In March 2018, my colleagues and in the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State launched a podcast called Democracy Works that examines what it means to live in a democracy.
We were not quite sure what we were doing, but decided to take the plunge anyway — and I am so glad we did. With the help of WPSU Penn State, central Pennsylvania’s NPR station, we took the show from idea to launch in just three months.
We now have listeners in all 50 states and 165 countries. The show won a CASE Circle of Excellence Award in 2020 and a People’s Choice Podcast Award in 2018. The show has grown more popular than I ever thought it would and it’s opened my eyes to the power that podcasts can bring to higher ed and vice versa.
At the beginning of 2020, I teamed up with a group of like-minded podcasters to launch The Democracy Group, a network of podcasts that examines what’s broken in our democracy and how we can work together to fix it. This is an exciting project and one I’m eager to work more on this year.
I wrote about what I’ve learned in a few Medium articles:
- Why 2019 will be the “year of the podcast” in higher education — and what it means for the industry
- 5 questions to ask before starting a podcast at your organization
- The key to an engaging podcast interview
- The podcast audience you’re probably missing
- 3 ways to measure podcast growth beyond download numbers
- Interview with Christopher Goffard of Dirty John