The Defence Dialogue is an ongoing podcast series discussing contemporary challenges in the area of European security and defence that engages key policy makers and opinion leaders. The podcast is hosted by Dr Niklas Nováky, a Senior Research Officer at the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, who specialises in the EU’s foreign, security, and defence policy. Dr Nováky is also the Assistant Editor-in-Chief of the European View, the Martens Centre’s biannual policy journal. He is the author of the book European Union Military Operations: A Collective Action Perspective (Routledge 2018) and has also published numerous peer-reviewed academic articles on different aspects of EU defence cooperation and external relations in some of the most respected journals in the field such as European Security, European Foreign Affairs Review, Contemporary Security Policy, International Peacekeeping, and Global Affairs.
In this first-ever episode of Defence Dialogue published in November 2017, Niklas Nováky discussed the future of European defence with European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen. Vice-President Katainen has spoken actively in favour of increasing security and defence cooperation in the EU. The discussion raged from the reason behind Vice-President Katainen’s strong personal interest in European defence to his thoughts on what the possible creation of a European Security and Defence Union would mean in practice for the safety and security of European citizens.
Further episodes included such distinguished guests as Prof. Jolyon Howorth, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, Carl Bildt, Sir Martin Donnelly
The podcast, which may have seemed niche at first, has gained popularity in the last 2 years due to the growing interest in European Union defence policy. As a result, the Martens Centre has responded to this interest by increasing the frequency of publication of further episodes. Most recent podcast episodes introduced a formula of a dialogue between the policy expert and host of the series Dr Niklas Nováky and members of the Martens Centre team such as Álvaro de la Cruz and Julian Bonnici.
Some of the most viewed (YouTube) and listened (Soundcloud, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotity) episodes include:
Building the popularity of podcasts dealing with politics is not easy. Particularly challenging are the restrictions imposed by social media platforms on any content dealing with political or socially sensitive topics. This is a situation where traditional methods of promotion simply don’t work or significantly limit the possibility of promotion.
By using a range of altarnative promotion channels, and also through the personal involvement of the host, guests and other members of the Martens Centre team, who have a significant social media reach, we were able to build audiences in the thousands for most episodes.
Having worked with many similar formats, we have learned that even with significant limitations, an interesting format tailored to the target audience can gain significant audience and recognition. The key to success is to think outside the box and rely on organic growth methods strategically supported by programmatic campaigns.