How GroundSource powers Reveal’s podcast

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash. Modified by Simon Galperin.

The long awaited release of Apple’s Podcast Analytics last year was a gift to podcasters who want to read tea leaves to anticipate their audience’s needs. Like many developments on content distribution platforms, it promotes advertising to large audiences, not deeper connections.

You need to build community to make those connections. Reveal’s podcast from the Center for Investigative Reporting is using GroundSource to do just that.

“It’s getting us from spokespeople to everyday people,” according to Cristina Kim, collaborations and engagement manager for Reveal.

Cristina Kim is Reveal’s collaborations and engagement manager.

For a project on diversity in Silicon Valley, GroundSource is letting the reporters at Reveal reach past professional communicators to everyday people with stories to tell.

One call out brought the voices of women of color in tech into the newsroom by text message. Reveal paired GroundSource with Screendoor to survey them and ask a crucial final question: “Can we follow up with you?” That inspired a conversation series with those women for the podcast.

Some call outs are receiving hundreds of responses.

Almost 300 people left voice messages on what they’d tell President Trump about the Keystone XL pipeline during Reveal’s Standing Rock coverage.

Here’s an example of one of their call outs:

Hey, listeners. Cole Goins, here, from Reveal. The stories you’re hearing in this episode are part of an ongoing Reveal initiative called “Chasing Energy”. We’ve been reporting on the issues that drove the Standing Rock fight, and we’re also looking at other places where energy development, Native American land rights, and environmental protection converge. We’ve got more to come on this series. Reporter Patrick Michaels, who we just heard from, will publish his full journey down the Transmountain pipeline on our website soon. To get exclusive updates about our reporting, just text the word, “Pipeline”, to 701–289–9353. We’ll send you occasional texts and share ways that you can ask questions about our stories. The magic word, again, is “Pipeline”, and the number is 701–289–9353.

Messaging is a way for Reveal’s podcast to connect with a community appearing in the national discourse and listen to them, according to Kim.

Reveal’s radio program appears on 400 public radio stations but leaves their call outs for podcast listeners. That way they’re building relationships with an already engaged community.

But once you have a listener’s phone number — and know they’re interested in a particular topic — how do you continue to build a relationship them?

That’s a question GroundSource can help you answer. Click here to get in touch.

Check out the most recent episodes of Reveal here.