“In a lot of organizations, when you’re really attached to the institutional voice, it’s hard to release yourself to have those more vulnerable conversations. And especially in today’s time, those are the conversations that we want to have…I think podcasting is that opportunity to have those conversations and explore those realms.”~Dune Alford, Destination Santa Fe Opera
It’s one thing to successfully create a podcast that informs, engages, and inspires. It’s another thing entirely to do so while maintaining the voice of an organization.
Enter Destination Santa Fe Opera, the show that makes it
look sound so easy.
As a producer of the show, I’m responsible for creating much of that illusion. However, as a freelancer, I work approximately 1200 miles away from Santa Fe Opera’s sprawling desert campus and three folks who’ve made this project sound so unlike others occupying the same niche.
Emily Doyle Moore (director of media and public relations at Santa Fe Opera & executive producer of DSFO), Dune Alford (former media and PR associate at Santa Fe Opera & DSFO producer), and Jane Trembley (former house manager at Santa Fe Opera & current host of DSFO) lend their collective two cents (six cents?) to this conversation about institutional podcasting.
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“It‘s meant to be niche; it’s meant to be talking about shop, but also very accessible and relatable.“
~Emily Doyle Moore
If ease follows intention, then Emily, Dune, and Jane stuck to a clear vision for the 2021 season of DSFO. There’s an organic quality to the episodes, evident in the casual vibe of each conversation and the show’s entire evolutionary process. The podcast, which began in 2019 as Beyond The Opera, has gone through a complete revision, including a name change, the subsequent reworking of its cover art, and the installation of Jane as the show’s genial, curious host. Those tweaks, coupled with an intriguing guest roster featuring upper management, behind-the-scenes artisans, and world-class performers, provide an antidote to the art form’s often stuffy personality––and invite younger audiences to experience the magic of opera from all angles.
Not that Santa Fe Opera had difficulty attracting audiences, artists, or administrators; the podcast merely amplifies the company’s already serious arts org cred.
Marketing departments like the one at Santa Fe Opera understandably value tangible returns on investment over abstracts about community outreach. But the ROI on a podcast is often challenging to articulate. There isn’t a measurable correlation between listeners and tickets sold most of the time. However… As Emily explains, the community-building aspect of DSFO is just as vital to the organization’s overall health as ticket sales.
Beyond that, Emily points to the library of DSFO episodes as incredibly beneficial supplements to press kits and other official opera collateral––an audio shorthand for telegraphing information and institutional messaging.
Entertaining. Community-building. Informing. There’s nothing that a well-crafted organizational podcast can’t do.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
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