What’s in a Title?

Recording #17 — twiCE podcast from rear left: Paul, David. Front left: Janne, Jaya

Guests say the darnedest things, and they are but one of many pleasures revealed sitting around a table recording podcasts every fortnight. After the fun of listening, asking the right questions and accurately capturing the answers comes the workflow of backups, edits, writing show-notes and finally hitting publish.

Never stop learning

Each episode title stands alone as a distinctive beacon for that conversation, and to encourage casual, occasional and new listeners to get the words into their ears. I want to provoke your interest with those first words via the gatekeeper of your eyeballs, before the real words reach your brain through either dainty or cauliflowered lugholes. (We don’t discriminate on the basis of ear-type).

Adding informative and entertaining value within the inflexibility of time

One of many editing and pre-publication decisions involves teasing a title from something (ideally) one of the guests has mentioned. It’s one of few intangible variables/moving targets along the linear progression of a now-established podcast workflow. Know that it’s a tiny but disproportionately important marker attempting to summarise over an hour of digital content each fortnight.

An internal (personal) project [read #lovenotmoney] to pour attention and effort into, with great people like this one, and this one.

What constitutes click bait is a hot topic probably best left for content marketing industries, factories and platforms to answer. Choosing a suitably whimsical title, which intentionally has not much to do with the topics/guests professional interests, is one small creative outlet for a mind connecting marketing and the digital with humanity’s mêlée.

In hindsight, episode 17’s ‘Adventures with Vespa lighter fluid’ could be construed as a slightly inflammatory (pun unintended) title, but I ran with it as an accurate play on mashed-up words of two conversations from the recording:

Paul discussed early roles and mentioned a boss standing over his desk with lighter fluid at the ready, to destroy formative work at the flick of a tyrannical wrist. Probably not very motivational for a younger and impressionable brand and branding professional.

One of our co-workers here at Quad is a biker, and the recording was briefly interrupted by a raucous kick-start of burbling and de-silenced block of American iron. Jokes about Vespa with an attached speaker ensued, and nearly descended into toilet jokes about noise vs performance.

Usually a title jumps out like a hungry playful seal when editing the footage, but this time it fell to internally crowd-sourced input (Slack channel chat) to arrive at a resonant marker. The clock is ticking, each hour passing puts the content further away from its recording date, and closer to the end of a working day’s iTunes RSS feed distribution to subscribers.

A Vespa, and a long-gone boss holding sway over output. Put the two together and there’s a clutched at straws title.

For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and perhaps poor taste. Title naming: job done.

Not a perfect science is title-naming is what I’m saying. If I’ve offended those who’ve been negatively affected by pyromaniacs then I’m really and truly sorry for the heartache and loss you may have suffered.

I’ll ponder more deeply in the future while treading the fine line between earning your attention, encouraging you to have a listen, and giving the mis-impression of treating a serious subject too lightly.


I produce focused, creative output for the curious, and for organisations and businesses. Some of the tools include recognisable stuff like audio (great for longer-form and reaching super-fans) and video (great for short attention spans; TV ads have fundamentally changed our brains forever). The funny thing is that the most valuable ‘products’ and services are invisible, they’re not easily compartmentalised into what you can see easily. Nothing like a challenge.

I’m serious about striving for both gender and diversity balance in public-facing output, and am gratefully tapping into others’ networks to invite future podcast guests to join me in conversation that scales. This is an open invitation for innovators, creatives and social enterprisers to get in touch when you’re passing through Christchurch, NZ anytime in the future. We’ll book you in for a unique twiCE podcast: guests, topics, brews, co-hosts, weeks experience that doesn’t appear (yet) on many travellers’ bucket-lists.