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How To Start a Private Podcast and the Impact of Corporate Storytelling – Vimal Parker of Slalom

How To Start a Private Podcast and the Impact of Corporate Storytelling – Vimal Parker of Slalom
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Communication is one of the most important things within businesses and companies. As we talk about how to start a private podcast, providing the best avenue and taking advantage of communication techniques like storytelling is the number-one way to ensure that internal communications is utilized properly.

For Slalom, a company-wide podcast was the perfect solution; not only did it work to each the entire organization, the personal aspect of podcasting allows communication to feel more one-on-one with employees around the globe. We sat down with Vimal Parker, Marketing Manager for Slalom’s Global Marketing team and the orchestrator of Slalom’s internal podcast, “Slalom On Air”. We spoke about how Slalom has implemented podcasting into their organization, as well as how they have cultivated a culture around their company’s podcast.

“I would say the catalyst is that we were growing really, really fast across all of our markets, and really – quite frankly – across the world. And we were looking for a way to connect all of our teams, share our stories, our impact, in our own voices (which is our tagline, by the way!). But ultimately, we wanted to connect our people and share our knowledge. But the whole thing about it was that we wanted it to be personal.”

With podcasting at their disposal, Slalom took a less direct approach with their communications methods; not only did they cover employee stories, they covered victories within the company. Within their highly organized podcast channels, they even took the time to highlight specific episodes for new employees as they joined the team.

We have a ton of different channels, or I guess you could call them flavors, of stories. For example, we have something that’s called ‘Wins to Know.’ It’s a channel where we share all of our recent wins across the company. We work with our account leads to share how we partner with our clients to solve their biggest and hairiest challenges. We have a leadership series, where we actually share our company strategy. We have a ‘raising your voice’ channel theme focused on all topics related to inclusion and diversity. So you could say, basically, that we have tons of stories for eight-thousand-plus employees to listen to. And may I add, we have hand-selected particular episodes from all of these that we share with new joiners. So even before you start your first at Slalom, we do share a few episodes that say, “Hey, this is a little bit about us, get to know us, feel comfortable, before you even start.” Basically helps them get a feel for us, but also helps them hit the ground running on day one.

Why was podcasting such a great solution? According to Vimal Parker, (title) at Slalom, it allowed for communication to stay paramount without forcing employees to stay chained to their computers. While on the go and going about their day, the employees at Slalom stay connected with each other’s wins, interesting stories, and much more.

As a company, we have tons of mediums that we use to share, like, internal communications, right? But I would say for our stories, specifically our stories, I think we use this podcast forum as one of the primary ways to share our stories across all of the organization. Because our consultants are so busy, I think the podcast medium allows them to stay connected and informed of what we’re doing when they’re not in front of their computers. Consultants and – many of us, right – enjoy those power walks, enjoy getting out, getting some exercise, getting away from their computers, getting a cup of coffee, maybe even when they’re heads down on delivery, they have the opportunity to plug in and listen on their headphones about some of the stories we have across the company while staying connected and working.

The highlight of Slalom’s podcasts, according to Vimal, is the emphasis on storytelling. She keeps an ear to the ground for interesting stories, but once she’s in contact with the person or team behind it, she works with them to find the throughline and emphasis they want to bring to the company’s attention. Through this, their podcast episodes become more poignant and focused to create the best listening experience possible for their many employees.

When it comes to creation, we have a storytelling team in Slalom that collaborates on stories that would make for a great episode, a great podcast story to share. We meet, we get together, once we hear about it, we track down the individual or the teams that are driving the story to learn more. 

Once I hear the good word, I’m like, “Oooh, I wanna go after that story!” and I reach out and ask them, “Are you interested? Would this be something that you would be okay with actually doing as a recording?” So we have an exploratory conversation – basically a pre-interview if you will – and together we come up with, “What are the right questions? What’s the script?” We don’t want to overscript, but we also don’t want anyone coming in, wide open saying, “Oh yeah let’s just do it on the fly!” Maybe just a little bit of a script, so we have some questions we kind of narrow it down to, and we really try to make the story is relevant, right? And the questions are relevant to their stories. 

To learn more about Vimal Parker and how she and Slalom create the best internal communications environment with Podbean, check out the full interview on Podcasting Smarter!

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