Case Study: Northumbria University

Northumbria University Landscape Picture

100 staff and academics all podcast trained and ready to go!

In May 2021, we embarked on one of our biggest podcast training programmes to date; the skilling-up of 100 Northumbria University members of staff and academia.

Now, you know us. We do love helping people start their podcast journey, and this time was no different. We devised and delivered a 9 hour course to each and every participant (not all in one sitting you understand – that would’ve just been cruel!), and we’re thrilled to say that we all made it to the end!

Andrea Slowey
Andrea Slowey, PR & Media Manager at Northumbria University

This professional development course was the brain child of Andrea Slowey, PR & Media Manager at Northumbria University, and she was kind enough to take a few mins to explain why she thought the training was important, both from a University and staff engagement point of view.

Why did you want to do podcast training?

One of our key strategic objectives is to raise the University’s global reputation. There are many ways of doing this, but in this day and age we know people really want to hear expert voices. We already provide our researchers with specialist training on media interviews and producing their own film content and news articles but we knew we were missing a trick with podcasting. The podcast audience is huge and we were seeing growing numbers of our experts appearing on podcasts or asking us for guidance on producing their own. We knew we needed to do something to get a foot in the door. We don’t have the capacity to produce podcasts ourselves, but we could train academic experts to produce their own. This has the double-win of helping them [Northumbria’s academics] to raise their own profile but also raising the University’s profile too. So we commissioned Bengo to come in and train 100 members of staff to get the ball rolling.

This has the double-win of helping them [Northumbria’s academics] to raise their own profile but also raising the University’s profile too.

What do you hope the staff will get out of this?

Podcasting is such a great way to talk to people who are interested in specific topics or themes, and it’s also a great way for our academics to share their expertise in a subject. It helps them to become more confident in talking to broad audiences and learn new ways of sharing information. We wanted our staff to understand the full process of podcasting. While someone may have a great idea, it’s important for them to know the depths you need to dig into to develop, produce, create and promote a podcast series. This is something which will take time and investment on their part, but which we know will reap great results.

What do you hope the university will get out of this?

We know this won’t happen overnight, but we’d ideally like to get to the stage where some of our researchers have brilliant podcast series which become ‘must listens’ for people interested in their specialist fields – whether that be potential students; potential partners and collaborators or peers in the subject. This will help us become recognised as a university for academic excellence. We also hope that potential new staff will see the time and energy we invest in developing skills to help our academics become media savvy and this will encourage them to come and work for us.

How have you found the process / working with us?

It ‘s been brilliant working with the team at Bengo. They put together a really comprehensive response to our brief and they have delivered an amazing package of training for us. They’re responsive, they want to work collaboratively and have been a pleasure to work with. We’ve even run evening sessions to help people who are working more flexibly at the moment and these have been so well received.

Every single bit of feedback we have had has been positive – from comments on how helpful and friendly the team are; through to how well everything is explained and how well-paced the sessions are. One person even said to us that it was one of the best training sessions she’d ever undertaken and hasn’t stopped talking about it since. I think that says it all ????

Check out the Northumbria University summary case study in our Portfolio section.

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Northumbria University Landscape Picture