On Sunday, I spent a little more than an hour recording a podcast with Shel Holtz on Skype.
Because his regular For Immediate Release co-host, Neville Hobson, was in Boston with clients, he needed someone to fill his spot.
And I was more than happy to help. FIR, after all, is probably the most popular and well-done podcast in the PR industry.
It was a really great experience, both because it’s Shel and he’s wickedly smart (and cynical and has a dry sense of humor, both traits I love), and because the show is extremely well organized.
I thought I’d share a look behind-the scenes at the popular PR podcast.
The FIR Format
About 10 days in advance, I received an email from Shel that described how the run of show would work.
I was to choose two news items that I could talk about for two minutes each and two others that would prompt discussion between the two of us.
Then, he invited me to Rizzoma, the Google Wave reiteration. (I had never used it, but it’s a really good collaboration tool.)
In there, he had the following:
- Ident – Gini
- Welcome (recorded)
- Intro – Shel
- Steve Rubel is hosting a new podcast
- Quick News (2-minute reports; include URLs)
- Media Monitoring Minute from CustomScoop
- News That Fits (longer reports—four to five minutes—with discussion; include URLs) (Shel to intro)
- Michael Netzley’s Asia Report
- News That Fits
- Listener comments
- News That Fits
- Igloo Software
- Dan York’s Tech Report
- The last week on the FIR Podcast Network – Shel
- News That Fits
- Music – Gini
The Technical Podcast Needs
Of course, I listen to FIR so I knew the lay of the podcast land, but having it outlined like this made it extremely easy to co-host the show.
From a technical standpoint, we were on Skype and both recorded our tracks.
I use a Zoom H4N recorder and I wear my Bose noise canceling headphones so I’m not distracted by noises (such as Jack Bauer barking at the neighbors walking by our house).
We shared a Dropbox folder and I just dropped my recorded files in there.
Shel did all of the post-production and FIR 806 magically appeared less than 24 hours later.
The show, itself, covers a lot of ground.
- How Converse worked with brand loyalists to support a young woman with stomach cancer
- The Rockets social media manager who was fired for tweeting an emoji of a horse with a gun to its head (they were playing the Mavericks)
- No more “chikin” at Johns Hopkins University
- The FTC, disclosure, and native advertising
- The Bud Light #UpForWhatever campaign and crisis communications (and Melissa Agnes’s response)
- What virtual reality means for journalism (this is super cool!)
- The health and wellness advice Walmart provided its employees after they were laid off
- PR needs more SEO, which is what I blogged about yesterday with content marketing and answering questions
There also were tips from Dan York on Soundcloud and Internet (which I don’t recommend you looking at unless you’re ready to be frustrated).
And I love what Rachel Miller is doing around the birth of Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.
So there you have it!
The behind-the-scenes look at how a podcast comes together.
I may recommend we follow a similar organized format for Inside PR (though we record only 15 minutes, not an hour, every week) to Joe Thornley and Martin Waxman.
I hope you’ll take a listen and let us know what you think.