We might have launched a podcast series much sooner but WonkComms is still a collaboration of professionals who all have busy day jobs. We’ve been inspired by people like Jonathan Tanner, who was a major player in the early days of WonkComms, as part of the innovative ODI comms team. His ‘Government vs the Robots‘ podcast has blazed a trail. And a few of us have been experimenting with the podcast medium during our day jobs as well. My podcasts from Kenya with Well Told Story, Sofie’s IPPR and NEF podcasts and many others, have shown us that there’s a smartphone audience out there who interested in listening, as well as reading.
So we’ve launched this new podcast series alongside the new thematic theme of #RouteToTheTop and we’ve taken the decision go for quantity over quality. The first two episodes are simply recorded on my iphone and edited on Sofie’s laptop. It’s low tech but we hope that the content is going to be king because it speaks to the feedback that the WonkComms community has been giving us.
Episode 1 is me, in conversation with Abigail Scott Paul, from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. We discuss her #RouteToTheTop and get the inside story on both how she got promoted and how JRF became an award wining think tank. We give you a behind the scenes briefing on how JRF set out to re-frame the narrative on poverty in the UK and there is even a retelling of the WonkComms origins story. We’ve published it this weekend, ahead of the BBC 2 screening of the ‘A Northern Soul‘ a documentary film funded and commissioned by JRF.
Episode 2 has already been recorded – at the recent BreakfastClub event at Soapbox in London – where we discussed with Danny Shriskandaraja his #RouteToTheTop. Danny takes over as CEO of Oxfam in the new year and he reflects in our discussion on how his journey started in a think tank. Stay tuned for that one!
Episode 3? Well, that’s up to you! We’ve already had suggestions and, just like our blog, I’m expecting people to send us not just pitches but submissions. So get out your smartphone, find somewhere quiet and get recording with your fellow WonkComms friends. The best way to get in touch, as ever, is on Twitter: @RDarlo Tell me what you think of the first episode, tell me what you want to hear next and send me you’re recordings.
Richard Darlington is one of the three original founding members of WonkComms