Podcasts and Contests Give SIPA Members an Engagement Lift

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If done well, podcasts, quizzes, contests and live seminars can add levels of engagement to a website. To get a flavor for what SIPA members are doing, I visited some of their websites and took a quiz on Literacy Instruction—don't ask my score—listened to advice on painting indoors this winter—that could come in handy!—and entered a contest for Creative Kids—my friend sent me a video of his daughter painting a superhero mask.

Here are a few ideas to check out and perhaps borrow:


American Paint Contractor, a division of Columbia Books & Information Services, has resumed its excellent Paint Radio. The 15ish-minute podcast is hosted by Andrew Dwyer, publisher of APC Magazine. Transitioning from summer and fall to winter was the topic in October. There's an ad on the podcast site, and the shows start with comfortable, quick banter.

The Northern Miner podcast really caught my attention. Episode 78 was a special Halloween entry. "Watch out! It's the Northern Miner podcast Halloween special where we get pretty spooky! Lesley and Matt are back from the Progressive Mine Forum (PMF) in Toronto with a delicious selection of content, including keynote speakers, round-tables and interviews."

Sponsored by Yukon Mining Alliance, it begins with spooky music and then a Boris Karloff impersonation. Guests included Pavel Adbur-Rahman, who leads IBM's AI & Advanced Analytics Consulting Practice in Canada, and Robin Fell, who serves as Goldcorp's director of strategic technology solutions. I like how they list where each topic comes up on the podcast. This can be very helpful to your time-starved audience.

  • LME Week intro 2:50
  • Commodity price round-up 4:12
  • Macro-economic update 5:00
  • Zinc & copper chat 5:30
  • Underlying metal demand 6:43
  • Cobalt and lithium 9:15
  • Geology Corner ft. IBM & Goldcorp 12:00


American Paint Contractor also held a contest recently. "We're looking for the best videos from contractors. Enter your commercials, demos, project portfolios or anything else you have hangin' out in your YouTube or Vimeo arsenal." This is a great way to get good free content to post.

Hudson Valley Parent uses a similar strategy for one of their contests, The Incredible Kids of the Hudson Valley. "Do you have creative kids that you want to see on the cover of Hudson Valley Parent? Did your child...Learn to paint over the summer? Start her own fashion line for kids? Design his own 3D airplane? To enter: Share a video, photo and/or written paragraph below that explains how your child exemplifies creativity."

Their previous contest was for kids who Stand for Justice, Lead the Team and Never Give Up and was sponsored by Children's Medical Group. See the winning pictures of the kids and their moms here.

Sponsored Quiz

Education Week has a series of quizzes on their website. The most recent one is headlined: Quiz Yourself: How Much Do You Know About English-Language Learners? This quiz is sponsored by Apex Learning, but the sponsors change each week.  Education Week retains full editorial control of the content. The previous quiz—they come out about every two weeks—is titled How Much Do You Know About Literacy Instruction? It was sponsored by VocabularySpellingCity. Another was sponsored by LocknCharge.

After completing the quiz, you're asked to register. Then you can see how your score compares to your peers, get the correct answers with detailed explanations, and be provided with additional readings and resources on the topic.

Online Learning

Magna Publications offers live, one-hour online seminars; tomorrow's is titled Facilitate Deep Learning and Student Engagement through Socratic Questioning. One key to the success of the seminars is the package attendees get for the $297 registration price:

  • Downloadable PowerPoint presentations from the speaker
  • On-demand access for 30 days after the seminar airs on 11/08/17
  • CD recording of the seminar
  • Written transcript
  • Supplemental materials
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
That written transcript is an especially effective bonus, and there are very affordable services out there. Magna also offers an Online Seminar Package + Campus Access License for $497. (I believe it's consultant Nancy Harhut who likes price numbers ending in 7.)

Ronn Are you subscribed to the SIPAlert Daily?
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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…