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On this episode of Bloomerang TV, Derrick Duplessy, Executive Director of the Duplessy Foundation, stops by to chat about how nonprofits can get into podcasting. You can watch the full episode here:

Full Transcript:

Steven Shattuck: All right, hey there. Thanks for joining us for this
week’s episode of Bloomerang TV. I’m Steven Shattuck; I’m
the VP of Marketing here at Bloomerang. And today my guest,
and I’m really excited to have him, Derrick Duplessy. He is
the Executive Director over at the Duplessy Foundation,
which is in Boston, Massachusetts. Hey there Derrick; how’s
it going?

Derrick Duplessy: I’m doing well, Steven. How are you doing?

Steven Shattuck: I’m doing well. Thanks for being here. For people
who don’t know about your foundation, what does your
foundation do? Tell us a little bit about it.

Derrick Duplessy: Sure, I’ll give you the Cliff Notes version.

Steven Shattuck: All right.

Derrick Duplessy: I initially grew up in the inner city here in
Boston, and somebody really invested a lot of time with me
in high school, a lot of folks actually. And I got that
book, the Helping People book. And I’ve worked with
students of the Upward Bound Program. And what happened
then was I thought, wow, this does not pay very much, so I
got into executive recruiting.

But I was still seeing some of my students downtown and some of them
would say, “Hey, Derrick,” and then they’d cover their
face. And I’m like, “Hey, what’s going on with you?” And
they told me that they dropped out of school, and that was
because they were doing something entrepreneurial, or they
were doing something artistic, and they didn’t feel like
the desk jobs of nine to five were going to work for them.

So I started informally mentoring those guys, just helping them get
to the next step, whether that was an apprenticeship or
some type of formal training. And I sort of got addicted to
that and was in love with that. And now we formally have
programs where we work with 18 to 24 year olds who are from
Boston’s inner city, who are creative, artistic
entrepreneurs and we help them basically build a brand in a
business.

Steven Shattuck: Awesome. Yeah, this is a great organization and I
really like talking to young EDs like you because you do
really neat modern things. And one of the things that you
do that I want to talk about today is you have a podcast,
which is not the most popular sort of content outlet I feel
among nonprofits, but you guys have one and it’s really
awesome. Maybe you could talk a little bit about what
you’re doing there on the podcast front.

Derrick Duplessy: Sure. You know, it’s funny; I absolutely love our
organization and our mission, but I know that nobody really
cares. In the larger scheme of things, no, there might be
thousands of people at level we could do, but there are
billions of people on this earth. And I’m greedy; I still
want people to connect to our mission in a way that makes
sense for them and apply it to them.

And essentially our tag line in what we do is we help people pursue
their purpose. Right? So even if you can’t connect or
understand an artist’s story and help them build a brand,
you can understand that I’m not doing something where my
skills and what I really care about are aligned. And I
hopefully want to be that person where what I’m doing and
its impact align very well with my skills.

So we interview people every single day, the week days, and they tell
their career stories. And I think people really dig it and
enjoy it, like wow; I can really connect to this. And of
course I sneak in, “Hey, we’re doing this for inner folks.”

Steven Shattuck: Right.

Derrick Duplessy: Who just happen to be artists, and it’s going really
well. And right now as we speak the number one referral
source of traffic to Duplessy Foundation site is the
podcast site.

Steven Shattuck: I believe it. So this is a really sort of ingenious
strategy. This is something that a lot of for-profit
marketers do, because they understand what you just said,
you can’t just make a bunch of content about yourself,
right; because there’s not going to be that many people
interested in it. But what you do is you interview a lot of
people and it’s really entertaining, and it’s educational,
and it’s engaging. So can you talk a little bit about the
strategy that went into that? How did you actually
conceptualize this podcast?

Derrick Duplessy: Yeah, it’s really interesting. You know, I was
listening to a lot of podcasts just for inspiration and
just to help myself in terms of having multiple educations.
I think the first podcast I listened to was Manager Tools,
right; a great podcast. And I was like, why isn’t there a
podcast that really fits me, sort of the cause space or the
soulful space where I can learn and be inspired by that
space?

You know, there are a lot of how-tos; you guys do total management
stuff like that, which is awesome. But I also want to get
that inspiration, you know, get people’s stories, and
really identify with people and feel encouraged, and it
just didn’t exist. And I knew that I wasn’t the only person
with this problem. In nonprofit you love it, but you just
want that daily encouragement. So that’s the genesis of the
podcast itself, and I knew that if we are able to get
people to this one channel then we would be able to funnel
them to our other channels, which would be our website.

Steven Shattuck: That makes sense. I think every nonprofit should do
this, honestly. I’m giving a presentation on content
marketing in a couple of days for nonprofits, and I’m
definitely going to be talking about this, because I think
what you’re doing is really awesome.

So you know it’s driving traffic.

Derrick Duplessy: Yes.

Steven Shattuck: Do you know what happens once they get there? Have
you been able to measure the success of it once they hit
your website? You know, what’s the actual ROI of that
traffic?

Derrick Duplessy: Wow! That’s a good question. Basically the podcast
started in February, and it’s an experiment and I want to
see what would happen if we just started the podcast and
created a website for the podcast that really focused on
the individuals coming to the page and not us, you know.

Steven Shattuck: Yes.

Derrick Duplessy: So what has happened is that we get 2,000 visitors
per month, or a little bit over that.

Steven Shattuck: Wow!

Derrick Duplessy: To the podcast page. And our Duplessy Foundation
site regularly gets 500, 600 visitors per month, and it’s
sort of like standard nonprofit site. It’s like a brochure;
you go in there and you learn a little bit and you never
come back.

Steven Shattuck: Right.

Derrick Duplessy: But what I found is that the time on site is a
little bit higher on the podcast site.

Steven Shattuck: Great.

Derrick Duplessy: The podcast site has really served as a guinea pig
for how we want Duplessy Foundation’s site to be. So we are
actually in the process of doing over the Duplessy
Foundation site, having it be a place that you want to come
to each and every day. And so what we want to do just like
the podcast page is make it a place not just for us to tell
our story, but to use our story to help other people.

For example, you are an artist out there and you don’t know how to
create a content calendar, you don’t know how to break down
your brand. I’m going to use the story of

[inaudible:
00:07:29] we’re mentoring and say, here are the things that
you can do to help yourself out. I think ultimately that’s
the play that is going to really make social as big as the
for-profit space.

Steven Shattuck: Yeah. I completely agree. I think when a nonprofit
makes their website an actual resource rather than a
brochure, to use your words, that’s when magic really
starts happening. I think what you’re doing is right on.

Okay, so a nonprofit that wants to get into this, maybe they want to
start their own podcast, what tips, what advice do you have
for them, you know, from topics, concepts, to even
equipment. What should people do who want to get into this?

Derrick Duplessy: Well it’s pretty simple. You don’t have to have
super-duper fancy equipment. Right now I have a Logitech HD
camera that I got for I think $40; it might even be $30
from a local electronic shop. And hopefully it’s getting
the job done. You can see me very clearly and you can hear
me. And the camera has an onboard microphone which I’m
using. I actually have a podcast mic, which is not working
right now, and that’s what I’m using; just $30 and your
computer and you’re ready to go.

In terms of content, every organization has an unfair advantage. So
my good friends over here in Boston who I’m encouraging to
do this, Zoomix [SP]; they are sort of an organization that
basically is a place for folks 7 to 19 to do music and
learn music and just hang out. They can teach people about
the basics of fundamental music and they can sort of go,
any physical pianos, they can go guitar. There are all
kinds of places that they can do. And they are still
pushing their mission forward by helping all these people,
getting a lot of people to notice what they’re doing.

I interviewed for the podcast Top Cow Productions’ CEO. His name is
Matt Hawkins. I ask him what was the biggest challenge for
him and he said the biggest challenge is getting noticed in
a noisy world. And I think if you’re a nonprofit the way
you can get noticed is by figuring out how we can use what
we know to help other people. What’s our unfair advantage?

Steven Shattuck: You do have an unfair advantage. Every nonprofit
should have no shortage of things to talk about, anything
relating to their mission, their cause, you know, what
they’re doing, no problem.

Well cool, man; this is great, Derrick. You know, you talk about
inspiring people, and I think you’re hopefully going to
inspire people watching this to get into this. I think you
really get concept marketing and nonprofits to really start
doing this kind of thing. So I’ll give you the last word
before we go. Where can people find out about you? Where
can they listen to the podcast?

Derrick Duplessy: PurposeRockstar.com. We have some awesome
interviews, folks from every walk of life; everyone from
people in video games, to people in comics, to writers, to
everything you could imagine. And it’s a great place to get
inspired and just listen to other people’s stories.

Steven Shattuck: All right, we’re going to link to it. Derrick,
thanks for hanging out with us. Man, this is really
awesome.

Derrick Duplessy: My absolute pleasure. Thanks so much and looking
forward to more and new awesome episodes from Bloomerang.

Steven Shattuck: All right, we’ll do it. And thanks to everyone for
watching. We will catch you next week, so we’ll see you
then. Bye now.

Kristen Hay

Kristen Hay

Marketing Manager at Bloomerang
Kristen Hay is the Marketing Manager at Bloomerang. From 2018 - 2020, she served as the Director of Communications for the Public Relations Society of America's local Hoosier chapter. Prior to that she served on several different committees and in committee chair roles.
Kristen Hay