Ms. Lena Gothberg
Host and Producer
Lena, first of all tell our readers a bit about your background in the maritime industry. When did you start your career?
I entered the maritime industry in 1990 when I became a marine insurance broker after having studied law at the University of Lund, Sweden. I continued to do that until 2000, when I changed table and became an underwriter for hull and machinery insurance at Codan Marine, heading up their business in Sweden. After that I was involved in business intelligence as a Secretary-General for the Institute of Shipping Analysis.
Some of our readers still may not be aware of what a podcast is, so could you please explain it to our readers?
In short, a podcast is “radio on demand”. It’s audio that’s broadcasted over the internet and remains available on your mobile through various apps, depending on whether you are on iOS or Android.
What triggered the idea of a Shipping Podcast?
I get seasick even on trains, so I cannot read whilst travelling. However, I can listen with my earbuds and experience interesting conversations. When I got the task to build a brand, but had no marketing budget, I decided to learn everything there is to know about social media and the strategies behind it, so I started hanging out on a lot of online ‘geek’ conferences and met a lot of people I usually wouldn’t meet. When I heard someone talking about the podcast channel and how it’s used for storytelling, I started to think that ‘someone’ should start a podcast for the maritime industry. After having nagged people about that for a year or so, I finally got triggered when someone told me, “stop thinking that someone else will do it and just make it happen”. So, I did make it happen in July 2015.
So you are able to interview anyone involved in shipping and then publish it in a podcast?
Yes, the beauty of podcasting is that anyone can do it. It’s only a matter of getting some equipment, having a concept, finding guests that you think other people would be interested in listening to and gaining a little bit of knowledge on how to set it all up, but anyone can do it. My concept is to interview interesting maritime professionals about their passion for their everyday jobs, thereby making the maritime industry more accessible to the general public. Our industry needs to attract the next generation of professionals and we also need to show all the good things that we bring to society. We don’t just want to hit the headlines when something has gone badly.
Like PCW, most online newsletters are financed, at least in part, with advertising etc. How does that work with a podcast?
It’s the same concept. Listening to a podcast is free and the business model is built on advertising.
So far, the Shipping Podcast has been downloaded 180,000 times in 165+ countries. Approximately 5-6,000 people download the podcast every month. I have interviewed over a hundred people and have got loads of feedback, especially from young people who thank me for broadening their horizons.
What are your future plans regarding the podcast?
So far, I have conducted all my interviews in person. Meeting someone always gives a different perspective and, in that sense, I might be old-fashioned, but I also think it’s part of my ‘secret sauce’, to sit down with people and have conversations. Now I am testing online interviews, but for that my guests need to be somewhat tech savvy, so I will probably continue to go and see people in their workplaces and broaden my already extensive international network. There are so many parts of the maritime industry that I haven’t even touched yet, so I can go on forever!
How is best to get in touch with you?