I want you to think back to a project that you worked really hard on. Did it have a great legacy? Y’know that piece of work that you absolutely nailed. It exceeded all of its intended outcomes, but it took you to the brink of insanity. The project that received some amazing feedback from the people that took part and it may have even changed a few people’s lives!
Actually, it doesn’t have to be as massive as that. Simply, cast your mind back to any project that you’ve worked on that you really cared about and that had results or a vision worth sharing or replicating.
What happened after the project ended? I bet you spent ages writing some sort of report compiling all the details of what happened and it’s smashing outcomes. I reckon you’ll have included some nice testimonials and some fancy looking graphs you made in excel. Oh bloody hell, I even think some of you paid loads to get someone to design this for you. What, some of you had it printed too? Eek.
All the joy, the stories, the hard work – condensed into a dry, 2D record of achievement.
Where is it now? Was it flicked through once and now gathering dust on a bookshelf or taking up a few megabytes on someone’s hard-drive? Even if it is up on your website, hardly anyone can be arsed to read loads anymore can they? It’s not a great legacy is it? The potential to inspire others stops here.
Does this make you sad? It makes me sad. I’ve been there pals. *weeps and whispers* I’ve been there. 😢
Now, have a think about how capturing some of the project’s values, outcomes or stories in audio form, would have brought your project to life and in-turn, added some real value to the money you or your funders invested in the project too.
Podcasts can give your projects an authentic and colourful legacy.
Take for example the Strong Manchester Women podcast I made for Manchester City Council and The Pankhurst Trust. The Strong Manchester Women campaign is an annual thing that happens every March, around the time of International Women’s Day. Each year, Manchester City Council choose fourteen inspirational women from across the city to be the faces of the campaign. In 2019, instead of the campaign going quiet after International Women’s Day, I worked with the council to document the stories of the women featured in that year’s Strong Manchester Women campaign into a podcast series.
This wasn’t just an audio version of a report either, we didn’t talk stats or go into huge detail about the campaign. The Strong Manchester Women podcast was another branch of the project, that stayed true to the core values of the campaign – which was to celebrate amazing women from the city to inspire others both here and beyond. Each episode was an honest conversation with one of the Strong Manchester Women. We talked all about their journey’s, including careers, difficult times, lessons learnt etc. They were a real and honest insight into the lives of these women – warts and all.
The Strong Manchester Women podcast created a far-reaching legacy for the 2019 campaign. It was heard across the world including listeners in Gibraltar, Australia and India and received press coverage in the likes Women and Home Magazine and Charity Digital News. Best of all it was nominated in the 2020 British Podcast Awards, along other nominees including The Guardian and the BBC – which was an incredible recognition.
Adding a podcast into the mix ensured that the real heart of the Strong Manchester Women project lived on wayyyy beyond International Women’s Day 2019 and will continue to inspire women and girls – globally. Pretty powerful huh?
I’m not saying get rid of reports all together – as I know some funders insist on this format – and podcasts may not work or be suitable for all projects. However, the potential for you to create a legacy for your projects with audio is huge, whether that be as something entwined into your project from the start, perhaps you could create a one-off, showcase piece or a podcast series like Strong Manchester Women – the possibilities to bring your project to life through audio is endless. I’m not even going to go into how podcasts are dead accessible and open up the opportunity for lots of ears to learn about what you do very easily.
Project visibility and legacy is a big question in lots of funding applications, so instead of paying the usual lip service in the answer, how about giving your hard work and amazing outcomes the post-project longevity it deserves?
MIC Media works with people and value led organisations to help to tell their stories through awesome audio. Drop us / me a line to discuss how we can give your work a long-lasting and kick-ass legacy.