Social Influencer Series | Kerri Daniels Tabasky & David Yas, Founders of pod617 - The Boston Podcast Network
The media industry has been forever disrupted. An industry that built empires on the premise that “content is king,” has had to adjust to a world where the consumer has now been crowned and is in complete control of the content they consume. They control the what; the how and the when and can share what they like instantly through the power of social media.
Consider this - 85% of the US Population has a smartphone; 88% of the US Population has at least one social media profile, and Spotify and podcasts provide kick-ass content that is available 24-7 wherever you are. In the car. On a plane. At home. At work. The smartphone has become the transportable content engine that radio used to be (combining radio, newspaper, and television in one device).
This confounding conundrum for traditional media has created an incredible opportunity for content creators of all different shapes and sizes to be heard. From individual hobbyists to small business owners to professional services and big corporations - the audio market for podcasts provides an audience that is both powerfully mainstream and exclusively niche.
Enter pod617 - The Boston Podcast Network. Founded by David Yas who then hired my friend and former media industry colleague, Kerri Tabasky, pod617 has partnered with a virtual who’s who of Boston media to create a Podcast production house and network that is helping all types of podcasters find their voice. From local law firms and financial planning; to hobbyists who want to share their vocation; to Fortune 500 companies creating internal and external content; to the “Social Influencer” - there is an incredible demand for audio content and a platform to build an audience and be heard.
My time with Kerri goes way back to our days at CBS, and it was great to catch up with her and Dave recently over lunch. Here’s a snapshot of what they had to say:
So you and Dave met at summer camp - a very long time ago (no offense). Two people with diverse backgrounds and careers - podcasting? Where did the inspiration and partnership come from?
Over the last few years, Dave produced a Boston-centered podcast with two other colleagues. Early 2018 he decided to expand on it to create a platform for more Boston storytellers. The Boston Podcast Network was designed to be a community and a destination for a wide variety of podcasts that offer entertainment, information, and storytelling as it relates to Boston (and beyond).
Having worked with Kerri at Mass Lawyers Weekly ten years ago, and summer camp long before then, I knew that with our combined background and skills, we’d complement each other well.
I get "true crime," "pop culture," "sports" when it comes to podcasting, but more and more companies are creating podcasts for both internal and external distribution. Why?
People are much busier these days, on the road, in their car commuting, standing in line, etc., and are getting their information from mobile devices. Podcasting is a great way to utilize social media as a way to share information and tell great stories. Internally, if a company wants to disseminate information to its employees who are in the field, they can record that information in a podcast. Externally, companies can utilize the storytelling aspect as a way to market their services and entertainingly give information. In both regards, it’s an excellent way for a brand to be heard across digital platforms.
What advice do you give clients on the essential “must-haves” for launching a podcast?
The most important thing is simply a subject that one is passionate about. Many podcasts go awry when hosts find it necessary to stick to a script or cover specific topics instead of covering topics they genuinely enjoy. They also need a willingness to develop and follow a strategy for sharing their podcast. Creating a top-notch episode is the easier part of the process. Sharing the pod and distributing it is the real work: interacting on social media; employing guests on the show who are influencers and sticking to a regimen of sharing the pod in strategic ways. A podcast is the media world’s shiny new toy, but success depends on the oldest of business concepts: relationships. We tell our clients that they will be their own best champion in building their audience starting in grassroots fashion with their network.
How does social media come into play?
Podcasting is essentially a form of social media. When a podcast is recorded, you have something tangible to send out to a wide audience via your network, whether it’s social media, email distribution, etc. Podcasters can be even more interactive using social media channels and inviting listeners to write, call, follow, download, subscribe, etc. The cross-promotional possibilities are vast: a blog, a website, a Facebook group, or an Instagram feed can be used to promote a podcast and vice-versa. In most cases, social media operates like the paperboy to the podcast’s newspaper. While social media is lightning-quick in reaching a large audience, a podcast intimately delivers in-depth content. Once the “newspaper” arrives, settle down at the kitchen table and take it all in.
You have enlisted a cast of Boston media celebrities to build out your portfolio of content. What has working with them again been like? (Jon Meterparel, Shira Springer, Cha-Chi Loprette, Nick Stevens, Matty Blake, and More)
We’ve had our share of laughs! We’re so grateful to these incredibly talented individuals who are incredibly generous with their energy, time, humor, and their voices.
Kerri: Good tequila, rocks, lime
Dave: Manhattan rocks. Old Fashioned. Painkiller.
Kerri: My kids, writing and producing a TV show and helping launch The Boston Podcast Network
Dave: My speech “Celebrating the rise of autism.” Launching pod617
Kerri: Bitchless Bride, anything on pod617, The Writers Panel with Ben Blacker
Dave: “My guys” include Adam Carolla; Bill Simmons; Mark Maron; Alec Baldwin and Jeff Garlin. Radiolab, This American Life, Love & Radio
Go To Social Channel:
Kerri: Facebook / Instagram
Dave: Facebook, Reddit, Quora
Kerri: #choosekind, #changingthefaceofbeauty #mdsc #includeus
Dave: #AutismActually #nevertoolate #stillhere #chipsandsalsa (Don’t look for deep meaning in the last one. I just like chips and salsa.)
About the Interviewer:
Mark Keaney is a Husband, Dad, Coach, Mentor and Leader. With over 20 years of experience in the media industry and a wild ride in the world of tech start-up & social - Mark is helping brands deliver world class CX at Khoros, where he is the Regional Vice President of Sales for the NA/East and Canada. His mantra is - Brand Globally. Market Locally.
e: firstname.lastname@example.org or t: @markkeaney2pt0