When is the last time you just had a great conversation with someone?
On the podcast, we are talking with Andrea Splendori, who aims to raise awareness of the good in people right next door.
With the polar times, we live in, it can be easy to forget that we have more things in common than we have that make us different. Andrea wants to bring stories about community and people and shine a light on the good people are doing. Our society’s social fabric is a conversation, and in some ways, we have lost this in the modern era.
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Hi and welcome to Cause I’m your host, Matthew Passi Heracles Bonds. We have one simple mission to highlight the amazing folks who are using podcast as a way to raise awareness for good causes and make the world a better place, whether it’s in their own local community or their taking on global issues.
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All right, everyone, we are going across the pond once again, we are talking to Andrea Splendora. He is the host of the Social Fabric podcast.
And this is all about not just him, but all the folks in the world, all these people who are using their fame, their business, their engagement, their entrepreneurship, all in a sense to really so the fabric of our society and make this world a better place, which given the world we’re living in today, we could certainly use. Andrea, thank you so much for joining us here on Coffeepots.
Thank you, Matthew. Thank you for having me. Let’s start right from the beginning. Where did the social fabric podcast start from? Why why did you get into this space?
Well, a few years ago, I was always interested in broadcasting. I did a course in radio with a local radio station here in Dublin called The Air Sam, and they gave me the basics of broadcasting was all about. But I always had this thing in the back of my mind that I wanted to to create more of a community growing up in easily 50 years ago. So and I was always a community based person. And when I was watching my kids grow and now teenagers at 19 and 17 watching them grow with social media, I was kind of concerned about the lack of interaction and the lack of community based interaction.
So I thought maybe if I start conversations with different people, try to show why people do what they do, what is their passion and how they help the community, their community. So I started off with the idea social fabric came from obviously social media and fabric in the fabric of society. That was the name it came to my head when I was talking to a friend in Brazil. So I started off with a name I but with very little knowledge of what I wanted to do other than I want the conversation.
I wanted to your conversations with people. And I thought, OK, I don’t want to reinvent the wheel, but I always love music and it’s always going to use the music in between. So I break the conversation with seven songs. Seven is a really important number for me. So I asked the guests to pick seven songs that are meaningful to them that normally brings up a lot of new material, what we discussing, and they’re bringing their passion and so forth.
So that started off with a couple of people I knew and some friends, local and legends of such. And then it just developed into about a hundred and five episodes of The Record. And it’s a weekly program about artists, musicians, writers, priests, you name it, about all source.
I understand, you know, the need for us to talk to each other. Right.
As you said, we spend a lot of time on social media, on our computers, online, talking at each other, and so being able to actually sit down and have a good conversation and not just scream and yell and type in all caps and emojis and nonsense, but what is it you’re hoping to accomplish, not just with the conversations themselves, but with the folks who are listening to the show?
If that’s what you say, first of all, the conversation, the conversation we’re having at the moment where there’s no agenda, that we’re not distracted, we’re looking at each other, we listen to each other, and that’s a very meaningful conversation. You’re asking me a question. You’re interested in what I have to say and listen to what you say. And so that’s the first aspect to me. And I guess the folks out there listening, what I wanted to achieve is for people to understand that it doesn’t matter whether you are the most famous musician in Ireland or you are the guy who runs a coffee shop around the corner.
There are stories underneath all of us that makes us become the famous musician who makes us the go to serve the coffee around the corner. And all of those stories together are giving us that. What I want to achieve is for people to knock next door and say to the guy next door, you know, how are you? And really mean it because you’d be surprised what comes out of that conversation. So what has happened over the last couple of years?
Emails come through and people send me feedback reviews. The president emails the text to say, look, I listen to the conversation you had with that particular person and now I’m doing C-SPAN because I heard about six women and the importance of these women for anxiety and mental health or unburdening or I’ve started cooking, I started eating better or I’m simply going for a walk because I heard the conversation you had with none of the things I do not prescriptive unless you open it up.
Listen to the story. I have no judgment. I have no interest and no agenda. As far as I’m concerned, each story is as important, as relevant to all of us.
Well, you started by saying that you have this passion, this interest in broadcasting. Do you think this would have worked as well had it just been on radio or if you’re done on TV? Or do you think there was something about the actual podcasting medium and the audience that that tends to flock to this kind of content that made it more successful than it might have been other places? I think the timing was right and definitely the format and the way our brains are now designed for sharing, we’re sharing all the time with passing each other on whatever medium we say.
We listen to this podcast. You should listen to these podcasts and definitely create a more of a try around so people to get the message and to want their friends or family to listen to. And so for that very reason, if it was just a radio program, the program also goes out and radio every Monday. But that alone, I don’t know. It’s hard to quantify once it’s on the radio because it’s on the airwaves and it’s hard to get that feedback.
But the podcast and I agree, it’s a it’s a great medium to have that personal touch with the listeners because they can reach out to you by email, by text or to through the reviews. And every week you get a few that really kind of validate what you’re doing for the right reasons. So there’s nothing if for the first I think for the first half of my episode, I didn’t even say my name. It was all about the case until one of the guys from the radio stations.
I think it’s time you put your name on the edge to tell them people who you are and how to get in touch with you. For me, it was very much about. I just spoke to this guy. Guess what? He’s a coffee shop owner, but what he does for the community is phenomenal is taking children that have had a really rough upbringing that teaches them to be arrested for free and is giving these guys a chance. And this is just a fantastic story of a coffee shop in the city center.
It could be. And I know there’s another 50 of them that have a fantastic story to tell. So that’s what I’m trying to highlight and try to highlight. When you go to a coffee shop, when you meet the nurse, when you meet the priest or whoever it is, if you have a meaningful conversation, you find that so much more about the human being behind the job, behind the persona. And that’s really what I’m all about it.
So when I’m talking to two famous people and I’ve had quite a few musicians and seeing actors, directors to me, to just another person that is doing a different job, and that job is as important as the last job and the next job, we all doing something different. But it all we’re all interlinked. And without me, that wouldn’t be the musician. Without the musician, that wouldn’t be the florist and so on, so forth.
I suppose it’s somewhat cliche to say, but we hear it all the time, especially now in such a polarized world where really we have more in common than we are led to believe.
And the things that make us similar to each other are much deeper than the things that divide us today. I suppose because of your background in music and the experience in broadcasting, that creating a podcast wasn’t very difficult for you. Were there any big challenges that you faced along the way or big lessons that you learned that you wish you had known sooner?
There weren’t any major challenges that one time completely without knowing what I was doing. But I researched all the reasons and how to do it and the different techniques and the technicalities and had to put it together. The main challenges, I guess, are how to make sure that people listen to it and the more and podcasts that do the more podcasts are out there. So I think at the moment is something like 2.5 million different shows out there. And I think what I’ve learned is set.
And that’s a lesson that I’ve learned through the podcast, through meeting so many people that if you really believe in what you’re doing and if you put out the message, that is the message you believe is the right message, listeners will come to you. First of all, it was like, I don’t know, maybe just 10 people listening, but it is not going to stop me doing it. And then the audience grew and grew. And it’s just it’s not a gigantic audience.
But is it consistent every week that you’re going to charge to come out of the charts? So what I learned basically is to not to chase the charts, not to chase the audience. It’s just put out the message that you believe this is the right message for what you’re doing, and that’s what I’m doing. And so and, you know, as I say, when you get that email that says I’ve just listened to your conversation with and to really make that difference, then you go get them.
That’s all I need. I don’t need to the top of the charts. I don’t need that’s what I want. I always preach that with my clients.
And I hear that all the time from other people on the show, that if you are looking at the rankings, if you are chasing right, the fame, the glory of the podcasting universe, you are probably going to get frustrated and not do as well. But if you make a show that you would enjoy or, you know, at least one person will listen to and enjoy, then you’re probably going to make a good show because you’re following your passion and not trying to follow these arbitrary markers of success.
What other advice would you give to someone looking to enter the cause based podcasting space?
What I would say and again, just think of something that is meaningful to you that you believe will make a difference unless unless you set out to do a podcast that is meant to be in the charts, but it shows a cloud based podcast really believe. What is that is important to you? What is the why? What is your right to do it and really sit down, write it all down, pen and paper. And on top of that, what I would highly recommend, which I did, I wrote in my first 40 guests, the people I wanted to have on, and some of them took me two years to to get to talk to them.
Some of them took me two weeks. And literally I reach out to all of them to say I’m doing this. Would you like to be my guest today? I have had one rejection and I thought that was pretty good. But again, because all I’m asking is their story. I’m not I’m not there with an agenda and not there to judge whether they’re right or wrong. I let the audience decide what they say and phrenologists to do. It would really how?
Their work, how their passion can influence their community, and in the end, that’s all we want. We want a nice place to live. We have to talk to one another. So sit down, write down your why. Write down your first few guests, as many as you can, because it’s quite intensive putting together a podcast and either want to launch it and then find out the case for the week two or three or four, and also make sure you prerecord a few and then you’re ready to go and and decide how often you’re going to release it, because, again, it’s quite intensive.
I was producing every week up to about a month ago where I had to put it every two weeks for what reason must be consistent to stay consistent. Whatever you decide, make sure that your audience know that in the day what is monthly, weekly, bi weekly on the same day and be consistent, you great advice.
The idea of I love that idea of writing that unless the people you want to talk to very, very smart. And we also say all the time, plan, plan, plan. You know, I think it’s pretty common saying in the Army, in the armed forces and I say it all the time when it comes to broadcasting and podcasting too, is one. One is non. So for everything you want to do, have a backup plan.
So as far as charities that we want to raise awareness for, you brought the Children’s Health Ireland Hospital a Crumlin. Why is this an important cost to you and what are some of the things that you do for them? So Colin is the children’s hospital here in Dublin, is the main hospital in Ireland for children under the age of 16. And so I run one of the things I do for my mental health for prevention is I run with a group of very close friends of the six or eight of us around pretty much every morning.
And we have to swim in. We see each other on our toes and talk to each other and to my friends. I’ve had the unfortunate need to use Cronin’s hospital because both their children were in the hospital for a very long period of time and the other for a short time. But it was a very, very demanding and scary time for the family. And we were all part of that for being very close friend. So I really saw that.
The work the hospital does and and again is linked to the mental health piece where the parents really had a really stressful time and nobody wants to see their children in a hospital bed. But when you walk into this hospital, it’s and then if you recall the movie Patch Adams with Robin Williams and the staff feel bad in certain parts of the hospital where you really go. These are people dealing with really heartbreaking stories and situations, and yet they all have this smile on their face.
The place looks amazing. The kids are happy and it just they couldn’t do enough. So, of course, they have funding from the government. But this all was something that didn’t require so particular fundraising for them for the music therapy. There’s a young woman, two young women put together to sing the music terribly, but they actually go around the hospital and play music for the children that are in the bad situation and in this improve, and that improves their health and well-being.
So at the moment, we’re doing it. Understand this. This is go out with a room across our two hundred fifty kilometers at the end of September, three days, 18 people and we fund raising twenty thousand Europe for from the hospital. So we constantly do something for them whenever we can. We put our resources together and do something that it’s all inclusive to make sure people come along and talk about mental health, to talk about the hospital. And it’s not so much about the money at times as more, but the awareness of what the importance of this and all that overcover just been a lot of calling, told the nurses heroes.
But they are genuine here as well as regarding them in the highest standards. And whatever we can do, we do for them. And so that’s that’s the charity I picked for this particular podcast, because it’s something nobody nobody wants to see. It’s not having all the opportunities as different. You know, it is so amazing when you hear about and read about what kind of care really helps children. And then you see these places that are just so stubborn and don’t are willing to actually try it out.
But studies keep showing, people keep showing, anecdotal evidence, keep showing. And I just wish more people would listen. So hopefully we can help the hospital helpers a little bit more awareness and hopefully help put that into place and more children’s. Medical facilities around the world, every little bit counts. Again, folks, that is the Children’s Health Island Hospital at Crumlin. We will put a link to the hospital directly in the shadows, as well as a link to their donation page if you want to donate and support a worthy cause.
And of course, we will point links to the Social Fabric podcast. You can find it on Apple podcast and wherever you listen to podcast. And of course, we have a link to Andrea’s website for the show, Andrius Bundoora. Thank you so much for joining us here on Crosspost today.
Thanks a million for your opportunity and thanks for your time.
Thanks for listening to this episode. Of course, iPods, if you’ve been inspired by the work of our guest, please check out the show notes of this episode in your podcasting app or at Cause Ponds dot org. There you will find links to their show, their website, their podcast, links on Apple, Google, Spotify, as well as a link to support the charity that they highlighted here in this episode. You will also find a cause Pogs dot org.
But where to subscribe to this show on your favourite podcasting app, How to sign up to be a guest on this show and a link to our Facebook group, which is going to have special resources just for the folks who are podcasting for a good cause. And I can tell you right now, we’ve got one great deal from our friends at Pod Page, but you’re only going to learn about it and get that special deal if you are a member of the Facebook group for college sports.
And before I go, I should say thank you in particular. The show is edited and produced by Ben Kilroy of the military veteran dad’s podcast. And what a great job he has done. And all this is made possible because of the great support that I received from Shannon Rojas here at the podcast, consulted Dotcom once again.
If you want to learn more, go to College Sports Dog. Thank you so much. And we will see you next time on Cosmos.