October 26, 2022
“It’s Been Quite a Journey” - A Look Back at 50 Episodes of Totally Clinical
Social Media ManagerTeckro
When we first launched Totally Clinical: Trial Triumphs & Rad Trends as an industry podcast, we weren’t sure what to expect. Now, with a wealth of amazing guests, a catalog of compelling discussions, and a pipeline of big ideas - we can proudly say it's a hit!
To celebrate 50 episodes in less than a year, host Hannah Lippitt and producer Conor Bryce sit down to discuss the journey so far. From pre-launch nerves to favorite episodes (too many to count!), take a peek behind the curtain with us and celebrate Totally Clinical hitting the big 50.
Of course, we couldn’t have done it without you, the listeners. Here’s to the next 50 episodes!
“We're seeing a tipping point where rather than us having to go out and search for guests, they're coming to us. It's getting to the place that we dreamed about, what we were first thinking about when we started.” - Conor
"I feel that the podcast has really taken on a life of its own and is making its mark.” - Hannah
HANNAH LIPPITT: Hello and welcome to the Totally Clinical podcast brought to you by Teckro. Totally Clinical is a deep dive into the freshest trends, big-time challenges and most excellent triumphs of clinical trials. I'm Hannah, your host. Join me as I chat with industry experts, trailblazers, thought leaders and, most importantly, the people benefiting from clinical research. So, tune in, settle back and don't touch that dial. It's time to get Totally Clinical.
HANNAH LIPPITT: So, today we’ve something a little bit different for you. As the it’s the 50th episode, I decided to sit down with my producer, Conor, to discuss just how far the podcast has come since we launched it November 2021. Conor it's been quite a journey, hasn't it?
CONOR BRYCE: It has. It has. Wow I mean, I remember working on the launch, organizing... wow, like organizing John C. McGinley to put his video together for us. That was very popular. And I mean, like for me, that was crazy in itself, like having John who I watched growing up, you know, in Platoon, Point Break and of course in Scrubs as Dr. Cox and also the fact that he's doing such great work outside of his acting, you know, with a global Down's Syndrome foundation, National Down’s Syndrome Society as well. Having him to be part of our launch and working on that, actually writing lines that John C. McGinley would read – that felt so special. And, yeah, I mean, we got hundreds and thousands of views of his launch video. It was a fantastic start. And there was a lot of buzz around the launch in the office and in the industry. But I mean, buzz aside, to be honest, I wasn't sure how it was going to go. I mean, we had the idea. We took a leap. And, you know, I knew we could make it work, but it was still uncharted territory for us. You know, it was like, you know, like McCoy in Star Trek saying, “I'm a doctor, not a mechanic,” you know, like, I was very much thinking, “I'm a marketer. I'm not a producer.”
HANNAH LIPPITT: Well, you certainly did a great job being a producer. And I also remember really thinking, “We've got to make this work,” because the launch was so successful. And I was thinking a lot about other podcasts and what made them stand out and how we could do the same. And I think we really recognized quite early on there was a gap in the clinical trials podcast market, if you like, you know, not many talked about clinical trials generally and the “trials and tribulations” around that subject.
CONOR BRYCE: Yeah, that was going to be the title, wasn't it! Like, I know we had a few ideas bouncing about and, ooh, wow, some were awful! But I think, yeah, the Trials and Tribulations – that got pretty far.
And you know, back to the idea of what content we wanted to cover: we ended up keeping it quite open. And, like what we have in the podcast intro and every one of the episodes we put out, we wanted to be a place for thought leaders, industry experts, people benefiting from clinical research and of course, we wanted to make sure the Teckro values – that making an impact, always doing the right thing, being responsive – we always kept those in mind as well. And also, I mean, something I remember being really important from the get-go was for us to keep it light. I guess, you know that that's where the 80s style artwork and the title came from, why we kind of stuck with that, keeping upbeat and having that kind of, I suppose that sense of energy about it. And I know that worked in terms of encouraging guests to come on the podcast. They know we're not going to be tethered to, you know, a very formal format. We're not going to be keeping it to a set duration. They're not going to have to deal with us being overly promotional. And, you know, we'll afford them the time to get stuck into the topics that they want to cover.
HANNAH LIPPITT: Yeah, like a sense of fun but also serious topics as well. I remember actually when we first started, we were sort of searching for guests we knew internally – contacts – and we really wanted to be a platform for voices in the industry to like, facilitate those conversations. So, yeah, we launched with a few, we had some episodes on our website – like, around International Women's day – and then it kind of went from strength to strength. We were never really short of guests and we always had a few kind of in the bank, if you like.
CONOR BRYCE: Yeah, just, just thinking back to those times when we were, we were a bit thin on the ground. That seems like, we're not having to fight people off at the minute, but like, we were getting requests sent to us you know, we're working with a lot of pretty prominent people, well-known industry figures. It's getting to the point where we're seeing a tipping point where rather than us having to go out and search for these guests, they're coming to us. It's getting to the place that we dreamed about, you know, that place where... we were first thinking about when we first started. Of course, you know, we always want to keep that portion of our episodes coming from people within the team. They've got a lot to say, but just having that nice mix at this stage is fantastic.
And now we're adding a guest request form to our site, so people can apply directly. And that in itself to me is a testament to what a great job our past guests have done in getting us to here.
HANNAH LIPPITT: I mean, if we think a bit about the type of content we produced, it's really diverse. We've had all sorts of voices from advocacy groups like the Clearity Foundation for ovarian cancer and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. We've also had internal Teckro people like Brendan, our CMO, going more in-depth about types of trials. We've also had Gary, our CEO, who's been on a few times to talk about Teckro, we had him on for the 50th episode, also discussing some of our initiatives around ESG. But one thing I'm also quite proud about is how we've really become a voice for sites. For example, we had Courtney from Centricity discussing the benefit of community-based sites and how they support physicians, we've had Grayson from Centricity as well, discussing how Teckro helped ease the burdens of his day job. Also, Chelsea, a health care project manager – she talked about the huge challenges of Phase I Oncology trials. So, it's been really good to hear from site staff, and also because they don't get the spotlight on them and their concerns heard.
CONOR BRYCE: Yeah and Robbyn Mattei, I guess is living and working in South Africa. I hope we can do more on that in the future, you know, like, international trials.
HANNAH LIPPITT: One thing actually that shows how podcasts can help bring people together is how Robbyn was inspired by Nikki Osborn, the CEO of Meridian’s podcast, about the power of positivity and bringing it to sites.
CONOR BRYCE: I mean, that in itself, it's such a good example of how, you know, how people can use podcasts to build strong networks. And we really can't mention strong networks without, without mentioning Brad – Brad Hightower – talking with Brad about his work in giving sites a voice through social media and then, you know, him having his own podcast, Note to File, working with such a likeminded guy, for us. And of course, him being totally at ease on Totally Clinical as well, you know, knowing how to communicate, knowing how to how the setup worked and how the process went. And it's one of my favorites.
HANNAH LIPPITT: What other podcasts spring to mind that you've particularly enjoyed?
CONOR BRYCE: I've enjoyed all of them. You know, like once we get into the flow of things, the podcast – the Totally Clinical machine – got rolling, each one became its own thing. Going back a long time, you know, I loved Martin... Martin Lovell’s episode we did for men's Health Week. His story, his message about prostate cancer awareness, and then the Women in Leadership series that we did – that was something I was really proud of us doing. And then I can't not talk about the World Blood Donor Day episode as well. That was one I enjoyed working on and, you know, I was working on it and then I was actually a guest on the show for once! And you know, not only that, it's just, you know, the idea of the show having a donor veteran like Kelly and then myself not having donated before at all, it was such a strong idea. And then, the fact that I was going to give blood, I was having that experience in itself and then talking about it. You know, recording it, felt that I was just having a chat with friends about what I did. And it was! It was a great experience.
HANNAH LIPPITT: I feel that every podcast brings something to me personally, you know? You always learn something. But for me, I have found the podcast around scientific progress with symptomless cancers – that's to say cancers without obvious symptoms like pancreatic and ovarian – really fascinating, and I think, optimistic because we can see the amazing breakthroughs that are being made. And clinical trials are obviously all about patients, so it's brilliant to see how science is making a difference.
CONOR BRYCE: Yeah, and I know we all are Hannah. I am so proud that we've moved the podcast forward to cover so many different parts of the industry.
HANNAH LIPPITT: I always ask the guests on my podcast about the future, so I'm going to ask you the same. I don't know if you're exactly a guest, but, you know, it's a joint kind of, it's a joint discussion – we're both each other's guests.
CONOR BRYCE: Yeah!
HANNAH LIPPITT: So, speaking of the future, where do you see us this time next year?
CONOR BRYCE: If you had asked me a year ago where I'd like to be now, I'd say, “Just still going with the podcast,” but look how far we've come. So, I mean, in a year's time, yeah, I guess I'd like us to be more involved with similar podcasts and podcast creators, and we've started to dip into that a little bit, you know, working with Brad and other guests, but, you know, I'd like to see Totally Clinical as part of almost a part of a wider podcast network where, you know, where like-minded producers can be sharing ideas, collaborating, creating, you know, cross content, working on maybe working on bigger projects together.
HANNAH LIPPITT: Yeah, that would be really amazing. And I can see it happening. I feel that the podcast has really taken on a life of its own and is making its own mark, like you said earlier, we've not especially sought this out, and being part of a podcast network, I think increases the feeling of industry camaraderie, which I love. Like, you can see the same people appearing on podcasts, see what subject matter they're covering and feel inspired and part of a community.
CONOR BRYCE: Absolutely, yeah.
HANNAH LIPPITT: So, the other day I was actually asked by a friend for some advice on starting a podcast, and I was thinking about how to respond because there are lots of different tips I can give, like technical or subject matter, for example. But I was having a little bit of problem kind of summarizing. So, if you had to summarize, what advice would you give?
CONOR BRYCE: Just take the leap. I mean, all you need is two microphones and a good idea. If you keep it authentic, if you use your own voice, if you don't be afraid to ask people to get involved – because they will want to get involved – if you create something that resonates, people will listen, they'll participate and you'll get there. So, yeah, just go for it. Just take that leap.
HANNAH LIPPITT: And I would also add that do have to be patient when it comes to results and just keep believing in yourself. It's about finding that niche, delivering great content. So, good luck to my friend and anyone else who's looking to start a podcast! Now, I think this is probably where we can wrap up today. It was something a little bit different for the listeners in this one, so it's been really great sharing my thoughts about Totally Clinical on this landmark episode and remember to listen to our CEO Gary's episode. We'll be putting it out with this one. So, cheers, Conor, for the chat and for being my superstar producer.
CONOR BRYCE: Well, Thank you, Hannah. And of course, thank you for being the voice of Teckro, I mean, in so many ways, there are so many people out there that have been introduced to Teckro through you, you know – that has to be said, I think. And here's to another fifty!