Pod Save the EU
FROM THE DESK OF: @AmericanEUDude
TO: Florence SCHART, European Commission, DG Communications, Acting Director for Organigrammes
CC: Roland CANVA, Head of Unit for Inspiring Banners, Infographics and Memes
BC: @Berlaymonster, @mseltzermayr
RE: EU podcast pitches
Dear Flo, dear Rollie. Hope you find this memo well. I’m reaching out after our last Zoomstorm when we said we needed some creative new platforms for public and stakeholder engagement – specifically, ones that “don’t suck”.
Sure, we’ve seen at least some improvement with our latest batch of short videos made by drones moving through Commission corridors, sometimes while operating remote-controlled, flying cameras. And I know you are big fans of tweeted photos of Commissioners holding what do not in any way look like prop fixed-line phone receivers. But we’re missing out on a target-rich environment: European ears.
People no longer want to consume content with their eyes. They want to receive it aurally – and we should not be shy about giving it. Podcasts are big, especially with influencers who can’t – or simply won’t – read or write something.
With that in mind, I thought I’d spitball you a few concepts we could get into production fairly quickly after we watch a few tutorials.
ASMR Midday Briefing: Dozens of people stream the Commission’s Midday Briefing on EBS but is our message really getting through? This daily podcast reads subscribers the full transcript of each daily presser in a soothing, close-miked, surround-sound whisper. I’ve run this past Mamer, who texted back: “Mamer like!!!”
Now You’re Talkin’ My Language! This podcast’s narration changes language with every sentence, scrolling through each official EU tongue several times. Confusing? Pas once du ota se kiinni. Think Duolingo but, like, whatever 27 of that is.
In Search of the European Public’s Fear: High-minded Europhiles are always talking about “the European public’s fear”; the investigative team behind this series looks at whether such a thing exists, and if so, what shape it is in.
Sex and the Reciprocity: Is a deep and special relationship worth it if it means sacrificing your independence? Top EU trade negotiators gather weekly over Cosmopolitans to discuss how the modern European can get out there – without sacrificing her standards.
(Not) In Bruges: The official podcast of the College of Europe in the age of COVID. Anyone who listens to this one-hour-per-week distance-learning podcast for two years is awarded a personal feeling of superiority that transfers to any job in the EU bubble.
The Great British Back Off: Brexit is over – or is it? Seriously, I’m asking. And I think a lot of listeners are, too. This weekly contest gives four mid-level officials – two from U.K., two from EU – a set of random pieces of legislation they have to figure out how to rework in a half-hour.
Fish Pun Intended: Perhaps the most important lesson we learned during the Brexit talks is that people never get tired of fish-based wordplay. Listeners to this pod-cast will tuna in just for the halibut every week to hear host Gil Finn welcome a guest to “the tank” for a half-hour of reeling off… well, you get the idea.
Btw we might want to move fast on this if we want to get ahead of the European Parliament, which is already charting with their bbq podcast Manfred’s Weber and their how-to-spend-it chatshow, Carpe Per Diem.
If you've got any questions please hesitate to ask.