Empowering government to build better resident and employee experiences and get more value out of their civic engagement technology.

Learn More
  • Los Alamos
  • National Laboratory

How Los Alamos National Laboratory Used govDelivery to Promote its Podcast

Download PDF Overview


Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a federally funded research and development center located in Los Alamos, New Mexico, with a mission to solve national security challenges through scientific excellence. Three times a year, LANL publishes a magazine in print and digital formats called National Security Science. The publication was designed to showcase the lab’s national and global security work and foster transparency within the surrounding community and beyond. To facilitate on-the-go consumption, the digital version of the magazine is promoted in an email newsletter. In direct response to the pandemic, the magazine team decided to create an accompanying podcast to make the lab’s scientific contributions even more accessible and digestible. Whitney Spivey and Brenda Fleming—members of the magazine team and co-creators of the podcast—used govDelivery to distribute the newsletter and promote the podcast, nabbing themselves Granicus’ 2021 Communications Resilience Award to boot.

"I’m not a very tech savvy person and I’ve found govDelivery to be really straightforward and easy to use. It’s not intimidating at all, which is awesome. If I want to make a last-minute change or add subscribers, it’s easy.”
Whitney Spivey, editor, National Security Science

Project Metrics

  • 8000+ subscribers receive each issue via email
  • 1000+ podcast downloads as of April 2021
  • 94% email delivery rates, with an 11% open rate and a 5% click-through rate
  • 300 additional newsletter subscribers since the podcast has been promoted
Must have Granicus Solutions

Promoting a Pandemic-Prompted Podcast

National Security Science magazine—a publication instituted by the Los Alamos National Laboratory—was produced to share the lab’s developments with the world. LANL is sometimes viewed as a stiff, bureaucratic institution, so the magazine team is always looking for ways to make their work more accessible.

The pandemic sparked the establishment of a podcast to complement the National Security Science magazine. Each episode was formed to connect with policymakers, military academics, and other key external stakeholders on a more personal level and to create more accessibility to LANL’s products. The podcast features innovative stories that detail the magic science and engineering wielded to keep our country safe. By launching a podcast, Whitney Spivey and Brenda Fleming, members of the magazine team, aimed to capitalize on the growing popularity of audio content like podcasts and audio books. “The podcast was a really awesome way to be 508 compliant and reach a different pool of people who prefer listening over reading,” Fleming said, “like myself.”


Using govDelivery to Spread the Word

Because LANL already used govDelivery to distribute the e-newsletter, Spivey and Fleming decided it would be a great avenue to use to promote the podcast to their niche audience. Using more of an audio book format, each newsletter includes a link to a podcast episode that features a first-person account of an experience closely related to national security. One episode featured the empirical experience of a B-2 bomber pilot, while other episodes showcase the vantage of scientists. “The subject of the story is actually speaking to you in each episode,” Fleming explains.

“I think it’s kind of fun for people to actually hear perspectives from the mouth of a B-2 bomber pilot or a scientist. It’s not something you’re likely to hear on other podcasts, especially not with this level of specificity,” Spivey said. “Some people don’t have time to sit down and read a magazine,” she continued. “But they can listen to a podcast when they’re doing the dishes or walking the dog. So, it makes the magazine content a little more approachable.”

In addition to the distribution of National Security Science, LANL also uses govDelivery to distribute two other magazines: 1663, a publication that focuses on biology and chemistry projects related to national security, and the Community Connections newsletter, which was built to promote education, economic development, and philanthropy in northern New Mexico and the seven surrounding counties. Because of the success of the National Security Science podcast, the Community Connections newsletter creators—and the correlated partnerships office—were inspired to start a podcast to further promote their efforts as well.

“Each time we send out an email newsletter, we get this debrief email from govDelivery with all these metrics that really help us understand our audience and figure out—at first glance—what’s working and what’s not.”
Whitney Spivey, editor, National Security Science

Growing with govDelivery

The e-newsletter and podcast are beautiful examples of how the National Security Science magazine team pivoted during a crisis to remain engaged with their audience in an effective and impactful way. Their subscriber base has continuously increased since the podcast was introduced to the e-newsletter about a year ago. Magazine readership is also growing steadily, with each issue of the print and digital versions, as a direct result of the newsletter. Thanks to the ability to experiment with different formatting and imagery, clicks are also increasing. And as of April 2021, the podcast has garnered over 1,000 unique downloads, an impressive number, especially for such a niche audience.

“I appreciate the way govDelivery allows us to incorporate more visual aspects and interactivity into science. It helps to explain the amazing work the lab does by combining shorter features that sort of brush the surface in the newsletter, with longer pieces that get much more in depth in the digital version of the magazine... It’s a really fun job.”
Brenda Fleming, graphic designer, National Security