Windsorites Find Their Voice And Audience In Podcasting
From business, real estate and mental health matters to technology, legal advice, parenting tips, local politics and more, there’s a podcast waiting to be heard!
Podcasts have changed the way experts, business owners, non-profit agencies, political junkies and news consumers connect with audiences across the region, Canada and even around the world.
At a time when many on the planet are hunkered down and staying safe amid a world-wide health crisis, podcasts are an easy, accessible way to digest news and information on a wealth of topics.
They’ve become a growing cottage-industry with specialty websites, apps such as Apple and Spotify, and production companies such as Windsor’s MediaWorks Studios, feeding an insatiable appetite for news and opinion.
“I can’t see podcasts falling out of favour anytime in the near or distant future,” says Veronique Mandal, Public Relations and Media Convergence Coordinator at St. Clair College’s MediaPlex. “Our students are required to develop their own podcasts and once they’ve established their own brand and their own unique voice, I expect the vast majority will continue with those podcasts beyond graduation.”
Podcasts provide opportunities for voices outside the mainstream media to be heard, without the natural biases found on both sides of many issues, including environment, health care, climate change, technology, mental health, law, real estate, business and politics.
One of the main reasons for the proliferation of podcasts over the past decade, is their accessibility. They are available any time you desire, on a desktop computer or mobile device.
“You can listen to podcasts while you’re driving, going for a walk, cooking, exercising and any number of other activities,” explains Mandal. “Many people are looking for news and information when they want it, not just when mainstream media wants to deliver it.”
Mandal believes podcasts will continue growing in popularity, particularly because their producers can monetize them in ways the online mainstream media hasn’t found a way to do successfully.
“There are people making a small fortune from podcasts and I don’t see that changing,” she adds.
Yvonne Pilon, Chief Executive Officer and President with WEtech Alliance considers podcasts a way of providing opportunities for a different way of marketing and story-telling.
“They’re relatively easy and inexpensive to produce and you know you are reaching an audience already interested in the subject matter,” she states. “You can bring in guests from all over the globe and, because online space is infinite, you can talk about as much or as little as you want.”
Yet Pilon points out they are a lot of work.
“You have to book guests, schedule recording time, develop questions, edit the podcast and provide marketing support, because if there’s no one listening, you will only end up talking to yourself,” she comments.
Despite that caveat, podcasts are growing in leaps and bounds throughout the region and Biz X magazine has found a small slice of the podcast pie to highlight now for our readers.
Gabriella Fiorino-Daher and husband Ted Daher, who also own Daher Developments, launched MediaWorks Studios in November 2019, when they decided to try and encourage a more positive spin on news and events across Windsor and Essex County.
It took about a year to raise enough capital to purchase top-quality recording equipment and find a place to set up their studio.
“We wanted to find reputable people to come in to our studio and share positive news and views about our community,” explains Fiorino-Daher. “Social media can be so negative at times and we were more interested in positive news, and it seems to be working.”
MediaWorks Studios now produces 10 podcasts on various subjects with more planned for a launch early in 2021. Topics include law, mental health and technology.
Podcasts generally last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and it takes a further half an hour to edit the material and prepare it for broadcast on the host’s website or Facebook page, through Apple or Spotify.
“We’re able to help our clients place ads on their podcast if they want to monetize them, but most people seem to want to share their views as part of a public service and money isn’t the driving factor,” Fiorino-Daher declares.
Rates depend upon the level of services requested by clients and whether they are interested in producing weekly or monthly podcasts.
MediaWorks Studios are located at 1030 Walker Road, Unit E in Windsor. For more information, visit: MediaWorksStudios.com.
“Tech In The City” And “Innovation Alchemy With The Adams”
WEtech Alliance Chief Executive Officer and President Yvonne Pilon, was inspired to launch the “Tech In The City” podcast by Kara Swisher, a popular podcast producer from California, who writes about the tech sector and is a contributing writer for the New York Times.
“They’re relatively easy to produce either in-house or in a studio and they are incredibly accessible to just about anyone,” Pilon mentions. “The media landscape is ever-changing and podcasts provide an opportunity to be more intimate, while bringing in guests from across the globe.”
The “Tech In The City” podcast, launched a few years ago and produced initially from the WEtech office, focuses on local tech companies. It provides them with exposure to a wider audience across the region and beyond.
Subjects include; women in industry, the cannabis business, female entrepreneurs, tech talent, tech in the community, digital main street, and tech acceleration.
Pilon indicates the podcasts have been produced at MediaWorks Studios for the past year.
There are currently almost 20 editions of the podcast available on WEtech-Alliance.com/podcasts.
They are also available on Apple and Spotify apps via Podbean, which is a podcasting solution where one can easily launch, promote, monetize and live stream a podcast. Over 300K+ hosted podcasts can be found there.
“We pay $150 for an annual subscription to Podbean, a podcast hosting platform, and it’s money well spent,” adds Pilon.
A second WEtech podcast, “Innovation Alchemy With The Adams,” with Adam Castle and Adam Frye, is currently on hiatus because of COVID-19 restrictions.
“We’re constantly learning about what type of content does well and we’ll keep doing them as long as we have an audience,” says Pilon.
“Mom Is In Control”
Heather Chauvin started her podcast, “Mom Is In Control,” five years ago, as a way to connect with her audience on a deeper level.
“I found that I enjoy talking, rather than writing, so it was an easier way to connect with people,” Chauvin expresses. “I’ve been able to develop amazing relationships with people through my podcast.”
In 2019, Chauvin achieved a personal target by posting a podcast every single day. She cut back in 2020 to once or three times a week, but plans to go daily again in 2021.
“I find producing content fairly easy,” she says. “I just sit in my car, for instance, and talk to myself for 20 minutes then I send it off to some colleagues who edit it and prepare it for posting. It’s a heavy workload, but it’s fun.”
In her business as a Life Coach, Chauvin helps women thrive in their personal and professional lives and her podcast is an extension of that process.
“I don’t run ads on my podcast, but I am able to monetize them indirectly because 99 percent of my clients are also listeners,” she explains. “It’s an amazing and beautiful creative medium and as I evolve as an individual so does my message.”
In five years, she’s reached five million downloads with many more on the horizon.
In 2021, Chauvin is releasing her first book — “Dying To Be A Good Mother” — about shedding the guilt associated with parenting and taking control of her life.
To access her podcast, go to: HeatherChauvin.com/podcast