Over the summer, College of Communication students at Boston University received the opportunity to join COMLab for the very first time. COMLab is a newly established student-led initiative that allows participating students to create entertaining and informative content for the Boston University community on behalf of the College of Communication.
One project that was formed under COMLab this summer is the COM as You Are podcast. COM as You Are serves as an entertainment podcast where COM students discuss current events, pop culture, and other pertinent topics and then analyze their relation to the field of communication.
John Kaywood, a graduate public relations student and team lead for the podcast, expresses that the COM as You Are team is already dedicated to working hard and keeping the content-creation ball rolling. Their main objective as a group is to continue providing relevant and intriguing episodes for their second season so that the public can enjoy fresh content regularly throughout the fall semester.
During the first season over the summer, the COM as You Are team published episodes about the impact of media on mental health of students at BU, Tik Tok being banned, and socially-distanced dating. This semester, the team would like to redirect their focus toward topics centered around different cultures.
“We are still developing what we want to cover this season,” Kaywood said. “We are thinking of having a Dia de Los Muertos or Halloween-themed episode in order to touch on some more cultural topics.”
The COM as You Are podcast makes a continuous and conscious effort to maintain a sense of variety in regards to the content that they release. According to Kaywood, the objective is to keep their audience engaged by exploring uncharted territories in topics.
“This isn’t a podcast that harps on the same issues every week,” Kaywood said. “The world is not stagnant and there’s no news nowadays that deserves to be talked about over two podcast episodes. Obviously there are serious issues in the world right now, but we want to kind of sprinkle in every type of angle and story that is out there.”
During the creation and production process, the team typically meets on a weekly basis. In the beginning of the semester, they establish a plan detailing what they hope to cover during podcast episodes for the first few weeks. Each Sunday they hold a pitch meeting to track progress and hold a space for team members where they can present new ideas along the way.
“It’s very collaborative…it is never just one voice dictating ‘We are going to do this,’” Kaywood said. “We always tell people that when you join the COM as You Are podcast, you might say you are going to be a researcher or be an audio engineer, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not a host…If there’s a topic you are passionate about or if you just want to join the podcast to comment on certain topics, you’re on.”
To capture the essence of the COM as You Are team in greater detail, Kaywood commented on the personality and dynamic that is commonly found in the interactions between team members.
“It’s all about openness,” Kaywood said. “There is no suppression of thoughts or questions, and it’s really just a round table of young people coming together and thinking about what kind of content that others will enjoy and find entertaining, and what they can take away and learn from it all.”
The members of the COM as You Are team are truly embodying the saying “the more the merrier” this semester as they encourage others to join their team. There are less people working on the podcast this fall semester in comparison to the number of members that started collaborating after the summer launch.
“There are less people in COMLab in general this semester, and if we can bring in a few extra hands that would be great,” Kaywood said. “Credit also needs to be given to executive members Nia Perkovich, Jessica Nelson, and Salma Al-Sulaiman for all of their hard work tackling social justice issues and being strong voices and leaders for the team during season one.”
“I hope if others want to create something, you should join COMLab and try and find other people that have passion and desire to do something cool and maybe outside of the box,” Kaywood said. “That’s what’s great about the COM as You Are podcast, it’s everybody’s club…Not just one singular view.”
You can listen to COM as You Are episodes and learn more about the team by visiting https://www.bucomlab.com/comasyouare. If you or anyone you know is interested in joining the podcast team, you can email John Kaywood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Cailtin Burke, Staff Writer
Caitlin Burke is a senior studying public relations and philosophy in the College of Communication at Boston University. She also studied liberal arts in the College of General Studies January-London Program. Inspired by her appreciation for language and networking, Caitlin enjoys studying public relations because it allows her to create for a multitude of purposes while connecting with other people. Caitlin aspires a public relations career filled with experiences in the healthcare, nonprofit, social work, and public affairs sectors. Outside of The COMmunicator, you can find her singing with friends in the a cappella group, Terpsichore, or participating in community service events with the coed fraternity Alpha Phi Omega.