Below is my formal pitch for my Senior Capstone Project.

Trust the Plant: the Podcast

The main topic I will be focusing on is the destigmatization of cannabis and cannabis use with a sub-focus on various popular media and cultural topics. This subject matters to me specifically as a medical cannabis user. I think the laws surrounding this substance are truly insane. In the literal state next to me, just about 30 or so minutes away, I can purchase cannabis with or without a medical license. I think cannabis should be a substance that can be accessed by all with or without a medical license. Because the substance is considered a “drug”, people automatically assume it is a negative thing instead of a miracle in a plant. I think cannabis is something that helps everyone in so many different ways. Working in the world of cannabis would be something I would truly love, but it is not my primary focus or goal right out of college. I think properly informing people about this topic is necessary to make changes to the laws surrounding this substance. I believe if more people talk about this subject openly that we can destigmatize cannabis and cannabis use. 

The form this project will take is a podcast. I really am passionate about this topic and I think the best way to convey my passion is through actually talking about it instead of say creating an Instagram account. For me, it is really hard to put my thoughts into words or put thoughts on paper. It is easier for me to just talk through a subject and explain what I know. So I think this form will be the most effective for me and how I communicate. 

There are two podcasts that will be primary examples for me and my endeavors. While these podcasts are filmed in addition to recording audio, mine will be solely audio. The first podcast I will be focusing on is the H3 PodcastThis podcast is not a cannabis-focused podcast. They mostly report and commentate on various popular culture and media topics, but sometimes they incorporate cannabis into various challenges or activities they plan. For example, they sometimes have episodes where the host, Ethan Klein, has to guess which of the crew has smoked cannabis and who has not. My show will be more focused on the topic of cannabis and include some usage. However, I will be similar to H3 by trying to keep my podcast lighthearted, upbeat, and fun. While there will be some serious moments in my podcast, I also want to have fun with it and show more of my personality and interests. 

The other podcast I will be looking to for guidance and inspiration is Cold Ones. This podcast is again a podcast that takes video form as well as audio. While they conduct various interviews with famous YouTubers and Twitch streamers, they also do challenge videos and product reviews. Their videos are very comedic and most of the time the hosts, Chad and Max, are under the influence of some substance whether it be liquor or drugs. While I don’t plan to go as crazy as them, I also want this podcast to serve as a reminder for me to keep it fun. I also really like the various interviews they conduct and the questions they ask each guest. If I do have guests, I would like to formulate my questions similarly to theirs.

While this show is meant to be educational, I believe the primary audience for this podcast will be cannabis users. I think this will be an intriguing topic for people who already use it and want to learn more. I think a secondary audience for this podcast will be people who don’t use cannabis but want to learn more about it. Overall, I think the people listening to this podcast will want to learn more about cannabis and cannabis use. I also hope they end up staying or continue listening because they like the other topics I discuss. But I believe through my discussion of cannabis on this podcast that I can make some changes in how people view cannabis and cannabis use.

Last semester, I had the opportunity to create a podcast episode for my course with Professor Bill Wolff, Popular Music Protest and Social Justice. This podcast focused on the song “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” by My Chemical Romance. I not only recorded this on my own, but I also wrote the script and did research to make my podcast the best it could be and be as informative as possible. I read various articles, watched hours of footage of interviews and live performances, and listened to other professional podcasts to compare my own. However, this podcast as a whole will showcase many of the different things I was able to learn as a communications major here at Saint Joseph’s University. One aspect that showcases my education here at SJU will be the design persona I make for my podcast. I need to create an overall persona for this “brand”/ “company” I will be creating so I can have a consistent vibe/theme throughout my work on the podcast and Instagram. Another aspect I will be incorporating from my education will be the Golden Circle. I want to make sure what I am doing and creating is something that has a strong and meaningful impact and message. In order to ensure that, I can create a Golden Circle for my podcast. The Golden Circle was created by Simon Sinek. It helps companies and brands understand why they do what they do, how they do what they do, and what they do.

One obstacle that I foresee is getting people to be guests on my podcast. I want to try and have at least one or two guests on my podcast so they could share their experiences with cannabis. So a potential problem could be scheduling and planning guests and finding times that work best for us both. The only resource I will need for this project is microphones and I foresee myself using the ones in the communications department’s gear room. I will also be using Canva Pro to create graphics and Instagram posts and stories, but I already pay for this resource so I have it readily available. 

Below is an outline of my schedule for the podcast.

Week 1: Research and prep pitches.

Week 2: Formal proposal and continue brainstorming/ outlining/ planning.

Week 3: Continue research and work on graphics for Instagram page and logo for podcast.

Week 4: Reach out to people to come on podcast; Continue working on graphics and researching.

Week 5: Continue reaching out, working on graphics, and researching.

Week 6: Get Instagram up and running; Start promoting for podcast; Record first episode.

Week 7: Edit first episode; Continue reaching out if need be; Post on Instagram; Post first podcast episode.

Week 8: Record second episode; Post on Instagram.

Week 9: Edit second episode; Post on Instagram; Post second episode. 

Week 10: Record third episode; Post on Instagram.

Week 11: Edit third episode; Post on Instagram; Post third episode.

Week 12: Record fourth episode; Post on Instagram.

Week 13: Edit fourth episode; Post on Instagram; Post fourth episode.