Last Monday was packed with market research discussions and marketing strategy in the morning and wisdom from the Watershed Post’s Julia Reischel in the afternoon, closely followed by a robust two-plus hour discussion of journalistic ethics and values led by a passionate Jeff Jarvis, sparked by the Mike Daisey/This American Life debacle.
On the topic of market research, I really enjoyed the research I did for my project even though it felt like it was taking over my life for a while. I’d keep getting drawn deeper and deeper in, as one piece of reading would get me curious and lead to more research, more reports and so on. (I felt it was important to dig up a lot of data partly because my idea doesn’t lend itself very well to the ‘what do you need?’ question. Women don’t know they need this stuff. It’s all going on beneath the surface.) I did go to the Baruch library, per Barbara’s suggesttion, which is where I got access to eMarketer. I didn’t find Mintel useful for my project because it deals in goods rather than people and you have to work backwards from the goods (shampoo, say) to work out who buys it. There wasn’t any pertinent information on professional women there. I got a certain amount of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics website but it can be hard to work in to exactly what you want so I called them and got Gary Steinberg, who helped me with a story a couple of years ago. I recommend talking to him if you ever need help parsing BLS data. He’s very friendly and helpful. He said it’s getting tougher for BLS to work out, say, what counts as a ‘professional and managerial’ job because the job market is changing so fast, and it’s not as easy as it once was to put things in strict, BLS-defined categories (in other words, the government is behind the real-world curve – can you believe it?)
Yesterday I came across this Nieman Lab piece about public radio listenership and Pew’s 2012 State of the Media report, and found this rather worrying nugget on podcasts:
“Less than half of Americans know what a podcast is, and about a quarter of Americans used podcasts in 2011, according to the Pew survey. ‘The podcast, while still hitting a significant segment of the population, appears to be losing momentum,’ the report says.”
Not music to my ears. If a quarter of people listen to podcasts, that’s better than I thought. But ‘appears to be losing momentum’? Bad news. If indeed it’s true. I have scanned the Pew report itself and can’t find the part about podcasts or any reference to podcasts at all. I’m about to email Pew to ask if they can point me directly to that information.
I’m also about to meet with Santiago Perez at Baruch in the hope he can help me focus my business – I don’t want it to be just about women’s career stuff because that limits other things I can touch on, but I need a tagline or something to help me define what it is I’m encompassing. I’m also working on creating a mock-up podcast now, per Jeremy’s suggestion. I’ve settled on the name Broad Experience – or should it be The Broad Experience, as Jeremy suggests? Weigh in if you like.