Case Study
Branding with Heart
How Emotive Design and Accessible Tech Influenced the Organic Growth of CHC’s Voices of Compassion Podcast

Overview

Children’s Health Council (CHC), a renowned nonprofit organization with over 70 years of service, sought to expand its outreach and share expert knowledge on mental health, education and parenting with a wider audience. CHC, in partnership with Stanford Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, offers a unique blend of services through its health clinic, two schools – and a Community Engagement division providing free community services, such as an extensive online resource library, parent support groups and community outreach sessions.

In 2020, CHC decided to amplify its services through the creation of the CHC’s Voices of Compassion Podcast, aiming to provide expert insights and a safe space for open dialogue on topics like Learning Differences, ADHD, Autism, Anxiety, Depression and more. CHC’s marketing team turned to Dooley Design Group (DDG), its established design partner since 2012, for podcast identity and branding, podcast website design and episode-specific branding with a professional yet creative flair.

The Challenge

Prior to 2020 and in early 2020, CHC’s in-person engagement was declining, especially during the pandemic. To sustain its outreach, CHC conducted surveys and interviews to explore new media, deciding on podcasting as the solution. However, CHC needed expertise in podcast branding and an innovative design approach to make a significant impact and new leap in a forward direction.

CHC chose Dooley Design Group to design compelling branding for CHC’s Voices of Compassion Podcast. Additionally, CHC entrusted DDG to design, develop and manage its Podcast website to ensure that it was visually appealing and on-brand, as well as SEO-optimized and accessible. It was crucial for CHC’s brand tone to be approachable, while also capturing the essence of the Podcast’s serious themes. Additionally, multiple audiences needed to be addressed – firstly, the podcast listeners, families, health professionals, educators and the general public, but also key stakeholders including the Nonprofit’s executives, expert clinical and educator staff, community outreach staff and fundraising decision makers.

How Our Team Responded

CHC Voices of Compassion Podcast logo square

The Podcast Identity

Dooley Design Group’s creative team approached CHC’s podcast marketing projects with a blend of web design, branding, graphic design and fine art expertise. Our designers crafted a distinctive podcast logo that is fun and playful, yet also yields a calm and trustworthy tone.

The approach used to achieve this emotive design challenge included the following:

  • Hand-drawn, organic linework to symbolize and embrace imperfection
  • Utilized a wide variety of colors from CHC’s palette to add playfulness. The colors also represented the organization’s dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Retained consistency in typography and style with other CHC department branding.
  • Recommended and developed an “organization” podcast logo as a standalone mark, in the event that CHC may later decide to publish additional podcasts in the future. This mark was a simple CHC one-color logo with curved headphones that could also be incorporated easily into the CHC Voices of Compassion logo itself.
Photo of a laptop displaying the CHC Voices of Compassion podcast website

CHC’s Voices of Compassion Podcast website was developed by Dooley Design Group to establish an expert presence for their podcast. Emotive design considerations were central to the overall branding, as well as the episode art.

The Podcast Website & Episode Art

Emotive design considerations were central to the overall branding, as well as the episode art. On the Podcast website, we focused on creating a user-friendly interface with seamless navigation and search to empower visitors to find the information they need. To accomplish this, we incorporated best practices for web usability, SEO optimization and web accessibility to attract more listeners organically and drive organic web traffic to CHC’s website, thus leading to more continued engagement and online retention.

The process included:

  • Designing and publishing podcast website and episode art for 4 seasons
  • Establishing podcast episode design templates for the featured website images and social media
  • Usability and Accessibility – ensuring that all users, regardless of ability, can access and enjoy the content. Our approach included the following strategies: contrast and readability, audio transcripts, responsive design (ensuring a seamless experience across all devices, from desktops to smartphones), and consistent navigation.
  • SEO-Friendly code and slugs in the episode URLs, the use of Alt Attributes for website images – allowing search engines to organically recognize these valuable topics that readers are searching for.
  • Cross-linking to other CHC pages and ensuring backlinks in expert articles in episode resources
  • Modern code to utilize current scripts and functionality

 

Podcast Channel Branding

Additional podcast branding deliverables included the CHC Voices of Compassion Podcast Channel Art for Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and other podcast player platforms!

Views of CHC Voices of Compassion Podcast streaming in the Spotify app on both desktop and mobile devices.

Views of CHC Voices of Compassion Podcast streaming in the Spotify app on both desktop and mobile devices.

Cross-Team Collaboration & Process Creation

Throughout the process, Dooley Design Group collaborated closely with CHC during the design process to align with the Nonprofit’s vision, mission and goals. Our designers fused fine art and design expertise to create a podcast identity that reflected the heart of CHC’s mission. The design process also included technical aspects for SEO optimization, such as a file naming convention system that included episode titles as longtail SEO key phrases to grow the site organically with relevant content.

Our team developed episode design templates for the podcast webpages, social media shareable graphics and email graphics. This enabled cross-team collaboration with the art files.

Partial view of the episode design templates for the podcast webpages, social media shareable graphics and email graphics.

Partial view of the episode design templates for the podcast webpages, social media shareable graphics and email graphics.

Additionally, DDG assisted CHC with the development of standard operating procedures for episode creation — enabling CHC to operate efficiently for scheduled podcast releases and to edit its own site with an easy-to-use backend interface for non-technical users.

The Results

CHC’s Voices of Compassion Podcast achieved significant growth during its first four years supported by Dooley Design Group:

  • Over 40K organic downloads / listens across 4 seasons
  • Top 10-25% of podcasts nationwide for organic growth
  • Attracted top talent for CHC’s expert clinical, educational and executive roles
  • Sponsorships from companies like Adobe, generating $2,000 for select episodes

Our team’s sensitive and inclusive designs were instrumental in bringing the Podcast episodes to life, exponentially increasing engagement from CHC’s primary in-person model. Our partnership allowed CHC to expand its brand identity and drive higher online retention, enabling the CHC Community Engagement program to reach a much wider audience with profound impact.

More than 40K Organic Downloads

Top 10-25% of Podcasts Nationwide for Organic Growth

Received Sponsorships from Adobe for 5 Episodes

Attracted Top Expert Talent

Podcast identity, podcast website and episode art templates, showing sponsorships from Adobe.

Dooley Design Group developed the podcast identity, podcast website and episode art templates. In Season 3, CHC received 5 episode sponsorships from Adobe.

Links & References

Access the CHC Voices of Compassion Podcast at the website podcasts.chconline.org or your podcast app of choice:

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The Dooley Design Group team built our company an outstanding website! The message was clear, the aesthetics crisp, and overall experience of working with her team was very positive. I highly recommend their services for anyone in the market for a new website, or website upgrade.

Stuart Metler

Partner, Soundgrid Partners