I gave a presentation to my colleagues at a conference of the PA State System of Higher Education, held at Slippery Rock University. Ron Wilshire, PR director at Clarion University and I decided that I would do a live interview, record it, edit it, lay a music bed under it, mix and post the podcast.
While I spoke and did the editing, Ron videotaped it. He posted both the podcast and the video to YouTube. The goal was to show the audience –PR and publication directors—how easy it is. I know for most of my readers here this is elementary stuff, but it was new to everyone in the audience. Ron and I wanted to dissolve the intimidation factor and encourage them to try out the new media.
It went well. Lots of questions. I was surprised that most were not familiar with RSS, Web 2.0, FTP and other basics. A few had never listened to a podcast. About half had an iPod.
After Ron and I took a lot of the mystery out of the media, I think – I hope — many will go back and try it. I think the real selling point was assuring them that it’s not time consuming. At Mansfield University, I conduct the interview, then turn it over to a student who does the editing and mixing. I give it one last check and we upload it. If it’s a 20- minute interview, I invest maybe 30 minutes in it. The students are the key.
One person did ask a question that’s kind of a hot button for me: How do you track results to justify what you’re doing? I’ll answer this and ask for help in an upcoming posting.
Needless to say, I came home from the two-day conference exhausted, but feeling like I’d pulled in a few more converts to the world of podcasting , video and Web 2.0.
And here’s a story about reality.
I left lunch early to set up because when you’re dealing with technology, something is guaranteed to go wrong. I connected my Peavey PV8 mixer, Heil mics, two miniature monitors and my Dell laptop, only to find Cool Edit wasn’t recording. I realized with horror that I had used the Dell for basic editing and playback but never for recording! Panicked, I played with the “preferences” settings which I hadn’t touched in two years, and finally succeeded in getting sound levels.
At that moment, another guy entered the room and started setting up. I had an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. “Are you presenting in here?” I asked. He said yes. Just then an IT person who I’d requested, came in and said I was presenting in the next room.
I yanked everything apart, ran up to the next room, reconnected and realized there were going to be too many people to see one computer screen. The IT guy bailed me out by hooking me up to a big screen and the room sound system. I finished with three minutes to spare.
Thanks, Slippery Rock IT guys!
Note to myself: next time make a comprehensive check list.