Five Women Walk into a Podcast Festival...

Opinion and Insight 66 Add to collection
Allie Haroutunian discusses Werk It: A Women's Podcasting Festival in LA
Five Women Walk into a Podcast Festival...

In advertising we’re asked -- what’s the big idea?

Well...this is our big idea: become podcasting moguls. Something the agency can get behind, but isn’t thematically absorbed in our industry. An outlet for our sweet creative unicorn souls, where we can have fun and be ourselves, talk about our lives and this wild wild world we live in.

Besides, podcasting is easy, right? There’s a host, a writer, a producer, you throw some music down and done. Easy enough.

Ha! Not so much. There’s a lot that goes into the making and creating of any piece of media (as we know) - let alone a podcast. So, a group of us female creatives attended Werk It: A Women’s Podcasting Festival here in LA to chart our own paths on becoming media moguls, like the magic eight-ball said we would.

Not only were there swarms of women who have something to say, with a platform to say it — but these women lift up other women’s voices, shining light on an entire group (snaps for honest inclusivity!).

Now, you’re probably asking yourself, why does us being 'female' matter? Well, here’s a quick stat to put this whole industry on blast: in 2017, Stitcher reported two out of three of their shows were hosted by men, and only eleven shows in total were hosted by women. And that’s just Stitcher, these stats don’t include other major media outlets like Apple, Gimlet, NPR. Record downloads of Sara Koenig’s Serial, helped spark a shift in attitudes, giving merit to female-run shows. And now festivals like Werk It are on a mission to increase the number of female hosted podcasts from 25% to over 50%. With the listening gender gap closing, 2020 looks bright.

Allie can’t help but admire the work of every female who beat doors down to get their voices heard, and every podcaster - no matter gender - who put the work in to create an incredible piece of media. #inspiring

We learned more about the show(s) we want to create. We heard tips and tricks of the trade, found niches and spaces where we can play with our own ideas. We learned about tone of voice, the importance of networking, and owning our stories. Not to mention, the INCREDIBLE amount of work that goes into an undertaking such as this. I argue our careers in advertising have been preparation for a venture so demanding of our unique skill set.

And, now that she's said her piece, Allie gives the floor over to her counterparts to blurb what they learned from the experience:

Rachel Guest, associate creative director said: "Podcasting has become an incredible platform for many diverse voices to be heard. Attending Werk It highlighted podcasting as an outlet for women and particularly for marginalised perspectives to speak unencumbered by traditional media conditions such as shareholders, advertisers, and censorship. Equally, it was showcased as an opportunity for women not only to express themselves but to capitalise on their own earning potential and to step into leadership be it through producing, hosting, or creating their own media companies. #inspired #hopeful

Celine Faledam, associate creative director said: "It's just so empowering and comforting to see women kicking asses in the digital airwaves and how they're playing this field through the lens of inclusion. The golden age of podcasts is coming, and this means seeing people from all backgrounds breaking in and amplifying diverse stories. Goodbye white male-dominated industry. Podcasting will certainly not turn into another boys club."

Amy Char, copywriter said: "Werk It is technically 'a women’s podcast festival.' (Attended. Can confirm.) But it really ought to be seen as a festival about navigating the world of podcasts—and the world we live in—as women. A common thread in the panels: recognising our inherent ability and power to challenge the status quo. By doing so, we can share our voices and elevate other voices that are often unheard in podcasts, advertising… and, well, our own lives."

Kristen 'KB' Busk, director of social innovation said: "As marketers, we attend events that are specific to our niche. As a social-first marketer, I’ve only ever attended conferences under this category. For the first time, I knew nothing about the topic that was being discussed. I now have knowledge on a topic that would have never hit my desk. We were so inspired that we want to develop our own podcast! The best part about it, every person who attended this conference will use their specificity to bring it to life."

With all this knowledge gained, it would be a waste to not do anything with it. To not lift our own voices up, and be a part of this amazing movement to get more women in front of the mic. We left the festival smarter, empowered, and maybe with a few ideas of our own.

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Creative Agency:

The Many

Associate Creative Director: Rachel Guest

Associate Creative Director: Celine Faledam

Copywriter: Amy Char

Copywriter: Allie Haroutunian

Director of Social Innovation: Kristen 'KB' Busk

Genres: People

Categories: Media and Entertainment, Streaming Services

The Many, 7 months ago