Headliner Highlight 006: Kira Dineen – DNA Today

For Headliner Highlight number 006, we talk with Kira Dineen. Kira is the host and producer of three different Healthcare interview-style podcasts: Insight Says, Advancing Dentistry, and DNA Today, where she explores genetics and how it impacts our health.

Tell us about your podcast.

Most episodes are interviews with genetic counselors, researchers, and patient advocates. My favorite episodes tend to be those of patient advocates because they bring so much passion to raising awareness for their conditions, and are really great educators with empowering stories to share. They’ve often come from a place of not having a scientific background to having to be experts on their condition or their child’s condition. So, it’s very interesting to hear their perspective and everything that they’ve been through to get to that point.

I’ve also done episodes about genetic research, like I was talking about genetic testing, which can include consumer tests like Ancestry and 23andMe, Hereditary cancer syndromes, even advice on how to become a genetic counselor. So plenty of areas of interest like these.

A goal of mine is to have the episodes understandable by the general public. It is also a radio show. So I never know quite exactly who is listening to the show and I want to make it accessible to everyone during episodes.

I break down this complicated genetic information into simpler language that really anyone can understand.

Why did you start podcasting?

I’ve been podcasting since high school, which for me was back in 2011. It’s been a very rewarding experience to build up my genetic show since 2012 and also expand into different shows.

I’m close to hitting the 200-mark of podcast episodes I’ve hosted and produced, which is really exciting to be close to that landmark and it’s giving me energy to keep recording more, and I think I’m going to be in the podcast industry for a long time.

Podcasting is such a unique platform to be able to connect with a specific audience, and I like the idea of capturing people’s voices and their stories to offer the commentary on these issues and topics. It’s very personal. And, when you listen you really feel like you know the host and the guests. At the time when I started in 2012, it wasn’t a saturated market, which it’s starting to become now, but they’re still way less podcasts than blogs or other similar types of media. So way less competition there.

I also love that it’s free for people to listen to, which allows me to reach far more people than if I was on a platform where people had to pay a subscription.

What do you do to share & promote your episodes?

I use social media primarily. I also started exploring doing crossover episodes of other related podcasts, which is a great way to meet more people in the community and share your listeners, as the listeners of my show will maybe listen to the other show and vice versa.

What has been most effective? Least effective?

I found creating content people are looking for has helped immensely, as they find it while they’re doing their own research and end up finding my podcast.

In terms of social media. I found Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to be the most active sites for my listeners and for new listeners to discover. Least effective for me has been Facebook just because my audience tends to be on the younger side and they’re not on Facebook as much as an older audience. So don’t invest as much time on there

Why do you make Headliners?

When I started becoming more active on my Instagram for my podcast, I needed a way to share my new episodes at first. I just did promotional images from Canva. But once I found out about Headliner, it was a complete game-changer because people can actually hear a teaser from an episode. And, after that, people are way more intrigued to listen to the full episode after hearing that short clip.

So it’s become a great way to share the show on all platforms, starting on Instagram, but now I post it everywhere.

Current podcasting setup?

  • Blue Yeti
  • Pop Filter
  • Mic Arm
  • MacBook Pro
  • Skype
  • GarageBand
  • Couple monitors to see Skype conversation, episode outline and other things while recording
  • Squarespace
  • GoDaddy

What is something you think is overrated or underrated in podcasting?

An aspect of podcasting I think is underrated is investing time in learning about your guest. So reading their book, listening to their talks, looking through their social media to see what they’re posting about and what opinions they have.

Whatever’s out there for you to gain an understanding of their message and really be able to pull up on that during an interview.

As for something that’s overrated. I’m not a fan of the Apple podcast app. I prefer using Overcast. It’s much more customizable and organized. I don’t know if this is a popular opinion, but I found it to be much easier to use.

If someone was to only listen to one episode of yours, which one would you send?

100 Carl Zimmer on Human Heredity

Do you have a favorite podcast?

My favorite podcast is a really tough question because I listen to so many different podcasts. But, if I had to choose one, I would say Millennial.

It’s not the same genre podcast I produce, which maybe is why I like it. It’s a little break from what I’m normally doing.

I’m a really big fan of the hosts Andrew Sims and Laura Tee. I’ve been listening to them for over 10 years, so almost half my life. They have been an inspiration of mine to become a podcaster and I’ve learned so much about politics news and life in general from them with the various shows they’ve hosted over the last decade. So I really hope they continue to podcast for a long time.

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