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Our journey to podcasting: On Top of PR’s 100th episode with Jason Mudd

By On Top of PR

On Top of PR podcast: Our podcast journey a solocast with show host Jason Mudd episode graphic

In this episode, Jason Mudd discusses Axia Public Relation’s history of podcasting. He describes what you need to know before, during, and after starting a podcast along with tips and tricks to make your podcast successful. 


Tune in to learn more! 




Watch the episode here


5 things you’ll learn during the full episode:

  1. How Axia started podcasting
  2. Why you might want your own branded podcast
  3. The three phases of starting a podcast
  4. How to successfully promote and monetize your podcast
  5. What producing and launching a podcast consists of


Additional Resources from Axia Public Relations:


[01:52] Axia’s podcasting experience 

  • Axia started podcasting in 2006 with “Axia Impact” 
  • In 2019 we picked it back up, creating On Top of PR in 2020
  • Started out with just audio and not video 
  • Demographics for videocast
    • Gender: 31.2% female; 68.8% male
    • Age: 23.9% 18-24 year olds; 56.2% 25-34 year olds; 15.6% 35-44 year olds; 4.1% 45-54 year olds

[07:29] Why you might want to have your own branded podcast

  • 69% of podcast listeners, according to Music Oomph, have an income of $75,000 or more, with 45% of podcast listeners having an annual household income of more than $250,000.
  • Midroll tells us that 63% of podcast listeners made a purchase based on a podcast host recommendation.

[09:22] The three phases of starting a podcast

  1. Build
  • Design it, develop it, create it
  • Axia services: directing, creating a launch brand, figuring out a show format, helping establish a show now, determining which show categories that you want to be in, etc.
  1. Launch
  • Produce and launch it 
  • Pre-production: intro, midroll, outroll, editing, uploading graphics, scheduling to be posted, etc.
  • Production itself: audio, video
  • Axia services: produce, edit, and air episodes 

Jason: “I recommend you invest the time it takes to do it well and do it right, but don't have analysis paralysis. The first step is launching and then you can improve on an ongoing basis."

  1.  Promote and Monetize
  • If you don’t promote it, how will people know it exists?
    • A. Promotion and conversion
    • B. Promote and monetize
    • C. Sponsorships
      • Wait until you have about 30 launched episodes before you look for sponsors.

Jason: “This is when your hard work starts to pay dividends because you'll want to build relationships, you'll want to promote the episode, and you will want to obviously attract sponsors who are underwriting the show itself.”


Jason: “Consumers have this idea subconsciously or otherwise, that if you haven't launched ten episodes yet, you're probably not established or credible. So if you launched day one with ten episodes, you're giving quite a menu of options and topics that people can enjoy.”


About Jason Mudd

Jason Mudd is a trusted adviser and dynamic strategist for some of America’s most admired brands and fastest-growing companies. Since 1994, he’s worked with American Airlines, Budweiser, Dave & Buster’s, H&R Block, Hilton, HP, Miller Lite, New York Life, Pizza Hut, Southern Comfort, and Verizon. He founded Axia Public Relations in July 2002. Forbes named Axia as one of America’s Best PR Agencies.


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Announcer: “Welcome to On Top of PR, with Jason Mudd presented by ReviewMaxer.”


Jason: "Hello, and welcome to On Top of PR. I'm your host, Jason Mudd with Axia Public Relations, and today we are celebrating our 100th episode of On Top of PR. During this episode it is also a solocast. Every fifth episode it's just you and me talking. I'm sharing some advice or insights that I have with you based on my 25-plus-year public relations career."


"And today I want to talk to you about podcasting and our journey of getting into getting into podcasting as we celebrate our 100th episode. I'm hoping the takeaways that you enjoy from this episode are going to be whether or not you should start your own branded podcast and how you go about doing it. And secondly, I think for most of our audience, this is going to be a little bit of a behind the scenes of how podcasts come together, and you'll learn more about how to better pitch podcasts and how to get your experts as guests on podcasts."

"For full disclosure, we're recording this on February 22nd of 2023, and we launched our podcast on September of 2022 2020. To that end, earlier this morning or this afternoon, I recorded a webinar with Propel, PR, CRM, which was specifically about podcasting. And so a lot of the content here, you if you liked what you heard here, you may want to check out that webinars that I did with them where we went into more details on this topic as well, including how to pitch a podcast. We'll be sure to put a link to that webinar in the episode notes. And so you've really got a lot of opportunity to kind of hear my thoughts and experience on podcasting." 


"So first of all, our agency started podcasting around 2006 before the Great Recession, and we called it the The Axia Impact Podcast, and there's some episodes you can still find online. And if you're really interested, we could probably provide those to you through a link of some sort. And maybe what we'll do is we'll put a link to them in the episode notes linking to where we've got them saved on Google Drive. But those were fun to do. What we did is we took our 60-Second Impact newsletter, which we still run and offer, and I would highly encourage you if you haven't opted into that newsletter yet, please do. It's kind of like three topics tips and trends for PR for the month and you can read it all in 60 seconds or less. We used to take that and produce in-house our own podcast that ran for a few years, and then we just kind of put the brakes on it, mostly because of the Great Recession and not having the resources to pull it off like we did before."


"And then ultimately around 2019, we started coming up with the idea of let's get back into podcasting. Podcasting. It continued to grow. We were a little bit it's early adopters – maybe not too early of adopters – but maybe we were too early. But anyway, we want to change the format and do something very similar to this, where we're very focused on bringing in expert guests that add value to the conversation. And then every fifth episode is a solocast like this where it's just me. So we spent a lot of 2019 really identifying what is our brand, what is our messaging, who’s our target audience, and what is the value we bring. Then of course, we jumped into the step of kind of trying to figure out, you know, the name of the show, the format and what's going to work best. And the technology and all of those things. I would tell you, after doing 100 episodes and not even doing 100, I would tell you just doing the first handful, it was surprising to me how much more work it was to do a podcast, a branded podcast, and candidly do it well. You can certainly just do a podcast, but doing it well, making it a first-class production, requires a lot of work."


"And honestly, if you go back to our first episodes, I'm candidly kind of face-palming or cringing a little bit. The background didn't look great. We were trying to use a tool. We started out only doing audio instead of video. I think that was a big mistake. I think we should’ve done video right away. So just three episodes in, I really felt compelled to do video. My reluctance is that video adds a layer of complication to it. More editing, just more work in general. You've got to have great, not only great sound, but I have to focus on lighting and background. And honestly, it took usprobably 50 or more episodes to really get it to the point where we're really happy with the production."

"At Axia, our five core values are integrity, ideas, relationships, results, and improve. And so we're always trying to improve and get 1% better every day. And so I want our podcast to get 1% better with every episode. And so we went from a podcast to really a videocast, and we have some interesting numbers. We'll share it in the episode notes of what our demographics, what our audience composite looks like for the video version and for the audio version. It is distinct. One has more of a female audience, one has more male, one skews a little bit younger demographic and wants to use a little bit older. So we'll put that in the episode notes for your background as well. But video ultimately gives you the opportunity to reach additional audiences. People love videos, so we can share those videos and reels and snippets from them on our social media. And then when people are driving or commuting, they may be more interested in the audio version. So we try to accommodate both audiences in both formats to help you stay on top of PR. So it's just kind of part of the service that we we offer and think about. But I would tell you a podcast is much more work than you think, especially if you want to do it well and do it right."


"And if you've been a loyal audience member of ours over the years, you have seen our tweaks that we've made. Some are better, some are not so good. But anyway, thank you for your loyalty and the friendships and relationships we've been able to build through the podcast. And if you're a listener, we would love an opportunity, one to connect with you. So please be following us on social media and let us know you're listening and you're watching to let us know what your preferred format is. I know that we're going to be sending out our posting a questionnaire to try to learn more from our audience of what you prefer. So I'm going to go ahead and tease that is coming soon as well. Maybe we can scramble and have the link added to the episode notes by the time this episode goes live, or at least go back and do that in the future. But we'd like to know, do you prefer solocast or do you prefer guest episodes? What are some of your favorite episodes and what's your preferred way to consume On Top of PR? Is it through video or is it through audio? Your input is important to us. We will take that into consideration and try to accommodate any requests we might have, especially if you know a particular guest who would add value to our audience. And that fits our brand and our messaging."


"To that end, I want to explain to you kind of the process of getting on a podcast. Or producing a podcast certainly if there's time, I plan to share more input about how to pitch a podcast, or we might just save that for another episode. So standby as we're making decisions here on the fly. But when it comes to podcasting, let me explain to you why you might want to have your own branded podcast. 69% of podcast listeners, according to Music Oomph, have an income of $75,000 or more, with 45% of podcast listeners having an annual household income of more than $250,000, Midroll tells us that 63% of podcast listeners made a purchase based on a podcast host recommendation. So what this is telling you is that podcast audience is typically a little bit wealthier than the average radio or media audiences. In addition, you know, the podcast host can be very influential in the decisions that their audience might make. So it's telling you that you've got a, you know, a higher income generating audience. And this income- or this audience is also influenced by the host of the podcast. So to that end, is your thinking about whether or not you want to have your own podcast. That's something to think about. You can also use this information when you are kind of persuading your executive, your leaders or your experts within your organization as to whether or not they want to participate in podcasts."


"When it comes to having your own podcast and or the behind the scenes of producing a podcast, there's a lot of people involved. Now, some podcasters will do it, you know, DIY, they'll do the whole thing themselves. Fortunately, I've got a great team behind us of helping us get this done and you ever want to see kind of who some of those people are. Stick around to our video version where we roll the credits at the end of each episode, you know, giving shout outs to those people."


"And but let's talk about the three phases of starting a podcast. The first one is going to be build, The second one is launch and the third one is promote. So you got to build a podcast, you've got to design it, you've got to develop it, you've got to basically create it. Then you ultimately launch it and produce the episodes and then you promote it. And if you don't promote it, then how will people know that it exists? And so that was kind of the process." 


"Again, around 2019, we knew we wanted to do a podcast. We started thinking of names for the audience, the format. We went from it being, you know, one person at our agency and who would that person be? And I was very eager and willing to allow someone else to be that person. But the more we looked into it, the more research we did, we discovered that really is a best practice. It needs to be the same voice, the same person on an ongoing basis, and you can have other people you know, multiple hosts maybe, and those hosts might rotate out. But there needs to be some stability with one or more of the same host over and over again to build that connection with the audience."


"So speaking of build, I want to walk you through a little bit about the process of building. And if you're watching the video, this would be a good time to kind of watch me as I kind of walk you through some of this. So I'm going to start sharing my screen here in just a second. So I'm simply displaying my screen of our Brandcast service at Axia Public Relations. You can find that at axiapr.com/services. And I'm showing what that page currently looks like so I can walk you through kind of how we express it. So Brandcast is our productized service name for your company's own branded podcast. And we just describe that podcasting is hot and that it's very popular and we offer a one-hour consultation to kind of talk through your podcast aspirations, and then you can apply that as a credit or store credit towards hiring us to help you implement your podcast. If you so chose to do that. Now we're really thinking about helping companies develop their own podcast. We've done that for some pretty prominent organizations, some we can't name, and so we won't do that out of respect for their request for privacy, but we really help to help guide them through that process. And we took them through the same process we would take you through. So the build, launch, and then promote, and perhaps monetize." 


"So the first thing I want to talk to you about is build. And so we kind of have a five stages to help you with this. So building is really, as I talked about earlier, kind of creating the vision and coaching and training you to see that vision through to completion. That might include us directing and helping develop a launch plan for you, identifying your target key performance indicators, your KPIs, developing your unique point of view and your brand positioning, asking you questions about the target audience. Figuring out a show format is there a solocast? Is it always a solocast? Is it a guest format? Is it a talk show format? Is it just kind of reading through some scripts as to what you want to talk about? And then what show categories do you want to be in? Apple Podcasts and Google podcasts and Amazon and Spotify have categories for podcasts that you have to opt in to and select."


"Of course, you're going to need a show name, a show description, an elevator pitch, kind of summarizing your show and who's it for and why they should listen or watch. You're going to need a logo as well as show and episode artwork. You're going to need a music bed and intro, midroll and outro scripts. You're going to want show script and flow. You're going to need a studio setup, you're going to need a host talent, possibly guest. You're going to set up the show hosting, who's going to host the files, the audio or video files, and then who's going to distribute those? We happen to use one particular software, but there are other ones out there that will host it for you and distribute it. And then you're probably going to want to show domain name, like On Top of PR, you're going to want website pages there like a blog and a frequently asked questions page, a background or page about the show."


"And something that we're going to be working on soon is like, you know how to nominate a guest or how to pitch how to pitch a guest for our show. That way we can kind of give you some inside tips there. You're also going to want and you're also going to need show notes format. Every episode needs show notes, and that's where you summarize the guest information or the topic and the bullet points and what you'll learn links to the resources that you might mention during the episode."


"And of course, you're going to want to have social media set up, i.e. how will you use social media to promote the episodes, as I mentioned earlier, which is obviously going to be really important."


"Moving on from that, you know, we have launch and launch is probably the most exciting part of any podcast. This is where you or will produce, edit and air, you know, possibly up to one new episode per week. I that's where I would get started for at least your first probably two dozen, maybe 50 episodes. And then from there you'll get a real good rhythm going and you'll start to understand the responsibilities and obligations of producing a podcast. And then you can kind of determine if you want to accelerate that. I have a friend in the business and he has a daily podcast, so every day he's launching a new episode. Of course, to be able to do that, he's got to be batching. And so batching is something I really recommend. Batching is where you're recording most multiple episodes in one day. So today we're scheduled to record three episodes. And in that way, you know, you don't have to earmark so much of your day or your week or month to get those episodes knocked out. So we gang them up and we do them back to back. So we're all in kind of a production mode where the lights, the sound and the background are ready, the recording is ready, The, you know, engineer, producer, director is ready and we're just getting all those things done.” 


"But when you launch, it's kind of three stages to launch. There’s the pre-production, which is the intro, the midroll and the outro. Then there's the production itself. So the audio and hopefully the video and you're going to do audio checks, you're going to improve and you're going to have the recording technology. Some people just use Zoom, but I've heard a lot of people say that Zoom is not as good quality as you might want for a podcast recording. We've never tried to use Zoom candidly. We've always used StreamYard. That seems to work pretty well." 


"And the other thing you should think about, if you're thinking about your own podcast, is do you want to do it live? I'm going to be doing a live podcast interview with somebody here in the near term. They're going to be interviewing me and they're going to do it live and they're going to use StreamYard to do that. I don't know that I've done that before for a podcast, so I'm pretty excited about it for the last couple of years, I've been very eager for us to record our episodes live and kind of let people enjoy a kind of an audience behind the scenes view. It's OK if it's raw, it's OK if we have to edit, it’s OK, if we have to restart because it's just like being on the set in Hollywood of a TV show or a movie. You're there, you're watching it, you're enjoying it, but it's not really necessarily the finished product. And so it's kind of a preview." 


"Believe it or not. We typically record, if I didn't say it already, six to eight weeks ahead of time, maybe even more sometimes. I think one point we got 12 to 16 weeks in advance. It's a little bit inconvenient for our guests because they're eager to have their episode go live. But it's very convenient for us to have that much padding so we're not forcing or rushing into producing any episode. But I mention that to say that, you know, it might be fun to do live episodes also, or maybe do as I as I desire, which is to do something live that kind of lets people see what a full episode they might be able to enjoy. Six to eight weeks from now or even more. And also they may only be able to join for a few seconds or they may stay for the whole time. And it just kind of gives them an insider view, which I think helps connect you more with your desired audience." 


"The last stage of the launch stage is pre-production. This is the audio and the video editing the overlays, the captioning, the transcript, the uploading the episode to the hosting platform, scheduling the episode, distribution, uploading the individual episode graphics and the video thumbnails that go with it. Yes, this is a lot of work. I mentioned that earlier, so it takes a lot of hands and a lot of expertise to get this done and to ultimately be able to do it right." 


"The next step we want to talk about is the promote and monetize portion. My dream would be to become a be able to on a full-time basis, be able to produce this podcast and this be my full-time job. I would love for that to be what I focus on because I really enjoy doing this for you and for our audience. So if On Top of PR could be my full-time job, that would be awesome. So the way to do that is to promote and monetize the podcast. This is this third stage is usually the head of sales and the CFOs favorite stage because now's the time to turn this into a big, big effort, this big effort into a profitable endeavor. Now this is when your hard work starts to pay dividends because you'll want to build relationships, you'll want to promote the episode, and you will want to obviously attract sponsors who are underwriting the show itself." 


"So under this section here of promote and monetize, phase three, we have kind of three sub-phases or our sub areas underneath it. One is promote and conversion, promotion and conversion. So as a one-time project you'll want to announce a your show through a show launch news release. You might want to do milestone news releases saying you've now launched your 100th episode. You might want to do milestone email blasts and things like that. And you know, in the event that you should hire us or consult with us to help you do this, we'll give you some inside information and tips about how to build a loyal audience quickly – I'll give you a little hint. It involves, you know, inviting people to leave you online reviews, encouraging people to share, to share episodes, and to really launch by dropping 10 episodes on day one, because consumers have this idea subconsciously or otherwise, that if you haven't launched 10 episodes yet, you're probably not established or credible. So if you launched day one with 10 episodes, you're giving quite a menu of options and topics that people can enjoy."


"So that's something that we did. We got a tip from my friend I mentioned earlier, who used to do a podcast episode every day. Each episode is going to require episode notes. You're going to want to prepare Twitter quotable graphics. So in other words, quotes of what they said during the episode. You're going to want to prepare episode graphics, prepare font thumbnail videos. I recommend you do a blog post about each episode that can also be your episode notes, and then you want to create and publish on social media, maybe five tweets per episode and use software to continuously retweet or repost those same tweets. You probably want one Facebook post per episode and one LinkedIn post per episode. Maybe you want more than that. We also have a technique for promoting YouTube videos to guarantee at least 1000 views."


"And then moving on to promote and monetize is guest relations depending on your show, guests are typically a key ingredient to podcast success. So to do that, you'll want to invite guests. You'll need a script to do that. You'll need a guide to give the guest to make sure they sound brilliant. You'll want some kind of confirmation script to make sure they show up at the right time and in the right way in the right place. One issue we had early on is when we kept calling it a podcast, people would show up expecting audio only and not seeing that we're calling it a video podcast. So we've since updated our messaging to call it a videocast to make it very clear to everyone that we're looking to record video."


"You'll also want obviously somebody needs to own recruiting and booking guests, coordinating guest recording, coordinating the recording details, and then maybe even doing a pre-interview session to make sure they've got the right lighting, the right sound and the right background. I'm often surprised some of the most influential guests and prominent guests we've had sometimes roll in just not ready. And to my surprise, even in the pandemic and post-pandemic era, they still don't have a great camera angle and good background and lighting."


"You want to develop episode topics and questions ahead of time. We usually are just doing a very kind of impromptu Q&A session and just, you know, in the moment and having a quality and authentic conversation. Some people like that, some people don't. Maybe you want to stick to a strict Q&A format where you ask the same guests or all of your guests the same question every episode, and then you want to equip your guest with promotion. So provide them with ways to promote the episode, give them scripts, give them links. They may have some offer that they want to offer to your audience as a special benefit for your audience and their loyal listening and viewership. I would certainly encourage you to think about that and look for ways to do that that are on-brand and on-message. And then we send our guests a VIP swag package. We call it a WOW package, and that just we send them some Axia branding and thank you card and maybe a shirt or something like that. Just to tell them we appreciate them. And sometimes they'll share that on social media too, which is pretty cool."


"And then lastly is sponsorships, right? You want to get sponsors. They're a great way to underwrite the show, lend more credibility to it, and hopefully generate revenue from it. In addition, your sponsors should want to and would help you promote the show because they want you to succeed because they benefit from the more people that consume it. I usually recommend you wait until you've got about 30 recorded and launched episodes before you start going to market. Looking for sponsors is a whole other topic in itself. But you could be looking for a title sponsor, a presenting sponsor, and you could create sponsorships for every session or segment of your program right now, we're very thankful for our sponsorship from ReviewMaxer at ReviewMaxer.com. ReviewMaxer helps you monitor, improve and promote your online reviews and they've been a partner of ours since day one."


"And and then we've had other sponsors sponsor this solocast from time to time, and sponsors will come and go, just like advertisers come and go. But ideally you could figure out a way to monetize your podcast or your videocasts so that you're making an income stream or side income from and passive income from producing your podcast. So not only are you sharing your expertise with your audience through your podcast, and hopefully that might even generate leads for you and your organization. But in addition, you hopefully may be also receiving income from those sponsors as well, and then it's a real win win for everybody. So that's kind of some good background on what it takes to promote a podcast, how to go about doing it."


"I think most people are like anything, you think it's going to be easier than it really is, but you know, the more you want to do a great job with it, the more you'll have to get involved and make a commitment to doing it. So I hope this was helpful to kind of have a behind the scenes view of what it's like to produce a podcast. Maybe you're thinking about doing one for yourself. Again, I'd recommend you do video. I recommend you invest the time it takes to do it well and do it right, but don't have analysis paralysis. The first step is launching and then you can improve on an ongoing basis." 


"Let us know if you're interested in learning more about how to pitch for a podcast and we can tell you some of the good pitches we've received as to be a guest. And we can talk about some of the bad ones we've received because you often learn more from mistakes than you do from successes."


"But to that end, this is Jason Mudd with Axia Public Relations signing off, helping you stay on top of PR. If you enjoyed this episode, please take a moment to share it with a colleague or friend who you think would benefit from it as well. They'll thank you for sharing, and so will I. Be well."


Announcer: "This has been On Top of PR with Jason Mudd, presented by ReviewMaxer. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss an episode and check out past shows at OnTopofPR.com."

Sponsored by:

  • On Top of PR is produced by Axia Public Relations, named by Forbes as one of America’s Best PR Agencies. Axia is an expert PR firm for national brands.
  • On Top of PR is sponsored by ReviewMaxer, the platform for monitoring, improving, and promoting online customer reviews.


Axia PR logo. ReviewMaxer logo.



Jason Mudd's image

About your host Jason Mudd

On Top of PR host, Jason Mudd, is a trusted adviser and dynamic strategist for some of America’s most admired brands and fastest-growing companies. Since 1994, he’s worked with American Airlines, Budweiser, Dave & Buster’s, H&R Block, Hilton, HP, Miller Lite, New York Life, Pizza Hut, Southern Comfort, and Verizon. He founded Axia Public Relations in July 2002. Forbes named Axia as one of America’s Best PR Agencies.


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Topics: On Top of PR, podcasting, solocast

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