By Pam McDonald

What a crazy idea – let’s have Pam (that’s me) produce and co-host a podcast for Senior Living Foresight!

It’s crazy because, when we began considering the idea, I had never even heard a podcast. I had no idea what producing it entailed, and I was (and am) intimated by digital technology.

On the flip side – I am kind of a hambone. I like being “on stage”, so being in front of a camera or microphone doesn’t scare me. I like coming up with story ideas, identifying people who can add something to the conversation, and interviewing people.

I also know a fair amount about senior living having worked in the industry for over 20 years, and about Senior Living Foresight’s audience having written for and edited the blog for over 5 years.

But for me, the hook was the prospect of learning a new skill. I love being a student – and all that goes with it. Reading. Webinars. Classes. Homework. Teachers. Mentors. And, challenging my puny brain to understand and synthesize new information, then actually put it into action. I love that process and expect to be a lifelong learner. 

So, when Steve asked if I could/would work with him to produce a podcast, I needed a little reassurance about help with the technical stuff and then I was in – with both feet.

That was 18 months ago, and, boy, have we come a long way, baby!

I spent months picking the brains of local podcasters, taking an 8-week online, “live” course, brainstorming a format with Steve and the SLF team, and getting an episode in the can before we launched in January 2019.

Our first episodes were – well, production intensive. We had broken the half-hour into 3 segments with guests and intros for each. Way too much work for a monthly program, and way too much time between episodes to gain traction with an audience.

So, by April we went to an every-other-week schedule — with only one topic and one guest. That worked.

That was 22 episodes, 25 guests, and 23 topics ago, along with lots and lots of learnable/teachable moments. Our topics have included intergenerational programming, operational basics, employee accountability, resident involvement, excellence in dementia care, marketing automation, among many others, designed to help senior living leaders increase revenue, reduce turnover, and create life-enhancing culture.

A coworker suggested I tell you about my favorite episodes, but that’s impossible — like picking my favorite child. I love them all equally. I’m proud of them, too. I look back and believe they are absolutely worth your while, with lots of value. If you somehow missed an episode, you can listen to one or all of them at www.seniorlivingforesight.net/podcast.

I’d like to impress you with how hard-working, diligent, and preserving I am by sharing my challenges and struggles. But that’s also a no-can-do. It’s been challenging but absolutely not a struggle. 

It’s been a hoot. I’ve been having so much fun, meeting terrific, knowledgeable people, and learning great stuff. It’s hard to believe this is my job!

I think it’s good news that Steve’s letting me do it again in 2020. We’ll be posting a new episode on January 15th, offering advice for avoiding pitfalls with new construction, expansion, or renovation. We hope you’ll listen in.

We’d also love to hear from you. You can email Steve at smoran@slf.buzz or me at pam@slf.buzz, or podcast@slf.buzz. Let us know what you want, what you want to know more about, what you want to share, and who you think would be a great guest. We’ll love an opportunity to captivate and engage you.

And, to every one of you, sincere wishes for a very Happy New Year!