Today’s guests today have been podcasting with Platypus for nearly two years. Mary Motiff is the Director of Tourism for Bayfield County, which is located in Northern Wisconsin along the southern shore of Lake Superior, and Pam King is the executive director of the Grafton Area Chamber of Commerce, located just 20 miles north of Milwaukee. Both destination marketers have been using podcasting to share digital content about the goings-on in their communities.
About the Grafton Community
Grafton is the smallest county in Wisconsin, but Pam King says its location on the I-43 eastern corridor of the state makes it a convenient destination for people visiting Milwaukee or looking to stop somewhere while traveling to other parts of the state. It is located about halfway between Chicago and Green Bay, Wis.
Grafton is considered a retail hub for many. The first Costco and the first Meijer in Wisconsin are here, attracting residents and visitors on the weekends. The Inner Urban Trail, which is used for hiking, biking, and cross country skiing, traverses through the entire county and connects with Milwaukee and Sheboygan County trails.
Grafton is home to Blues Recording, where many Blues greats would come from Chicago to record their music in the 1920s. A lot of the architecture in the Village of Grafton reflects this history, including the Paramount Plaza, which is shaped like a grand piano and keys that are a walking “hall of fame” for Blues artists. The community is also part of the Mississippi Blues Trail. For these reasons and many more, Grafton’s podcast is called “Getaway to Grafton.”
About Bayfield County
Just the opposite of Grafton, Bayfield County is one of the largest counties in Wisconsin with about half of its land in public ownership. Its bounty of amazing natural resources include seven destinations listed as national designations. In fact, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, which consists of 21 islands and the southern shore of Lake Superior, attracts visitor from around to world to see its sea caves that turn to ice in the winter. Located at the top of Wisconsin, Bayfield County has some difficulty getting large populations of visitors to come to the area, but once visitors are here, they come back repeatedly for tranquility and rejuvenation from the hectic pace of big city life. It is a great area to connect with nature Its podcast is appropriately named “Bayfield County Wild.”
The Benefits of Destination Podcasting
Both Pam and Mary agree that their foray into podcasting has been well-received and the envy of their industry peers. In both communities, educating people about podcasting is important, because unless you are a millennial, most people don’t understand what it is. Pam likes to describe podcasting as a talk or radio show when people ask about it. Mary says it also helps to have her guests share the content on their websites and social media outlets once it has been uploaded to platforms like Stitcher and Google Play. She really likes the fact that she can dive deep into topics with podcasting. You can never get the same amount of information in a print, radio or TV ad and the cost is far less.
The people who listen to each podcast are invested in the content. Not everyone is interested in every topic, but they are interested in knowing more about the areas. Both women are building libraries of information that can be used and re-used as long as it remains relevant. Mary has had her marketing intern go through all of the podcast’s show notes to find and list all of the various topics so visitors can just scan the website for the topic they want to learn more about.
Another point that Mary makes is that destination marketing helps economic development. Communicating quality of life in the detail that podcasting can do is huge.
Using Professional Services for Podcasting
Wi-Fi can be spotty in Bayfield County, so with the help of Platypus, Mary has invested in equipment that allows her to record her interviews separately yet at the same time with her co-host Nancy Christopher at Platypus. The equipment lets her record tracks without using Wi-Fi, go on remote interviews off-site, and send the files to Platypus to be edited.
Pam uses the Platypus Studio for her guests. The facilities are comfortable and state-of-the-art, which makes a great impression on the guests. The staff is friendly and helps put the guests at ease. Retakes are allowed if someone makes a mistake and editing takes care of all the “ums” and “you knows.”
Quality, time and technology are the primary reasons both Pam and Mary use Platypus. Neither of these women have time to record, edit, upload and distribute the podcast. They also don’t have time to learn the technology nor the skill to produce quality podcasts. Platypus also provides clients with analytic reports to track and measure how each podcast is doing.
Challenges with Podcasting
While the benefits of podcasting outweigh the challenges, both women have struggled with some issues.
Pam says she needs to think big about topics. As the smallest county in the state, there are a finite number of topics she can do that are podcast-worthy. She and Platypus are solving this problem by going to neighbors outside the county and owning what’s going around Grafton. Summerfest may be 20 miles away on Milwaukee’s lakefront, but Grafton fills up every hotel room during the 11-day festival. Harley-Davidson events always draw scores of visitors from everywhere. And the Milwaukee Bucks and Brewers are close enough attractions to talk about in Grafton.
Mary says coordinating and scheduling her guests is always a challenge and sometimes technology issues can be frustrating. Mary keeps a spreadsheet or content calendar for all of her shows to help keep her organized.
Connect with Mary and Pam
Go to the Bayfield County website at www.travelbayfieldcounty.com. Her contact information is available in the right-hand corner.