Grow Kinder Podcast

Committee for Children - Seattle, Wa

press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom

In later 2018, the Director of PR for the Committee for Children (CFC) met with me to discuss her annual “Ask Our Expert” project. Upon hearing the details of the project, I found out that it involved interviewing experts in the field of social-emotional learning (SEL) and having the copywriter on my team write out a narrative of the interview. Each year, she would have 12-20 experts interviewed and would release the document as one downloadable PDF with all interviews together.

 

This year, she had the goal of bringing more attention to the PDF in hopes of further spreading knowledge of the benefits behind SEL. She asked for my advice on how we could approve the design and concept to attract more users. Upon showing me the project, I could see the problem immediately: it was simply boring.

 

Don’t get me wrong, the content was great. However, it was text-heavy, with no interesting graphics to help catch the reader’s attention. Each interview was in standard two-column structure, had simple CFC branding, and an image of the expert being interviewed. She mentioned to me that our audience doesn’t need stronger design and is more interested in the content. That may be true, but I argued that everyone is attracted to strong design, and it simply strengthens the content. To help demonstrate this, I surveyed our employees to ask if any of them had read the PDF. Turns out, only one or two outside of our team had. My argument was simple: if we didn’t find it interesting enough to read, how could we expect people outside of our company to find it interesting.

 

My solution for this was simple. Since we were already interviewing the expert, why don’t we record it? If the content was the primary focus, we should bring in the emotional part of SEL by having the user listen to the expert personally. I asked the director if she had ever considered doing a podcast instead. I had all the resources needed on my team: a copywriter, web developer, graphic designer, video/sound editor, etc. To me, it made perfect sense.

 

Thus, the “Grow Kinder Podcast” was born!

 

Well, sort of. First, we had to concept it, design it, host it, record it; you get the idea. It wasn’t long before I realized how much up-front work this would be. That said, I knew that it would save time in the long run because once the initial design was completed, all we would have to focus on was video editing; especially if we could make the hosted website easy for anyone within PR to edit themselves. So, we set to work with the following deliverables:

 

  • Dynamic website in which to host the podcast to be editable by someone without dev experience

  • Deciding a name for the podcast

  • Creating a logo and brand standards

  • Social media and branded graphics

 

We managed to bring everything together within a 3 months’ timeline from the initial meeting to the launch date in January of 2019. Now, nearly 2 years later, the “Grow Kinder Podcast” has more than 30 episodes and continues to grow in popularity. It even paved the way for another CFC podcast called the “Imagine Neighborhood”, which is seeing even more success.To hear the podcast, please go to growkinderpodcast.org,