If you think you don’t have enough content, or that your content could be too niche or too sensitive, you need to listen to this episode.
We get behind the scenes with the hugely successful “Restitution” podcast launched by leading Australian law firm Shine Lawyers. Their Senior Media Advisor, David Lewis, shares how he dealt with highly sensitive stories, why they worked and how it generated new business leads.
He also details how the podcast continues to attract new listeners years later, constantly raising the profile of their lawyers.
Jump in now for an episode which delivers valuable best practices for any marketer considering a branded podcast.
THINGS WE SPOKE ABOUT
- 01:09 Indirect brand messaging through podcasting
- 03:46 Reaching a niche audience
- 06:31 Approaching guests with sensitive stories
- 08:35 The time commitment of a brand podcast
- 10:34 Accessing your target audience
- 12:53 Reusing podcast content for other mediums
- 14:48 Seeing the longevity of podcast content rather than counting numbers
- 16:04 Stories that have had a good impact for Shine Lawyers
- 20:25 How podcasting is a different beast to marketing
Restitution is an Australian law podcast about people who’ve been wronged and the legal teams trying to make it right. Each episode tells the story of a landmark civil case from the perspective of clients and lawyers at Shine Lawyers.
David Lewis is Senior Media Advisor at Shine Lawyers and presents the podcast. David is a passionate storyteller who worked for a decade as a journalist and now raises awareness of the inspiring work being done by personal injury solicitors at Shine Lawyers.
The story comes first and the firm comes second. That’s how you get people in. People are more likely to think fondly about Shine Lawyers if we moved them. If they felt an emotional connection to our client, if they felt angry about an injustice, then we’ve succeeded. – David Lewis
We’re dealing with people who, in some cases, have PTSD, and retelling this story can be traumatising. So yeah, some people were nervous, but I think they knew that it was a safe space. This was not a media outlet, detached from Shine with its own agenda.This is a firm they’ve worked with, it’s secured for them an outcome they wanted. It was a celebration of where we’ve come and where we’re going. – David Lewis
If you’re, for example, a lover of Coca Cola, you’re probably still unlikely to listen to a Coca Cola podcast. There has to be a compelling story that makes someone want to listen. That’s how you get people in, and you’ve got to deliver on that promise. – David Lewis
If they got some sort of entertainment and information from the podcast, then we’ve succeeded. It’s not about taking marketing slogans and jamming it down people’s throats. – David Lewis
This was really about creating an origin story for shine, the podcast was seen as a everlasting resource. – David Lewis
If a marketing department is thinking about doing a podcast, the first thing that departments should do is reach out to an organization or an individual that has experience in storytelling, because podcasting is a very different beast to marketing. – David Lewis
You really need to know who is going to listen to this thing? And why are we doing it? Are we doing it because our competitors are doing it? And we thought it would be cool, because that’s a pretty crappy reason to do a podcast? Or are we doing it because we’ve actually got so much amazing advice or information or stories to share, that we can hardly help ourselves. You really need to have that passion and that justification for doing it. – David Lewis
If you would like to find out more about how a brand podcast could work for your business visit our website www.dustpod.io.
You’ll find guides on how podcasts work specifically for brands, along with lots more examples of award winning brand podcasts to inspire you. Working with us means you do all the fun stuff, and we do everything else. Find that information on our website www.dustpod.io.
#brandpodcast #storytelling #lawyers #australia #awardwinners
For your convenience, we include an automated AI transcription
Dusty Rhodes 00:01
Order in the court right now on award winners, we’re looking at how a law firm is driving business using client stories to create some of the most engaging brand podcasts you will ever hear.
World wide brands are engaging with customers through podcasts. These are the stories behind outstanding grant podcasts. So you can listen, learn and be inspired by the best. These are the award winners from DustPod.io
Dusty Rhodes 00:32
With over 700 employees and 40 officers nationally Shine lawyers is one of Australia’s leading law firms. They are a consumer focused firm helping ordinary Australians across a range of compensation and other cases. Their senior media adviser is David Lewis,
David Lewis 00:49
The story comes first and the firm comes second. That’s how you get people in. People are more likely to think fondly about Shine Lawyers, if we moved them if they felt an emotional connection to our client, if they felt angry about an injustice, then we’ve succeeded.
Dusty Rhodes 01:09
David joins us now to share how he handled very sensitive clients and stories to create a dramatic and award winning brand podcast called Restitution. I started by asking David about his role, who he needs to market to and what the brand message is.
David Lewis 01:31
Yes, so I’m employed at Shine Lawyers as a senior Media Advisor, which is a fancy name for publicist essentially. So Shine Lawyers runs a lot of class actions. We’re a plaintiff law firm. So we need to reach people in the community and let them know about their legal rights, especially when they may be entitled to compensation for personal injury or financial losses. So my job is essentially to get Shine Lawyers in the news as much as possible.
Dusty Rhodes 02:02
And when you are trying to get Shine Lawyers onto the news and to get publicity, what’s the message that you’re trying to get across about the organization?
David Lewis 02:10
It’s an indirect message, insofar as most of the media we do is really client focused. So we represent people who are often at their lowest ebb after something horrendous has happened to them. So journalists, inherently attracted to those stories, particularly because they’re harrowing, they’re compelling. There’s an element of conflict involved, because we’re suing somebody and trying to hold them to account. So that’s usually the focus of the story. But I guess the the message, insofar as shine is concerned is that we’re here to help. But many clients are motivated by recognition and acknowledgement. They want the guilty party or the negligent party to apologize or in some way, acknowledge what they have done to our clients. So even getting a settlement or a court judgment, in their favor is something that clients find healing.
Dusty Rhodes 03:14
What’s the competition like in this area?
David Lewis 03:16
The competition is pretty fierce. Shine would be, I would say in the top three personal injury law firms in Australia, our competitors, which obviously will not name, because shine is you know, the superior firm in my eyes, at least, are all operating nationally. So there are a smaller personal injury firms in each state and territory in Australia. But I’d say there are about three firms that operate nationally that are, you know, household names.
Dusty Rhodes 03:46
What was it about podcasts that you went, this is a good medium for us?
David Lewis 03:52
I think because podcasting is a way to reach niche audiences. So I come from a background in mainstream public broadcasting where you are dealing with a massive audience and your content has to have wide appeal as a consequence. But with podcasting, you can find entertainment and information about the most sort of niche things that only you and a few other people might be interested in. And for that reason, we thought that creating a podcast for SHINE would allow us to reach not only our own staff, because we really wanted to share this project internally. But people who work within the law in Australia and overseas as well as people who don’t work in the law that are interested in it. I remember when we were brainstorming the podcast, we wanted to appeal to people who might sit down and watch the good wife for law and order for entertainment and we wanted to bring some real life court stuff stories to the podcast to demonstrate that they’re just as interesting. They’re just as compelling and the stakes are just as high. Hi, I’m David Lewis, and this is restitution, a show about people who have been wronged and the lawyers trying to make it right. In 2012, the former Victorian premier Ted Baillieu formally apologized to women and children affected by the state’s forced adoptions policies, under which young unmarried women were deemed unfit mothers
to all of those harmed. We offer our heartfelt sympathy and apologize
David Lewis 05:42
unreservedly. The following year, then Prime Minister Julia Gillard apologized on behalf of the federal government for forced adoptions that happened across Australia,
the loss, the grief, the disempowerment, the stigmatization, and the guilt, we say, sorry.
David Lewis 05:59
But until recently, these words weren’t followed up with meaningful action. You’ll hear from a lawyer shortly on why it’s been so hard to secure compensation for affected mothers and children. But first, Joanna Davies shares her story of the search for her birth mother. Joe, when did you first learn that your adoptive mother wasn’t your birth mother when I was five? Wow. So you were quite young.
Dusty Rhodes 06:31
Many of the stories on the restitution podcast are very intimate or personal, or have had a dramatic effect on someone’s life. I asked David, how does he get clients to come and record their stories to be heard on the podcast? You raise a
David Lewis 06:45
good point, it’s can be daunting to have a microphone placed in front of you. And then the red light in the podcast studio starts flashing record. And, you know, we’re dealing with people who, in some cases have PTSD. And the simple act will not so simple act of retelling this story can be re traumatizing potentially. So yeah, some people were nervous, but I think they knew that it was a safe space. That was something I was really committed to conveying to them. You know, this was not a media outlet, detached from shine with its own agenda. This is a firm they’ve worked with, it’s secured for them and outcome they wanted. And it was a sort of celebration of where we’ve come and where we’re going. And so most clients got on board with that message.
Dusty Rhodes 07:38
And how did you make the approach to them? How did you
David Lewis 07:41
introduce it? It depends on the client. So some clients I’ve reached out to without any introduction from their lawyer. So it’s a bit of a cold calling scenario. And it’s just about being completely transparent with people. You know, it’s about being friendly. It’s about explaining who you are explaining what you’re doing, explaining why you think they could make a valuable contribution to the podcast, why you think audiences would be interested in their story. And I did find that the clients, although the legal case had been in Gone, was still profoundly impacted by it. And so many actually wanted to speak. So it was quite liberating, I think, for many of our clients to be able to tell their story in their own words, rather than through the rather clinical language that you find in a Statement of Claim or a court judgment.
Dusty Rhodes 08:35
And, like your hand and your were used to audio equipment, and editing, tell me about the time commitment, commitment that was involved in that. Yeah, it’s
David Lewis 08:45
quite a big undertaking, especially when you’re working full time. And you still have to complete your daily tasks. So I can’t just say no, sorry, I’m in the podcast studio today. I’ve still got to perform those duties. So I just sort of made it work. Basically, it would basically take about a week of recording, possibly two. And then I would try to script and episode each week and send the script and all the audio to the editor to turn around within that week. And then we move on to the next episode. So all in all, a couple of months, probably three months per season so far. Still to come.
Dusty Rhodes 09:30
We’ll hear the methods David used to launch and grow an audience, how they measure the impact of the podcast, and how he finds his boss. Embarrassing, in a good way.
If you feel a brand podcast work for you. Here are three simple things you can do today to get started. One, visit our website to get more information and guides on how podcasts work specifically for brands, along with lots more examples of award winning rounds podcast to inspire you to, you can call us with your questions and we’re happy to help. Three, you could consider working with us. So you do all the fun stuff. And we do everything else. Find that information on our website as dustpod.io.
Dusty Rhodes 10:21
Award winning podcasts all have to start with an episode one and build an audience from there. For Shine Lawyers restitution podcast, David built his success by carefully targeting the audience he wants to appeal to,
David Lewis 10:34
we identified three audiences really the first was our people. So we would announce the podcast on the internet. On the Shine Lawyers website, we were distributing links of the podcast to our lawyers as well listen to encouraging them to share the podcast on social media. So primarily LinkedIn, in the hope of reaching law students, legal academics, barristers, solicitors, and the like, if we felt that the story had some news value, perhaps we had revealed something new or discovered developments that hadn’t been reported or placed on the public record before, then we prepare a press release and either pitch that to a journalist as an exclusive story, or we distributed far and wide and hope that he got picked up. So that was probably the exception rather than the rule. But we did do that on the number of occasions to pick up some external publicity. And in this, of course, advertising. So we did for season two, create some advertisements that were played on commercial radio in Australia.
Dusty Rhodes 11:50
did was that effective using paid advertising?
David Lewis 11:53
A lot. I think it was no more effective than the organic push, to be honest. I mean, we did see a spike in listeners. And the advertising was aired at a time when we weren’t promoting the podcast ourselves through our own means. So yeah, it was effective. And I think the spike was about as big as when we were actually directly reaching out to people we knew would be interested, rather than casting the net wide. Have
Dusty Rhodes 12:27
you tried any other paid avenues? Like you’re kind of using social media or Google ads or putting ads into other podcasts?
David Lewis 12:34
Yeah, we did use some social media posts. I remember we did a few Tik Tok stories, I believe, I don’t know for sure whether this was, you know, causal, link or not. But the episodes we did tick tock videos for word generally speaking, the most downloaded?
Dusty Rhodes 12:53
Did you use the stories that you’re getting in the podcast to complement other formats like, you know, kind of blogs or website articles, you mentioned video as well,
David Lewis 13:01
you’ve actually hit on a really crucial point, one of the sort of expectations of creating a podcast from within a company, I think, is that it’s going to somehow be an extension of your advertising. So I worked really hard in the beginning to make sure that everybody understood and agreed with the approach, which was, the story comes first, and the firm comes second. Because no matter if you’re, for example, a lover of Coca Cola, you know, you drink it every day, you’re probably still unlikely to listen to a Coca Cola podcast, just because it’s a podcast by Coca Cola. You know what I mean? There has to be a compelling story that makes someone want to listen. And that’s how you get people in. And you’ve got to deliver on that promise. As you say, the advertising is almost indirect. And it’s a little, it’s not in your face. So I guess is what I’m trying to say, you know, people are more likely to think fondly about Shine Lawyers after listening to the podcast if we moved to them, if they felt an emotional connection to our client, if they felt angry about an injustice, if they laughed, you know, if they got some sort of entertainment and information from the podcast, then we’ve succeeded. It’s not about taking marketing slogans and jamming it down people’s throats. So I think that’s something that all companies and organizations could benefit from doing.
Dusty Rhodes 14:48
I couldn’t literally could not have said that better myself. You’re absolutely right. The one thing that does come back though from from those upstairs, is they’re always looking for numbers or numbers and how to do that. Her wreck your head? How did you measure the success of the of the podcast?
David Lewis 15:04
Yeah, we definitely were not faster our downloads, once we achieved more downloads than we had employees, we considered a success, you know, we, we figured everyone in the company has listened to it or, you know, a third of the people in the firm have listened to it three times, or whatever it may be. So there wasn’t any fixation on that, which was great. This was really about creating an origin story for shine, the podcast was seen as a everlasting resource, really. So it’s on our website for potential clients, for anyone who’s interested. It’s on our intranet for our staff, you know, the book and the podcast. It’s part of our history, it’s part of our storytelling culture, which we do have it shined. And that was really what it was about creating something that was of high quality that we could be proud of, and that we could stand behind.
Dusty Rhodes 16:04
So there’s one thing about numbers and edited. And then there’s also the podcast can have an impact. Is there a particular story you can think of, or any particular way that where the podcast has actually made a good impact for the firm?
David Lewis 16:20
Yeah, I mean, I think that the podcast has informed people within the firm about some really incredible cases in the firm’s history that they weren’t previously aware of. both good and bad. One of the things I love about shine is our Managing Director and CEO, Simon Morrison, has no qualms talking about failure. In fact, he would regularly tell a story about when he launched a class action against McDonald’s and last, and our class actions, department leader at the time used to hate Simon telling this story, she thought it was embarrassing, you know, we’re trying to position ourselves as you know, one of the best class action firms winner. Exactly. Why would we talk about losing? That’s the opposite of what you should be doing. But Simon’s advice to lawyers is to go to trial and lose, you’ll become a better lawyer for having done that. I’ve spoken to class action lawyers at Cheyenne who embarrassed by this case, and wish you would stop talking about it. Why do you speak about it?
It’s funny, I have heard that in the firm that that one point, there was apparently a director’s not to talk about this case, because it involved a lot. And you never talk about a loss. And I find that breathtaking. When new lawyers join the firm, I often say to them, what I want you to do is take your case to trial and lose it. And they look at you like you’re crazy. And the reasoning for that is you don’t learn how to become a really good litigator until you’ve actually lost to trial. And any lawyer that says they’ve never lost a trial is not a lawyer that’s actually taken risks or their clients.
David Lewis 18:10
Internally, that was very well received. People thought it humanized, our boss, that it gave them the courage to be bold in their litigation, and you know, other stories, when you’re a part of a big organization. And you’re really busy. Often you don’t know what your colleagues are getting up to. And when you listen to half an hour of, you know, interviews with a lawyer and a client, and they’re talking about the practice of forced adoptions and being reunited with their biological parents, or they’re talking about a client they were fighting for who became so sick with silicosis that they died before the case could be resolved. And the lawyer was left to pick up the pieces. I mean, these are high stakes, situations that your colleagues are going through every day that you may not be aware of. So if anything, I think it’s brought people closer, and it’s become a source of inspiration for our legal teams.
Dusty Rhodes 19:11
And does it last long? Yeah, we
David Lewis 19:13
still get downloads every day, which is encouraging. I mean, we released this everywhere we could, so Spotify, Apple, Google, and so on. And obviously the traffic spikes when we’re releasing fresh content and promoting that content, but it’s still bubbling away. So you know, we’re redesigning our website at the moment, and they’ve created a page for the podcast. So the firm certainly intends to keep it around for as long as possible.
Dusty Rhodes 19:42
As well as being inspiration. Do you think the podcast is worn any new business for the firm?
David Lewis 19:47
Yeah, absolutely. And anecdotally, you know, I’ve I’ve heard that it has brought people in it’s also raised the profile of our lawyers in their particular field of expertise. is, and when we, when we do media with lawyers in general, that is often the result, and people will call and they won’t just say, I want a lawyer or I need a lawyer, it’s I want Roger saying, or I want Lisa Flynn. So there’s people to develop a reputation that gathers momentum for sure.
Dusty Rhodes 20:25
For a friend, anybody who is in kind of marketing, and they’re thinking about doing a podcast, what advice would you give,
David Lewis 20:32
my advice would be to figure out what it is you want to say, and then align that with an audience you think, will want to hear that? First of all, if a marketing department is thinking about doing a podcast, the first thing that departments should do is reach out to an organization or an individual that has experienced in storytelling, because podcasting is a very different beast to marketing. So, you know, this, it’s no accident that there’s been a proliferation of private businesses that are basically working with corporations to create podcasts because, you know, you need someone who knows how to tell a story, who knows how to construct a narrative, who, who isn’t so institutionalized that they can’t spot? What, you know, Joe, blow down the down in the local pub would be interested in, you know, unless, of course, you’re not doing the podcast for the mainstream audience, which goes back to my original point, you really need to know like, who is going to listen to this thing? And why are we doing it? Are we doing it because our competitors are doing it? And we thought it would be cool, because that’s a pretty crappy reason to do a podcast? Or are we doing it because we’ve actually got so much amazing advice or information or stories to share, that we can hardly help ourselves, which is definitely how I felt, you know, every time every time I spoke to leaders, a child who’d been with the firm for a while, and they shared one of these cases with me, or a story of a huge success or a humiliating failure, I struggled to keep it to myself. So you know, you really need to have that passion and that justification for doing it.
Dusty Rhodes 22:18
This a David, thank you so much for sharing so much with us. Absolutely. Fascinating. Thank you.
David Lewis 22:22
Dusty Rhodes 22:24
If you want to hear a world class example of branded podcasting, I highly recommend you try it Shine Lawyers Restitution podcast. You’ll find links to it in the description area of this podcast episode on your player right now. My thanks again to David for sharing with us how the podcast is creating such a solid connection and engagement with new clients and some of the clever techniques he’s used to make it a success. If you are considering a podcast for your company or brand, you’ll find some great resources on our website at dustpod.io. If you like you can also arrange a complimentary call to see how a podcast could work for your brand specifically, or you could consider working with us. So you get to do the fun stuff. And we do everything else. Until our next award winners podcast from myself Dusty Rhodes, thank you for listening.
The award winners is a DustPod production from DustPod.io