“Conversations” has been airing for three months. Our first guest was VP for finance Mike Reid about a new community relations committee and some of its goals.
I did this to show that the university is very involved in the community and the region. We interspersed information about Mike’s farm, his family who created a business selling maple syrup and apiary products.
Admissions Director Brian Barden was another guest. I wanted people to see how complex his operation is, how the admissions process works year- around, and some of the challenges he faces to bring in not only a diverse mix of students, but the challenges of filling certain programs.
I followed up on one request and interviewed Mansfield University President Maravene Loeschke and local optometrist and trustee Bob Strohecker about a new college/community committee whose first project is to raise money for a movie theatre.
We took the equipment into the field and interviewed officials on a new business park and what it would mean to the community.
I have a roster of potential guests that could fill the next year. I do a show every two weeks so neither I nor my producer will be inundated. The show airs four times morning and evening each weekend.
In the show itself, I take two breaks which we use to air MU commercials. Possibly, in time, I’ll seek commercials from area businesses, charge a nominal amount and turn the money over to our Foundation for scholarships. (I’m thinking out loud here.)
After several shows aired, I wrote a news release and we sent it out to local media. People on campus and around the area have stopped me to tell me how much they like the show and what a great community service it is. This is the kind of word-of-mouth publicity you can’t buy.
Like everything else that all of us do, the producer and I have fit it into a crowded schedule. But the payoff on a local and regional level is worth it.
We pull the audio, lay down a music bed and turn some of the shows into podcasts. I also have an intern breaking the shows into four-five segments to upload on Youtube. (I actually had requests to do this from people not on the local cable. I’m sure alumni will be interested, too).
Some of you have also expressed interest in seeing them so I’ll provide a link in a future post when some are up.
I emphasize again that this show is no budget. No special effects. No set design. We use a few still shots when appropriate. It’s exactly what the show title says it is, conversations.
As we do more shows, I’ll keep you posted on our progress and what I learn.
If you have thoughts or ideas, please share them.