at places like Sarah Lawrence and CUNY Journalism School, having a monthly slot on WLRN, Miami public radio, and via The Women's International News Gathering Service, which has aired several of my shows during the last few months. I am still working on approaching potential partners (such as sites that concentrate on women's issues, especially women in business - I've been featured on a couple of those) and sponsors and of course I continue to approach public radio station managers.
- How do you intend to make money?
Good question. My plan is to find a sponsor or sponsors who can fund a certain number of shows for a set number of months. In the long run I plan to place a 'donate' button on the site so true fans can give a small monthly amount and help the show be sustainable (this is how many successful podcasts make money). I need to build audience first. The bigger the audience, the easier it will be to get a rotating cast of sponsors for different shows. I also plan to make money from events built around the topics I cover in the podcast.
- But how many people really listen to podcasts?
About 17% of Americans listen to at least one podcast each month. Listeners skew slightly more male. That's still millions of women listening, though. But podcasting behavior is changing from the iTunes model (i.e. click and download and listen on the go) to the smartphone model, i.e. i have a smart phone, I want to listen to anything on-demand. My show can be downloaded and listened to or listened to on demand thanks to SoundCloud's technology.
- Do you really think there's enough to talk about on the topic of women and work on a regular basis?
Yes. I wondered about this too in the beginning but since starting to produce the show listeners have sent me ideas, I've come up with ideas I'd never thought about before, etc. Also 'women and work' is pretty broad. I intend to talk about anything that touches on that topic, just as, while a reporter for Marketplace (public radio) I could turn any story into a business story as long as there was some kind of economic angle in there. I am practiced at this stuff.
November 15 task #1:
Short statement: The Broad Experience is a podcast about women and work that gives women an edge at the office.
The Broad Experience is a podcast that’s full of ideas about how women can thrive in the workplace. It informs and entertains while giving listeners plenty of ‘aha’ moments. There’s a takeaway that women (and men) can use in their lives and particularly in their jobs. With women making up fewer than four percent of CEOs, something is clearly going wrong between the education system and the corner office. The reasons are complex (it’s not all about babies) and worth talking about. Host Ashley Milne-Tyte, a veteran public radio reporter, discusses the issues with smart, influential guests and delivers a short, thoughtful show you can listen to at home or on the go.