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Top 5 Podcasts at a University – #2: Development and Alumni October 19, 2006

Posted by Jeff in Podcasting, Rice University, University Podcasting.

Who’s left? We’ve talked about faculty, staff, and yesterday’s topic was #3: Anything from Students. Today? Alumni of course, but not only them, I’m talking about them… and development.

2. Development and Alumni
Who’s more interested in knowing about what’s going on at a university than the alumni? Who’s more interested in telling people what’s going on at a university than ‘development’? (For those of you who don’t know, ‘development’ is the word universities use for the department that tries to get people to donate money to them.) What solves both needs? A podcast of course.

The ‘development’ department podcast, though it has a hidden agenda, is at it’s core very worthwhile. There are a lot of people in the world that feel a close connection with a university and want to know what’s going on with it. Rolled in with an ‘alumni’ podcast, alumni feel that connection more than anyone. What is there to brag about at the university that I graduated from? What are other graduates of my university up to? What programs are going on at that university that I might come to, volunteer at, get involved with, donate to?

Those questions above are where to start when thinking about developing a podcast like this. No matter what you call it, you must first consider your audience and what they’re looking for. What questions are they going to want answered by this podcast? Using those answers, the solutions to these other questions will easily follow: Should it be multiple podcasts? How much content is needed? Every day or once a week? How long should they be? Etc. I have been asked all of these questions before, and what I tell people is there there are only averages and statistics… what they want to do based on their audience is entirely unique and up to them.

One popular set up is a five minute daily podcast that has ‘segments’ or ‘features’ each day of the week. Try a ‘students perspective of the weekend activities spot’ on Monday, a ‘professor of the week and the cool things he/she is doing’ on Tuesday, ‘interview an alumni’ on Wednesday, ‘how you can get involved’ on Thursday, and wrap up with ‘news from this week’ on Friday. You could even create two different feeds with this podcast. Submit Fridays in one feed to the public and offer extended/everyday content if they sign up for your mailing list or ‘login’ to a portal of some sort. Then, they can subscribe to the everyday feed, and your university gets a mailing list created of people that you know are very interested in what’s going on.

Tomorrow… the number one most requested reason to podcast at a university? Well, you’ll just have to wait until then!

I hope this series gives you some ideas on what podcasting can do on a university level. If you have other podcast ideas on your campus, email them to me. I’d like to know about them.



1. Top 5 Podcasts at a University - #1: Enrollment and Recruiting « Jeffrey Daniel Frey’s Blog - October 20, 2006

[…] This is the last entry in this week’s series on the five top reasons to podcast at a university. Yesterday, if you missed it, was #2: Development and Alumni. Today, we hit the other end of the student time-line with prospective students. […]

2. Top 5 Podcasts at a University - #3: Anything from Students « Jeffrey Daniel Frey’s Blog - October 28, 2006

[…] This week, I’ve been talking about the top 5 most requested reasons to podcast at a university. I’ve learned these things from my discussions with colleagues and my own experiences. Yesterday, if you missed it, was #4: Staff Development and Morale. Today’s topic focuses on students. […]

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