With the month-long Project Body Love podcast under their belts, the Women’s Health team are looking at how else they can harness audio, with plans to launch a weekly podcast next month.
Women’s Health UK is exploring podcasts as a new way of engaging their health and wellness-focused audience.
The publisher’s first podcast, Project Body Love, launched at the beginning of November as part of their wider 2019 Project Body Love campaign.
The podcast is a 30 day series designed to help women with their body confidence, hosted by body confidence advocate and this month’s Women’s Health magazine cover star Jada Sezer.
However, Women’s Health is also gearing up to launch a more permanent podcast fixture. ‘Going For Goal’ will launch on Boxing Day as many people start setting goals for the new year. A new episode will be released each week, with a host from the Women’s Health team.
Building confidence in podcasting
Project Body Love is a publisher-wide partnership with Procter & Gamble across a number of Hearst’s titles. Various P&G brands are sponsoring Project Body Love content in selected titles, with Venus sponsoring in Cosmopolitan, Pantene in Elle, and Always in Women’s Health, Good Housekeeping, and Prima.
The project itself is an evolution of Women’s Health’s “In shape, my shape” campaign that ran last year, and is aiming to change the alarmingly negative narrative around women’s bodies. Self-esteem in the UK ranks at the 2nd lowest in the world, and as the pressure to look ‘perfect’ intensifies, just 4% of UK women say they feel beautiful, says Hearst’s project page.
The Project Body Love podcast is designed to be listened to as a programme of mini lessons, with each episode running between three and five minutes long. All the content is taken from evidence-based programmes and body image research.
“Each episode tackles the different aspects of body confidence, and many of them give you exercises to do, whether that’s repeating mantras, taking deep breaths, and it gives you stretch exercises as well,” Women’s Health Editor in Chief Claire Sanderson told What’s New in Publishing. “There’s one day where you have to write everything you value about yourself, and what other people would value about you.”
“The idea is that by the time the listener has finished the 30 days, their body conference will have improved.”
The podcast has got off to a strong start: just 12 days in, it is hitting the ‘high four figures’, according to Sanderson.
“We’re really pleased. We didn’t really know what to expect, and because this is our first time, it’s all a learning curve,” she explained. “We’ve got people who are engaged with it, and are listening to it on a daily basis.”
The format of the podcast means that women who discover it later in November can start the 30-day series whenever they’re ready, so Sanderson expects to see those numbers continue to grow into December and beyond.
But there is a secondary goal for the podcast: to improve confidence. “We’re doing further research [around the whole Body Love Project],” said Sanderson. “If the content that we’ve provided experientially, digitally, in print, and the podcast helps women improve their body confidence…we’ll do the research again to see if we’ve changed the dial.”
New year, new Goal
The Project Body Love podcast may be the brand’s first toe in the podcast waters, but already Women’s Health are preparing for the launch of their own dedicated podcast.
‘Going For Goal’ will release new episodes every week around goals women may have, from nutrition goals to fitness improvements, or even how to become a morning person.
“The idea is that two experts every week will give their opinion on how you can achieve that goal,” explained Sanderson. The content will be closely aligned with the topics that the Women’s Health magazine deals with online and in print.
Sanderson is especially keen that there are two experts on each show to provide a balance. “We would never run a [full] feature in Women’s Health in print unless we had several expert voices in it to give a balanced opinion,” she said. “So for instance, if it’s a fitness goal, we would have a fitness expert, but also a nutritionist, because how you fuel your body is really crucial to you achieving your fitness goals.”
For the Women’s Health team, a successful month-long podcast will give them a vital confidence boost ahead of launching a long-term weekly podcast. Additionally, it will warm their audience up to what they can expect from the publisher in audio. The challenge with a weekly podcast, as opposed to a daily will be getting habit embedded in the same way.
Are you a publisher with a podcast? Entries for the Publisher Podcast Awards close next week – find out more here.