Double award win for ‘Connecticut East This Week’ podcast
It’s barely a year since CBIA member, Brian Scott-Smith started his weekly news podcast – Connecticut East This Week
And already it’s scooped two prestigious awards for news podcast series in 2021.
The first was a ‘distinction’ award from The Communicator Awards and the second a ‘Gold Award’ from dotcom Awards.
“ It’s amazing to be recognized for your work”, said Brian, “ But even more so when it’s not one but two awards almost back-to-back in the same year.”
Brian started the podcast in 2020 as an alternative to the other news media sources in Eastern Connecticut.
His aim was to provide stories about the region that were of interest to the local Eastern Connecticut community.
“ It’s not that there aren’t other news sources covering the region, there are plenty of good ones, from the local newspapers to new online outlets as well. I just wanted to provide some longer format audio stories about topics and interesting stories about this part of the State where I live myself. And being an active journalist and reporter that covers stories here anyway, it just made sense and I had all the contacts already established from local Mayors and Police Stations to the Sub-base and more.”
Brian lives in Quaker Hill, a village in Waterford, next door to New London and is a qualified broadcast journalist, who also freelances for one of the State’s two NPR stations, WSHU, based in Fairfield County.
He also provided news stories for the Hall Radio Group, who have SIX radio stations broadcasting across Eastern Connecticut and when their news department closed in 2020, his podcast came along just at the right time.
“ I spoke with Andy Russell the General Manager of Hall Communication and offered up the podcast to help fill the void left by their news department going away and he jumped on the opportunity. And so, the podcast is not only broadcast across social media each week, but more importantly it’s also broadcast on ALL six of the Hall Radio stations giving it that extra reach to the communities of Eastern Connecticut and the cache of being on these well listened to and respected local radio stations. It’s a win for everyone!”
But like everything, it takes money to keep the podcast going and Brian has been fortunate to find a local company that was interested in being a sponsor to help with its weekly production costs.
“ Josh and Arielle Walmsley of Green Valley Tree LLC based in Windham County have been amazing. They were there from day one and continue to help sponsor the podcast. They like the medium and understand the value of advertising and sponsoring local content.”
Brian has also had support from local non-profits and even UConn Health, who did a series of mental health shorts for the podcast for Mental Health Awareness month.
“ It’s amazing to see people and organizations ready to climb on board and be part of the podcast and its ability to reach out to people to not only entertain them, but also to educate and inform as well.”
The podcast is always looking for more sponsorship and advertisers to help keep it going but also to create unique content that is more than just your average sounding advert.
“ We can do all sorts of things with the podcast for all types of company, from traditional straight forward adverts for their services to more tailored content that is informational and educational with a call to action at the end. Or if advertising isn’t someone’s thing, they can sponsor parts of the podcast as well, showing their support. It’s really quite cost effective too, with a 4-week advertising block starting at $500 for the airtime and for that you get heard on 6 radio stations as well as social media for a month, every week.”
In the past year Brian has also covered some great stories for the podcast too.
“ Eastern Connecticut has a lot of great people and organizations doing incredible work, we have Pfizer of course in Groton, who helped with the Covid-19 vaccine and The Arc Eastern Connecticut, who look after people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, but also helping them into the workplace. And although he’s not based in Eastern Connecticut, the podcast had the privilege of speaking with Doctor Anthony Fauci, not about Covid though, but his work over the years in the field of HIV/AIDS, which commemorated 40 years this year. There’s so much more to do and so many more stories to tell.”
Brian’s always looking for stories for the podcast as well as sponsors and advertisers and you can contact him at – firstname.lastname@example.org for details.