SPI Files: Jayme Swain - Sr. Director, Strategic Growth, PBS Interactive

by Joy Loving, Station Products and Innovation

In this week's SPI Files, meet Jayme Swain, our Senior Director of Strategic Growth. Jayme is a former sports journalist who has been with PBS Interactive for a few years. Read on to find out more about Jayme, and see how she answered our quick-fire questions!

Who are you and what do you do at PBS Interactive?
Hi, I’m Jayme Swain, and I’m the senior director of strategic growth at PBSi. Our team’s goals are to better engage the current audience and bring new audiences to our content – wherever it lives.

How long have you been at PBS?
4 years.

Before PBS, what did you do?
I’ve been a bit of a nomad. I began my career in television with CNN in Atlanta. I then pursued my dream as a sports journalist, working for and in NYC. But then the bubble burst! So I packed up my bags and moved to Washington D.C., where I did a second tour-of-duty at CNN to produce live shots. However, I missed the burgeoning digital world so I moved back into web production and product development at U.S. News & World Report and – a start-up by Steve Case.

If you didn't work in public media, what would you be doing?
I’d probably be a swim coach and train full-time for triathlons.

Explain PBS Interactive in Twitter-style, 140 characters or less.
Enthusiastic team of geeks who are devoted to innovating and experimenting to keep PBS and stations relevant and engaging in the digital age.

We are excited about the upcoming Film Festival! What can you tell us about it?
To reach new audiences, we feel it’s important to high lightsome of the amazing content that exists in public media that doesn’t make it on-air. Working with ITVS, POV and the National Minority Consortia, we hatched an idea to host PBS’s first Online Film Festival, showcasing 20 short films over 5 weeks (starting today - February 27). People can find the film festival both on and YouTube, and they are encouraged to vote for their favorite film.We consider this a proof-of-concept with the goal of gathering best-practices and learnings for a much larger film festival for March 2013. Stay tuned!

What is the next big thing for you and your team in PBS Interactive?
A vacation after the film festival?! Once we come up for air, we’re continuing to strategize about how to present original content to our audience and how to better integrate local and national content -- both web-only and broadcast --across all of our platforms.

What do you see as the future for public media and how does PBS Interactive fit into that vision? Emerging digital platforms offer public media an awesome opportunity to reach new audiences anywhere, any time and engage them in a way television can’t do. To me, it’s a very exciting time for PBS Interactive to be on the forefront of experimenting with emerging technologies and working in tandem with stations and producers to define what public media can be in this new era.

And – just for fun – a few quick-fire questions:
iPhone or Android? Android
Dogs or cats? Dogs
Blog platform of choice? None, I’m not a blogger
Elmo or Grover? Elmo
I am currently listening to… Mumford and Sons
I am currently reading… Just finished Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand and am looking for book suggestions.
I’m currently watching (TV, film, etc)… Downton Abbey and a lot of college hoops (Go Hoos!).
Most overused phrase: Sadly it’s a curse word not fit for this blog :).

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