• Chris Plumridge

Client Success - South Gippsland Shire Council

So it's no secret that Jet Streamer, and therefore I, am proudly based in South Gippsland after moving here in early 2020. My partner and I have marvelled at the way our lives have changed since moving here, and we're settling in beautifully to a place that really does feel like home. I love the place, so the excuse to make a podcast series talking about how good it is seemed too good to be true!

South Gippsland Our People Podcast cover, featuring Chris interviewing local artist Melanie Caple.
The South Gippsland Our People cover image. The image was taken by brilliant local photographer while I was interviewing local artist Melanie Caple (Episode 2).

South Gippsland Shire came to me with this idea to produce a podcast series about the experience of living here, warts-and-all. Through it, we could showcase some of the amazing people that live here, and the type of varied and amazing lifestyles that they all lead. We quickly got together and worked out a hybrid documentary/interview style that really would showcase some of the best bits of people's stories, while allowing the story to really speak for itself. After some brainstorming, it was time to get down to work.

I put together a really comprehensive plan for this one as Council set about finding some participants to feature. From my experience working with local councils in the past I knew that this would be key- stakeholder buy-in is all-important so having a clear plan with some clear deliverables really helps to put everyone's minds at ease and build confidence in a project (which SGSC were really happy with, too!). Council came back to me with a really good group of six participants. I was surprised at the diversity of each of the participants in all senses of the word- there really are some amazing people living here. So it was time to get to work!

Chris standing with Kim and Jay, owners of Into the Roots Farm, at their property in Bena.
Catching up with Kim and Jay from Bena- you can hear about their organic farm and Kim's journey from the Netherlands in Episode 1.

In order for the final podcast to really sound like these people were telling their story, we decided that I'd go and interview the participants in their own space, and then cut out my questions so it focussed on the subject telling the story in their own words. It worked a treat, and I definitely plan on using the same technique in the future. This meant I did have to do a bit of travel, although considering they were all locals none of them were too far from home! But you'd be surprised how much travel you can rack up in quite a short space of time!

I got to meet some wonderful people. Local farmers, artists, cooks, and hear stories that were heartwarming and jaw-dropping, often at the same time. Editing these was a challenge, as we tried to keep them short enough to be pithy- it's always a consideration when there's just one person talking that it can make your audience lose interest quicker, so I tried as much as I could to get some 'b-roll'-type cutaways to break up the talking just a little bit. I think the final result sounds great and adds just a bit more 'personality' to what otherwise would just be a straightforward interview.

Chris with Jaci Hicken from Jacican Food Studio in Mirboo North.
Catching up with Jaci from Jacican Food Studio in Mirboo North (Episode 3). We recorded in the food studio, and Jaci made that beautiful cake while we were chatting to add a bit of interest to the interview.

This was also the first time Jet Streamer has organised hosting for the client, too, which is great, and it really expands our capability to provide an end-to-end podcast service where all you have to do is provide the brief and we'll take it from there. We'll be providing Council with regular updates on how their audience figures are tracking so they can see the results.

I'd love to do a second season of this, or perhaps even focus on another local government area down this way, as you just never know who else is out here!

Check out the trailer below, and head over to southgippsland.vic.gov.au to hear the full series.