May 24, 2023

Podcasting Community Q&A - Vic Elizabeth Turnbull

Podcasting Community Q&A - Vic Elizabeth Turnbull

With the Podcast Show London on 24th/25th May, we’re running a series of short daily podcasts and Q&A's with a variety of people in the podcast industry.

Vic runs MICMedia and we discussed podcasting for social good and how to build a community in Podcasting. For those at The Podcast Show - post event Meetip details are here

What got you started in podcasting?

So it was a combination of things really. So all I've ever wanted to do since I was little is to make nice things for people's ears. When I was tiny, I used to listen to my local radio station, Hallam FM in Sheffield. I couldn't believe that people could make a living by speaking down a microphone and bringing joy to people's homes and cars.

And they got to interview people like Take that at the Spice Girls and I was like, I want some of that, that sounds amazing. And so I went to college then uni and I did media production and then by accident fell into working in the charity sector. So I've worked within charities, large national youth charities for 15 years.

During that time, I started and founded my own radio show with an independent music website in Manchester called Silent Radio. So I still had that itch for working with audio and making nice things with people's ears, and to cut a massive, long story short, in 2017, I was made redundant from the last place that I worked, the last charity I worked for and so MIC Media was born that married my love of audio and absolute passion for working within the third sector.

Are there any podcasts you've worked on you're particularly proud of?

Oh yeah, there's been loads. I think especially in the third sector, there's a real magic that happens when we hear real voices. And stories and experiences that come with that. And more often than not, especially in the mainstream media, we don't often hear a lot of these voices and so the power of podcasts in the third century is huge. 

So I work predominantly with, I call "good eggs", like social impact organizations. and that can range from a local not-for-profit theatre company in Ashton-Under-Lyme, to the Co-Op featuring voices of employees that are working in, in funeral directors in Cornwall, to local shops in South London.

Last year I worked with the National Football Museum to train for young community producers and to create a podcast based on the museum's growing female football collection and train them on how to create podcasts, recording editing, crafting stories, and they went from never having made a podcast before in three months to launching a podcast that got number one in the new & noteworthy on Apple Podcasts for five weeks.

It got a shout out in the Times and The Guardian. At one point, it was number six in the football podcast charts in the whole of the UK, so I'm all about creating podcasts that can compete with the big boys.

As well as MIC Media, you now have a Podcasting Meetup group with well over 1,000 members, how did that come about?

So MICs podcast club came about because it was 2018 and I was doing some work with a wonderful woman called Kate Cocker. She is a ex radio producer and has her own podcast production company and a repertoire of amazing podcasts. And I was doing some work with her in 2018 and podcasting was on a trajectory at that time. And I noticed that there wasn't anywhere physically in Manchester where podcasters could come together and meet and learn from one another. 

Previously there used to be one for the illustration and graphic design community in Manchester, and I really, really enjoyed going to those meetups and so I took inspiration from that.

It was meant to be a monthly talk about podcasting and that's what it started off as, we met every month and it was really designed to be an antidote to noisy online groups about podcasting, which can become quite noisy and contradictory or can get quite heated.

And I thought, where's the love? One of the reasons was that I wanted to put podcasters in front of experts and those experts being people that make podcasts. I wanted a space where podcasters come together. So we did that for about a year, and then the pandemic hit and we were forced to go online, but it was really, really good for us because it meant that we weren't physical anymore. It meant that anyone across the world could come to a MICs podcast club and it developed into an open Q and A for podcasters by podcasters every month.

I think it's like 1,200 members now, and this is a word that I bang around all the time in my podcasting workshops and everyone bangs around in podcast line. It's that consistency and consistently showing up for your community. So we'll do a monthly meetup. Every month, second Wednesday of every month, I think that's probably a secret to community building is consistency.

And also, me and [Meetup Co-host] Charles don't say it's our community. And I'm very conscious of that on any social or any messaging to not say this is my community, this is our community.

What are you looking forward to seeing at the Podcast Show?

Last year's podcast show, I wrote down loads of things I wanted to go and see, and I think I made it to one talk because I was too busy meeting people, bumping into people, visiting stalls, chatting. And then when I did try and get to a talk, they were fully, they were at capacity. So, I'm gonna try and get some more talks this year.

But it was a a great thing to start that again. Podcasting's weird, isn't it? Because you never see people's faces. So it was good to see people's faces and so many times they said, "I'm thing of thing". I was like, oh my God, it's you. I've just heard your voice. And also, meeting people from MICs Podcast Club last year, I've only seen them from the waist up for two and a half years on Zoom!