About six months ago, Vail Resorts launched a podcast.
No fanfare, no press release, no email campaign or tweets or whatever. Just a teaser published on November 6, 2018 and the first episode two weeks after that.
I’m only a couple episodes in, but it’s good. Like, really good. And it’s not hard to see why.
1) Full Buy In
It takes about 30 seconds to realize that Rob Katz didn’t just record the intro for the podcast, he’s running the podcast. Whether he’s a fan of the pod or something is who is high enough up to get him on board, the fact that the CEO is behind the mic makes a massive difference. Not only is he incredibly smart and eloquent, it adds a ton of weight to every message and episode.
2) Audio Quality
As you’d expect, if the CEO is in the studio you’re not going to skimp on your setup and Vail Resorts hasn’t. The sound quality and editing is really, really sharp. I said the other day that it’s pretty easy to get quality audio with a $60 USB condenser mic. But taking it to that next level? Takes some doing. And they did it.
But most of all, their topics are savvy and extremely well told. Their side of the Park City + Canyons tale was especially interesting. You sorta get the feeling that in every tricky situation a big corporation finds themselves in, there’s a time and a place to tell their side and typically in that moment would be a mistake on both counts.
Alex Kaufman, skiing’s resident maker of pods who gave me the heads up about this series, put it this way:
“”There’s no lack of bite-sized short term fodder being produced to cater to the needs of the social platforms and our terrible attention spans. Kudos to Vail Resorts for embracing the opposite in the medium that allows it. Now they’re reaching stakeholders with long shelf life content that can win hearts and minds for years after production.”
Not a lot of resorts have given podcasting a go, so having Vail Resorts be the guinea pigs is naturally going to set a high bar.
But keep in mind that you have a GM, you have great stories, and yes, that $70 microphone will be more than enough to get you started. So while the bar may be a stretch, you can come pretty dang close.
But whether Vail Resorts is the first of many or the only player in the podcast space for a while, I tip my hat to Vail Resorts and can’t wait for the next episode.
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