Lubbock Christian University began releasing the first episodes of its new university podcast during the summer of 2022, opening an entirely new communication medium and avenue of sharing the great things happening around campus.
Keegan Stewart, Director of Social Media and Special Assistant to the President, spearheaded the initiative on campus.
“The podcast is another medium, another platform where we can tell the LCU story,” he shared, “and it’s a growing industry.”
Stewart focused on podcasts during much of his studies as he earned his Master of Arts in Communication and Mass Media, and that experience engrained in him the possibilities for growth with this new endeavor. “I looked into the industry, looked at why it's growing, looked at who's listening, and I looked at why they're listening—and everything showed just how fast podcasts are growing and becoming more popular,” he explained. “They’re dynamic, and they can be done in a lot of different ways.”
“The podcast is what I call the ‘convenient medium,’” he continued. “People can listen at their own convenience. You don't have to be in your car at a specific time to hear an interview—you can listen to podcasts in your headphones while you're mowing the lawn, or in your car, or while you're cleaning the house, or even at work. Podcasts allow you to listen whenever makes the most sense for you, and that's why that's why this industry is growing.”
Warren McNeill, Vice President for Public Relations and Marketing commented, “The LCU MarCom Department is charged with telling the University’s story more broadly and deeply, and this medium allows us the opportunity to do just that. Individuals are increasingly using podcasts for entertainment and to learn new things, and it is a perfect medium in which we can share our engaging stories and valuable resources.”
The LCU Podcast isn’t just focused on one topic, area, or audience on campus—it’s a medium that is broad enough to cover a wide spectrum of interests.
“I view it as something that can be used for dozens of different things,” Stewart shared. “Do we have a new employee? Well, let's talk to them and introduce them to the rest of campus. Did one of our athletic teams just win a national championship? Well, let's get the coach and the players in there and hear their perspective. Who just won master Follies? Let's talk to let's talk to the team of students that directed that show. Did a professor publish some groundbreaking research? Let’s hear them share what they’ve discovered with us and celebrate that.”
Besides its versatility, podcasts have the added advantages of being organic and personable—the conversation can help bring out guests’ personalities beyond what a print article or text-based story could.
“The beauty of podcasting is the long form interview,” Stewart shared. “If you're having a conversation with someone over in a radio interview, you're always going to get interrupted by a commercial. When you have 45 minutes, or even an hour-long window to just sit down and talk to somebody on a podcast, you’re getting an opportunity for a person to truly tell tell you what they want to tell you.”
The LCU Podcast already has numerous episodes published across multiple streaming platforms. The first episode covered LCU’s on-campus summer camp Encounter, featuring one of the counselors and the camp director. Another featured a conversation between LCU President Scott McDowell, Dr. David Fraze, and Dr. Jesse Long as they discussed their most recent trip to Egypt and the Holy Land. Other episodes include speakers from the LCU Summer Devotional Series, an introduction to LCU’s new Provost Dr. Kent Gallaher, and a conversation with Dr. Joshua Sauerwein about LCU’s Center for Faith and Business, of which he is the director.
One of the things that excites Stewart about the podcast is that it has room to grow. “I want to get our communication majors involved with this,” he shared. “This could be a great opportunity for some of our talented students to host or help produce various podcasts.”
Other changes may make the podcast even more accessible. “I'm excited about bringing a video component into this space. Whether we start recording entire episodes for an audience to watch it in the Spotify app, like you'll see the most popular podcasts, or even just sharing important or powerful snippets out on Instagram or Tik Tok, I think that's very valuable.”
The LCU Podcast is available on the LCU website, as well as on any of the major streaming platforms as “The LCU Podcast.”
“I'm very excited that LCU is leading the way in this communication medium,” Steward said, “and I think we'll see a lot of other universities follow suit.”