The podcast title, Viten+Snakkis, roughly translates to “Science Chatter” and is a play on words with OsloMet’s online research magazine called “Viten + Praksis” which means “Science and Practice,” and symbolizes the institution’s profile within the applied sciences.
The purpose of the weekly podcast is to reach out to the “neighbour next door” with knowledge and facts about topics that are relevant for people in their everyday lives. This includes trending stories in the media, things people discuss over lunch, and subjects related to situations and challenges everyone meets in family life, work life and in our spare time.
Each podcast episode, one or two researches from within OsloMet are invited to discuss the topic of the week. The researchers are either from one of the faculties or one of the five research centres at OsloMet. Five communications advisers from the Department of External Relations and Communications take turns hosting the podcast, and are responsible for publishing, blogging and promoting the episode in OsloMet’s other communication channels.
The podcast was started in April 2015, as an additional channel to supplement the already established platforms for science communication. The print and online research magazine had already been well received by its audience, and the purpose of the new channel was to broaden the reach and appeal of the content. The podcast is available on the blog http://blogg.hioa.no/vitenogsnakkis and through ITunes which makes the podcast available for subscription in all podcast apps.
With OsloMet’s large and broad portfolio of academic disciplines, there are endless stories to share with the help of experts and researches in a variety of fields. This makes it easier to both pick topics brought to light in the news cycle, and plan the podcast episodes according to an annual cycle of events.
It is important to gain the attention of journalists and media, especially online media outlets, in order to reach as many people as possible with the podcast, and most importantly spread the content and knowledge shared. Since the episode topics are often relevant for magazines, the press is offered to embed the episode in their online articles. One example of this is the episode about homebirths featuring Norway’s first professor in midwifery where the online magazine “Foreldre.no” (“Parents”) embedded it, resulting in a considerably increased reach.
Because our main target audience is the “neighbour next door”, we strive to maintain an informal tone of voice and to keep the conversation with the experts light. Each episode is between 15 and 25 minutes, short enough that people can listen to an episode during a bus ride, while doing dishes or other chores around the house.
OsloMet’s strategy emphasizes that the institution must strengthen its efforts to take part in the public realm. The Department of External Relations and Communications contributes to this objective through advising the academic staff on dissemination, and creating opportunities for research to be shared through a wide variety of arenas and in a mix of communication channels. The end goal is to reach out to the public and media with new knowledge within our academic fields.