Please in a Pod

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

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“Welcome to The Moodie Podcast, this is Martin Moodie and this episode comes to you from….”

It’s funny how innovations that seem risky and even peripheral at the time quickly enter the mainstream.

When we launched The Moodie Podcast in March 2007, we weren’t certain what the readership reaction would be, nor, to be honest, quite sure how we would integrate the concept into our coverage.

That was then, this is now. Some 243 episodes later and The Moodie Podcast is both an integral and popular element of our journalistic coverage. We’ve been lucky to have had a loyal sponsor with us along our journey – another company that believes in constant innovation, Puig – and we’ve steadily fine-tuned the way we operate.

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There have, of course, been a few interesting ‘out takes’ along the way. King Power Managing Director Duty Free & Travel Retail Sunil Tuli (above) once memorably asked “Was I ok?” before I had had the chance to sign off; while a certain Stuart McGuire (below, chuckling at the memory), Owner of Scorpio Distributors, had to have his Podcast redone after casually observing half way through a hitherto excellent recording, how pretty he thought the female journalist doing the interview was…

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The key, as an interviewer and interviewee, is to be relaxed. A Podcast is not a scripted radio presentation, it’s an informal attempt to capture the ‘here and now’ of a particular story, be it a terminal or shop opening, or a product launch. The trade has now got used to the concept and virtually all our Podcasts are done on the first take.

Some industry executives have become regular ‘Podcastees’. WDF CEO Mark Riches and Dubai Duty Free Managing Director Colm McLoughlin (shown below doing a podcast with Her Majesty the Queen), for example, are maestros at it, relaxed, chatty and informative in their approach.

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On Thursday I interviewed Mark Riches (below)at the opening of World Duty Free’s splendid new walk-through tax & duty store at Bristol Airport.

The Podcast, unlike the flat word on the page, really brings out the subject’s enthusiasm, a trait Mark has by the bucketful.

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Picture this, for example, as a quote you read on the page: “The pace of what’s happened here has taken my breath away… We were thrilled when they selected us as their partner. Because we really captured early on that they were an airport of huge energy, huge enthusiasm and huge ambition and an amazing pride in what the airport meant to the people of Bristol and to the people of the West Country and that ticked a lot of boxes to us.”

Now imagine Mark Riches saying those same words in his own voice in broadcast form, speaking with passion and edge. It transforms what’s being said.

Throw in some banter at the end and you have the energy, spontaneity and immediacy of what makes the Podcast medium work.

Today the Podcast forms the fulcrum of a number of add-on digital media formats with which we complement our mainstream web service (itself a risky innovation back at launch in March 2003).

There’s this Blog, of course (kindly sponsored by M&M’s), The Moodie View in association with Luxottica, Twitter, Facebook, The Moodie Magnifier (pack and bottle shots enhanced with a magnifying device), a digital version of our print magazine with search and page turning and facilities, and advertisements that click through to the partners’ websites.

I remember running DFNI in the mid-1990s when we used to produce ‘Fax Flashes’ with big breaking stories, sent out by a bureau to our readers around the world, one by one. At the time it was cutting edge. Then came e-mail and today news can be transmitted around the world within minutes of it first breaking.

When World Duty Free’s victory in the Bristol Airport contract was revealed on 26 August 2009, for example, our readers in Milan, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney and Tokyo knew about it within seconds.

Where will it all end? The answer is it won’t. We are living in an era of profound and constant change in the way that the world communicates. As a media company you have to ride that wave and even try to shape it.

Today, The Moodie Report employs a full-time Online Innovation Manager, Matt Willey, and part of his brief is to constantly assess new digital innovations and ask if they can be part of our multi-media suite of services.

Matt’s currently got a couple of aces up his sleeve. Watch this space – they may seem marginal when we launch, but we guarantee they’ll be mainstream before you know it.

This is Martin Moodie, signing off for The Moodie Podcast… on The Moodie Blog.

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