• Case study: How to promote a podcast

    by Emily Boghossian

    Here’s the idea in a nutshell: The producers of “Pitch,” a stories-behind-the-music podcast about bands and musicians, are trying to increase their audience, and see passionate music fans as the biggest area for potential growth.

    So why not launch the podcast’s second season as if it were an album, rolling out the first episode as if it were the first single?

    “I got the idea from how we release singles in my band,” Alex Kapelman said. “Essentially, in my band, I try to take advantage of song premieres on blogs. Before the song comes out officially I’ll reach out to a website and ask them to ‘premiere’ it.”

  • Writers wanted

    Happy news: We're expanding the editorial content on AIR's websites, and we are hiring writers.
    We want to work with writers whose interest in and knowledge of public media goes beyond the Top 25 podcasts on iTunes and that great piece you found through #YSLTF on Twitter. (It was a great piece; we follow #YSLTF, too!)
    You probably read CurrentNPR's Social Sandbox, and/or Nieman Lab on the regular.

  • Level Up: A reading list for audio nerds

    Adam Ragusea’s commentary in Current (“Why You’re Doing Audio Levels Wrong and Why It Really Does Matter”) struck a nerve when it was published last month.

    He explained in very simple terms how audio levels translate into listener experience and retention. It set off a massive conversation among listeners, producers, and sound engineers (sound engineers: “told you so”). 

    It definitely explained in laymen’s terms why I can’t listen to “This American Life” while riding the clattering, rattling trains of Boston’s T, but “Snap Judgment” is just fine.

  • Networking really isn't the worst

    Let's get back to basics: Here's how to work a conference. 

    Anthony Martinez

    Conferences aren’t supposed to be hard. Exciting, exhausting, educational? Yes. Difficult? Disappointing? Dull? No.

    But we’ve all been there, either as a newbie with big dreams and a small Rolodex or as a veteran who has heard the same panel discussion once too often.

    So, how does a conferencegoer make the best use of time and registration fees? We think the answer is the same, whether you’re overwhelmed and disoriented or starving for a little inspiration and creativity: Get back to the basics.

  • Five Lessons from Master Mentors

    When Shea Shackelford lends a helping ear to younger producers, they usually come away talking about his skill as a mentor — which is interesting because, when it comes to that kind of relationship, Shea was an orphan.
    “I spent many years wishing I had a good mentor,” he said. “I had people to learn from, I had helpful people around me, but there’s some threshold of learning where you realize you’ve got it, that you are the person you’re looking for. … The way I mentor is based a lot around the sort of mentoring I maybe wish I’d had.”
    Shea, a cofounder of Big Shed Audio, was one of the pioneers for AIR’s MQ2 initiative and he regularly helps less experienced producers shepherd a project through AIR’s structured mentorship program.
    I had called Shea for selfish reasons. Since 2011, I’ve been working as a volunteer mentor-editor for The Op-Ed Project, which is working to diversify the voices and views on the world’s editorial pages. When people come out of a short-term, formal mentorship inspired, encouraged, and improved, it catches my attention.