Introducing Teaming Up: a new video series and podcast from THP
Earlier this month, we released the first in a monthly series of video discussions between pairs of THP staffers recorded from an online meeting. Inspired by the medium and the content of the discussions, we’re calling this new series Teaming Up with The Hodges Partnership. Since we’ll be recording and releasing a new episode each month for a few months, we decided also to release each edition as a podcast episode. While neither a recorded video call nor a podcast is a brand-new idea, both are helping scratch some of our own content itches. So, I thought I’d lay out our reasoning and approach, and even share some things we’ve learned along the way.
Why video is important to us
Hodges has always been involved with video for our clients in one way or another, but several years ago we made the decision to invest more in being able to create video for ourselves and our clients. Different audiences like to consume information in different ways, and it’s important to our agency and our clients to be able to meet prospects on their preferred playing fields.
Over the years, video projects from clients have included everything from partnering with emerging YouTubers to create a video that ultimately went viral, to working with partners on animated videos that simplify complex programs, to much-simpler videos featuring executives promoting upcoming events.
For ourselves, we’ve produced a variety of videos, including a short series of Q&As with Jon Newman and client testimonials highlighting our work and successes for a variety of clients.
Gathering video with a remote workforce
Like many companies, we started experimenting with how best to continue to produce video content remotely early in the pandemic. We looked at a few options, including training staff to film themselves with their own phones to purchasing easy-to-use standalone cameras and tripods. Those options had the disadvantage of asking the video subject to also be the videographer and art director as well. That’s a lot to ask of one person, especially when everyone is busy with client work. I’m sure we could have rolled out a few videos, but we didn’t think that was sustainable. But what we could do in a sustainable way was to capture the kinds of discussions we’re having on Slack and in video meetings all the time anyway.
After contemplating a few approaches, including livestreamed video conversations, we settled on recording a video meeting between two Hodgers and packaging that into a video to post on Facebook and YouTube. Although these discussions are casual and not intended to be highly produced, we did want to ensure that participants’ audio was as clear as possible, so we procured a couple USB microphones, which we’ll drop off to each video’s participants as needed. We considered also getting webcams to improve the video quality but decided this added more complications than were necessary.
Speaking of sound
While producing the first video episode, it occurred to us that the conversation also worked well in an audio-only format, so we decided to create a companion podcast that includes a brief intro from Jon Newman and then the audio of the discussion. One of the pitfalls of podcasting that we’ve seen companies overlook when diving into producing a show is not realizing quite how much work they can be. Having a podcast means preparing show topics, booking interviews, editing the audio, writing show notes, publishing the show, and more, and often requires a CEO or other busy executive to dedicate time to recording segments or interviews. Often the person or people who are responsible for all those tasks are doing them in addition to a full (or overfull) workload of other responsibilities. Starting a podcast also can be like stepping onto a treadmill that never stops. But repurposing the audio from the video as a podcast means a lot of the leg work as already been done. And the video series and podcast are both planned from the start to involve a limited number of episodes.
Don’t forget to like and subscribe
As with many things we do for ourselves at Hodges, the video and podcast series are both an earnest effort to publish content that will be interesting to our clients, partners and prospects and a way to experiment with different approaches that we may be able to apply one day on behalf of our clients. (On a more-personal sidenote, this project also has given me a chance tap into my musical experience: I made the little tune used in both versions in my home “studio.”)
As I mentioned, both the video and podcast series are planned as a limited run, but if the feedback is good, they could become ongoing productions. So, if you like what you see and hear, subscribe to our YouTube channel or subscribe to the podcast in your favorite app.