On Air: Putting Media on the Mic
Emma Gannon describes herself as multi-hyphenate, with lots of different projects in play at once. As a prolific writer and podcaster, she’s never supported the concept of hierarchy in the modern working world. She also believes in showing other women that you don’t have to follow anyone else’s path in the workplace, you can chart your own course and still be successful.
This idea first presented itself to her early in her career when she worked for an agency. With no public speaking experience, she was asked to participate in a panel to discuss blogging. Her fellow panelists were all men in suits who were much older than her. She felt very out of place as a young woman in a pink dress and barely spoke at all. Rather than deciding that she didn’t fit in to the tech world, the experience made her want to prove that it was okay to be a feminine, smart, technically-savvy professional woman.
Today, she is all of those things and more. One day she may be speaking at an event or working on her blog, while then next she may be interviewing a CEO for her podcast. She’s always been into technology, and even edits her podcasts herself, using Adobe Audition. Now, nothing holds her back from pursuing her dreams and being who she wants to be.
Stepping into the media world
Gannon regards her time in the agency world as her boot camp for learning how to work with brands, write proposals, and collaborate with a team. “I got to work on social media and digital strategies for brands across the world,” she says. “It was so exciting to meet with a global team and discuss what branding means and how to launch a global brand and maintain consistency in different countries. It’s the best experience that I’ve ever had in marketing and branding.”
After continually being complimented for her writing, Gannon realized it was something she really loved and decided to take her career in a new direction. She got a job as Social Media Editor for TheDebrief.co.uk, an online magazine for millennial women. It was here that she found her voice and her connection with young women like herself who grew up online and wanted to succeed in ways that they defined for themselves.
Around the time she graduated from university, Gannon started her own blog, which she maintained throughout her early career. What started as something she did for fun led to a book deal with Ebury Penguin Random House in 2015.
“That really changed things for me because I realized that I had my own brand and platform and that I could work with other brands on my own instead of through a magazine,” says Gannon.
Expanding to audio
Gannon’s book led her to creating a podcast of the same name, Ctrl Alt Delete. While the book is more about Gannon’s life, thoughts, and opinions as a millennial growing up with the Internet, the podcast lets her explore and discuss the same subject matter with other people.
“I really wanted to talk to a diverse range of interesting, creative people about their experiences on the internet and the podcast has been an amazing outlet for that,” says Gannon. “It’s everything from dealing with trolls to launching a business to building a charity on Twitter.”
Audio quality is very important to Gannon, and she continually upgrades her recording equipment. Rather than recording in a studio she prefers a more personal approach that captures her guests, who have included Lena Dunham, Gillian Anderson, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Zoella, in a comfortable, personal setting.
“I’m often in someone’s house, sitting on the sofa,” she says. “They might have a dog barking or we might be having tea and you can hear the clatter of the tea cups. It’s important that the audio is good, but I also want it to be genuine.”
Gannon uses Adobe Audition CC to edit her interviews, making sure that she’s telling a clear and concise story, and leverages the XYZ tools in Audition to edit in musical elements to start and end her podcast. The software also lets her remove background noise with the noise filter and equalize and compress the audio, so changes in volume don’t impact the listener.
Each episode is recorded as a WAV file, and Gannon likes that Audition lets her easily work with larger files. She can zoom into a segment and remove minor stumbles, ums, and ahs that naturally occur during a conversation.
“Adobe Audition lets me quickly smooth everything out, which I really like doing,” says Gannon. “It’s all about making sure every episode is nice to listen to.”
Facing the future
Gannon’s work is very different than a nine-to-five job, but unlike what most people think, she isn’t working 24/7. She balances an evening or weekends spent speaking at events with an afternoon in the park. She also pre-records many podcasts so she is able to maintain her weekly cadence.
Podcasting has also led Gannon to other media avenues that she looks forward to exploring, including film and television. She also looks forward to growing the live elements of her podcast, interviewing authors at book festivals, or female filmmakers before a screening. No matter the medium, Gannon plans to continue having deep conversations with women in tech and spreading the word that it is possible to be feminine, and be yourself, and also be successful.
Emma Gannon presented in the Adobe stand at IBC 2017 on Saturday, September 16th. Watch the presentation here:
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