CLVS, MBA, APR, Fellow, PRSA
Award-winning multimedia (audio, video, photo) journalist, professional podcaster
What is your professional background?
I spent five years in commercial radio including time as a production engineer and newscaster, and then as a DJ/newscaster before moving into daily print journalism. I spent a couple of years writing as a stringer, and then just under a year as a full-time newspaper reporter before getting my first job in public relations, with a railroad company. I later held positions in PR in high technology and financial services before starting my podcasting production business in 2004.
In layman’s terms, how does the process work?
We work with clients to identify the thought leadership content they want to promote, and we help them structure the podcast recording very much like a long-form interview feature that you might hear on NPR. We do the digital recording either on-site with clients, or in our fully configured video-audio studio in Cherry Hill, NJ.
What opportunities are now becoming available for businesses to take advantage of?
Increasingly, people are looking for highly specific content that answers questions or helps them solve problems in their professional lives. People generally don’t do an online search by looking for a company name. They typically search for the problem they are trying to solve, and podcasts (audio or video) produced on a continuing, consistent basis can help companies become highly visible in the search results for the problems where they have expertise.
What do you foresee in the near future?
Many more organizations will realize that podcasting can be a very cost-effective way to demonstrate subject matter expertise. There will be increasing demand from business leaders for different ways to reach potential clients besides advertising and direct mail. Podcasting is an opportunity to get your subject matter experts in front of your prospects in an engaging and educational way.
What about the long term?
The market for Internet-distributed quality content will only continue to grow. People will become more discriminating about what content is valuable and what content is just trying to generate “clicks.”
What policies are being enacted that affects how businesses might use podcasting?
There are already rules applicable to bloggers and podcasters about disclosing sponsorship arrangements, and these could get tightened. Podcast producers need to be aware of copyright laws and take care to not violate intellectual property rights.
A common misconception among amateurs and beginners is that anything on the Internet can be used without paying the content creator. That’s completely false, and a podcaster who doesn’t understand the laws could expose a client to serious copyright or intellectual property infringement litigation, whether it is for the unauthorized use of music, images, or other content.
What advice would you give to someone looking to becoming involved with podcasting?
Well, for starters, I would encourage them to purchase a copy of The Business of Podcasting: How to Take Your Podcasting Passion from the Personal to the Professional, the book I co-authored with Toronto-based podcaster Donna Papacosta (information at www.thebusinessofpodcasting.com).
The book outlines how to build a podcasting business, rather than repeating a lot of the “how-to-podcast” information found in most podcasting books. Donna and I are two of the few podcasters who actually produce programs for other people as a business, rather than trying to build personal audiences for our own podcasts.