Advertorial Podcasting for the Library of Congress’s Music Division

One of my final acts as a hired gun at the Library of Congress’s music division this summer was to help the concert office produce a podcast to advertise its upcoming season.

The challenge was to create a piece that was short and packed with information. Most significantly in terms of attempting to hook in listeners, I further made it my mission to create something that wasn’t simply a spoken press release.

With the help of my colleagues, I came up with a script that used a few season highlights as a prism through which to provide listeners with some “insider perspective” on how the Library of Congress’s concerts division operates.

Hence, in the podcast, which I hosted and which can be heard by clicking here, I asked Anne McLean, Loras Schissel and Nicholas Brown of the music division to answer questions about things like the Library’s eminent commissioning process, its methodology for working with artists and the way in which the institution often uses the gems in its archives as the basis for its live programming. The line of questioning was meant to reveal something of the inner workings of the Library while at the same time doing the job of letting people know about upcoming events.

I don’t know how successful this “advertorial” approach is, but it was definitely worth a try. I’d be interested in hearing feedback on it in any case.

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