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Podcast spotlight: Jacky Winter Gives You The Business

Launched in 2017, Jacky Winter Gives You The Business (JWGYTB) is a weekly podcast produced in-house by the Jacky Winter Group—the Melbourne-based studio—that ‘deep dives into the ideas, issues and insights driving the many moving parts of the creative ecosystem’. Currently working on their fourth season, which is set for release later this year, JWGYTB focuses on demystifying the art of project management and creative production. Bianca Bramham, Jacky Winter’s North American managing agent and producer, works on the podcast alongside her colleagues Jeremy Wortsman, Lara Chan-Baker and Areej Nur, covering issues like the art of feedback, the aspects of a publishing agreement, burnout, as well as the power of ‘no’ and working on spec. Bramham spoke to Books+Publishing for our ‘podcast spotlight’ series.

For new or uninitiated listeners, describe your podcast in under 50 words.

Jacky Winter Gives You The Business is a weekly podcast from the Jacky Winter Group. We’re a creative production and artist representation studio based in Melbourne and New York City.

Our podcast explores how to wrangle the creative process to achieve success, no matter what the medium. Each week, our two studios come together to provide an insight into the creative industry from our unique point of view as the the bridge between clients and creatives.

What makes your podcast unique?

We started Jacky Winter Gives You The Business with the intention of shining a light on those who work behind the scenes in the creative industry, and to help give a voice to those who do the valuable (and often thankless) work of helping to bring creative projects to life.

Our first two seasons focused heavily on the ins-and-outs of wrangling the creative process and featured in-depth interviews with a number of guests who hide behind the scenes in roles like art buying, account management, production, project management and live action production.

In season three, we shifted gears a bit and used the internet as our lens to explore a variety of current events, opinions, and tools to provide thought-provoking conversations for anyone whose job it is to make creative things happen.

When and how did you get started in podcasting?

In 2015 we ran a physical conference that went by the same name, which aimed to help arm emerging creatives with everything they didn’t teach in art or design school about how to run a successful design or illustration practice.

We talk about this stuff in the office every day and were trying to find a platform to continue to explore some of the themes we’d touched on in the conference—things like pricing, client management, productivity, copyright, effective communication and new technology.

The thought of writing, editing and publishing long-form articles on Medium was totally overwhelming but, somewhat naively, the idea of just getting on the mic and recording some of the conversations we were having already sounded doable. I had also just made the move from our headquarters in Melbourne to the Big Apple to open a satellite office for the agency in North America, so having a weekly opportunity to check in and catch up with my colleagues sounded great.

After a month or so of planning, our first episode was published in June 2017. A year later, we’ve just finished recording episode number 50. I kinda can’t believe we’ve managed to keep it going for so long!

Where and how is your podcast recorded (and how big is your team)?

The podcast is hosted by myself and fellow Jacky Winter staffers, director Jeremy Wortsman and producer/agent Lara Chan-Baker. We’re fortunate to have worked with a brilliant producer, Areej Nur, whose talents and patience have been instrumental in helping to shape our show.

I record after-hours from my desk in Manhattan, and Jeremy and Lara record first thing in the morning from a small sound booth we had custom built for the office when we moved into our new headquarters in Melbourne last year. The booth is tiny and becomes a bit of a hot box in the summer months but it’s so nice to have a dedicated space to record.

Some of our guests join us in the office to record in person but most of the time they’re dialing in from wherever they are in the world.

What kind of listeners does your podcast reach?

We started the podcast with the intention to reach fellow producers and our clients who are responsible for commissioning creative work but anyone who works within the creative industry should find it interesting.

What have been your most popular guests or most memorable episodes?

I’ve loved that the podcast has given me an excuse to reach out to some of the interesting people I’ve met here in New York, and the clients I’ve enjoyed collaborating with over the years.

Jeremy, Lara and I all have pretty different interests and opinions so it’s been exciting to see what everyone brings to the table each week. My personal favourite episodes to record were some of our earlier ones where we really dug into the role of a producer and what makes a good one (episode four, especially).

What recent trends have you noticed in podcasting? (Do you have any predictions for this format in the future?)

Ha, apart from the fact that every second person, brand and their dog seems to have a podcast? It’s such a great medium and the tools are becoming more and more accessible so I think we’re just going to see even more voices join the market.

Why do you think people are drawn to this format?

I know a lot of our audience who freelance on their own enjoy listening to podcasts while they work, but I think the fact that the format offers the opportunity for longer-form discussion is what’s most appealing. It’s a nice departure from the fragmented way we’re now consuming information and entertainment everywhere else.

How do you fund your podcast? Do you have plans to explore other funding options?

Our podcast is self-funded: it partly serves as a marketing tool for the agency and we don’t have any immediate plans to explore any other funding options.

What plans do you have for your podcast going forward?

We’ve just wrapped our third season and are yet to sit down to plan out our fourth, so watch this space. We’re always looking to cast our net for potential guests even wider, so if there’s someone whose opinion you’d like to hear tackle some of the topics we’ve covered so far, we’d love to hear from you!

What other bookish podcasts should we be listening to, Australian or otherwise?

I’ll be honest, most of my subway listens focus on business so I’d love some recommendations on bookish podcasts.

But some of my favourite shows that offer ideas on how we can work better are Women at Work, WorkLife by Adam Grant and Hurry Slowly by Jocelyn K. Glei. And for an Australian perspective on the creative industry, Australian Design Radio and The Design Files Podcast are both fantastic!

(Photo: from L-R, Jeremy Wortsman, Bianca Bramhan, Lara Chan-Baker and Areej Nur.)

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