‘Let collaboration run wild.’ This is Atlassian’s newly stated brand purpose and the driving force behind the latest season of the Teamistry podcast, “Making an Impossible Airplane: The Untold Story of Concorde.” As part of its brand evolution, Atlassian wants to be seen as a champion of open collaboration. This meant an evolution for Teamistry in story and scope.
In partnership with Pacific Content, the teams sought to tell a story that would reflect this. Atlassian also wanted to take a deeper dive into long-form storytelling this season. Instead of telling six different stories over six episodes, they wanted to tell one story over six episodes. A serialized season.
The making of Concorde fits this idea perfectly. While there are numerous books, articles, and documentaries about supersonic flight, none had stitched the story together from the point of view of the people and teams behind the scenes, who did something that was thought to be impossible. There was a lot to say and discover.
Together, our goal was to tell a story that hadn’t been told before to engage audiences and solidify Atlassian’s philosophy and promise of ‘impossible alone’ and unleashing the potential in each team.
There were two reasons why this story appealed to the Atlassian team. First, Concorde seemed impossible. How did they create a passenger jet that could fly at the speed of sound? One of Concorde’s aerodynamic designers said it best in our series: “You never say that things are impossible... but Concorde of course was impossible.”
Second, it is an unusual teamwork story: engineers in two different countries, with two different languages, and two different units of measurement, forced together by politics. Concorde is a known commodity with unknown origins. You think you know its story, but chances are you don’t.
There were four main strategic approaches driving the editorial direction:
POV: The story of Concorde isn’t new, but no one has told it from the POV of the teams that built it.
Recording in the field: Part of the ambition in the series was to record this story in the field. Partly, it was to be able to tell the story in a cinematic way by showing not telling. We knew that being in the field for this kind of story would be more engaging for the listener. We also knew that we would discover aspects of the story that we wouldn’t with remote interviews. We wanted to put the listener inside the airplane.
Serialized season: Going deeper into the story over time, would be more engaging and allow us to really flesh out characters and scenes and even incorporate cliffhangers from episode to episode.
New host: This season introduced Nastaran Tavakoli-Far as host. It was critical she was connected to the story in a way, by being British, but she is young enough not to remember it. So, she was able to explain the cultural context to international audiences while also being an outsider, and surrogate for the listener. She walked in with few preconceived notions of the story, allowing her to challenge aspects of it.
Our main challenge was recording in the field. In five days we travelled to three cities and recorded six interviews, in four different locations.
This is the most successful season of Teamistry!
Not only did we fulfill our goal of reflecting Atlassian’s brand value and promise through storytelling, but also the number of unique listeners to the show increased by 50%, compared to the previous season (based on figures, 80 days after each season launched).
Aside from growing Teamistry’s audience, we have been tracking other success factors:
1. An exceptionally high download rate. Season four downloads are 45% higher than the previous season (based on figures, 80 days after each season launched).
2. A number of positive media reviews in mainstream media like The Guardian, The Times, and Airmail. Teamistry has not seen this before.
3. Features in Apple Podcasts’ "New and Noteworthy" in the US, UK, and Canada.
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