Arthropodcast provides free, entertaining and portable industry education.
A podcast for pest management professionals by pest management professionals (PMPs) sprung from phone conversations between Steve Jackson and Bryan Baird as they chatted with one another from their respective vehicles on their respective routes. These conversations formed the foundation upon which Arthropodcast, an online 30-minute podcast cohosted by Jackson and Baird, was built.
They had a hunch that others might find their conversations entertaining. That hunch paid off in the form of a successful, and uniquely relevant podcast that has built quite a stable of fans and listeners.
“PMPs in the field have enormous amounts of time to consume audio, so we figured a conversational type of podcast like ours would be a great way to teach and entertain some of our industry friends,” says Jackson, former owner of Titus Pest Control in Warner Robins, Ga. He recently relocated to Omaha, Neb., and works as a commercial technician for Terminix. Baird, meanwhile, is owner of Baird’s Pest Control in Valdosta, Ga.
The series was launched in March 2015, and has since become a popular download for listeners who make their living in pest management. This past March, the cleverly titled Arthropodcast reached its 50th episode milestone — an episode that led to the show reaching 10,000 downloads.
“Our show has received a warm reception, especially with millennials,” Jackson says. “But we always welcome constructive criticism. The download numbers continue to rise month after month.”
Uh, what’s a podcast?
For those unfamiliar with the term, podcasts are essentially radio shows that can be listened to live, or downloaded for future listening. Several services (such as iTunes) allow you to subscribe to a podcast and notify you via emails or alerts when a new episode has been posted and is ready for you to download.
The beautiful thing about podcasts is they can go anywhere you take your smartphone — or any other mobile device capable of saving audio files. You can listen to each episode immediately after it airs, or download several to “binge-listen” to on long drives.
Jackson and Baird have a combined 30 years of pest industry experience between them. Because they’ve worked as technicians and have experience starting a new business, the duo offers a multi-layered perspective of pest management that can be as relevant to veteran PMPs as it is to greenhorns just entering the industry.
Jackson and Baird take a “lighter side” approach to the industry by infusing their show with good humor and lots of laughs.
Arthropodcast hits on a wide array of topics, such as business tips, customer service, product analysis, marketing, news and plenty of pest-specific discussions (including a recent show about how to hide your uniform shirt’s sweat stains).
“We like to mix laughs with learning because it helps one to focus,” Baird says. “And I don’t have the attention span to be serious for too long.”
Occasionally, the dynamic duo share the mic with a special guest, invited on Arthropodcast to have his or her brain picked. Business advisors, motivational speakers, industry insiders and individuals from practically every area of pest management share tips with the boys and their listeners. This amounts to a free education for PMPs looking to broaden the scope of their knowledge in multiple aspects of the industry.
Each of the 70-plus episodes is listed on Arthropodcast.com, with a title and brief description of the topics covered. We suggest scrolling through the episodes and picking a few that are of interest to you. Educating yourself via entertainment is one of the best ways to learn, which is why we strongly recommend taking this show on the road.
“We pick topics and guests by trying to answer the question: Why should I care about this subject,” Baird says. “Then we locate info and guests to help us explain why.”
“This show is our contribution to an industry that has done so much for us,” Jackson says. “It feels good to know we’re helping out.”
Senior Editor Will Nepper can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 216-706-3775.