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From networking to navigating interviews: How two PR pros mastered the mic and what’s next for season two

By Jennifer Lewis and Kalli Vetrano

Starting a podcast is no easy feat. From making sure you the right equipment to finding the most impactful guests, we knew jumping into this experience would be for the faint of heart, and while it was challenging at times, the journey was worth it. After a successful season one, we are embarking on another, and for those curious about starting their own podcasting expedition, here are some tricks of the trade we learned along the way.

Jenn: First and foremost, I learned how to grow my network. In most industries, especially in PR and marketing, having a rich community is crucial, and starting a podcast increased my network exponentially. I’ve met people I otherwise would not have crossed paths with, and some of these relationships have turned into wonderful opportunities. Before the podcast, I would have been hesitant to reach out to fellow PR and marketing professionals, but being a co-host of imPRessions provided me with a boost of confidence to make introductions and expand my personal and professional networks.

Kalli: While we always stress the importance of interview prep with our clients, it’s important to also be flexible during recording sessions. It truly is not scripted and some of the best conversations have been when we venture down a rabbit hole, or when I’m able to tie our conversation back to The Vampire Diaries. We also do quite a bit of adapting to unexpected circumstances such as technical difficulties, barking dogs and most recently to writing this post, an earthquake in New York! Being able to roll with the punches and adjust our plans accordingly helped us stay dynamic and engaging.

Jenn: As PR professionals, you aren’t usually the person behind the interview. You prep your clients, produce briefing sheets, and get an idea of what the subject matter will focus on, but rarely are you the one conducting the interview. Co-hosting the imPRessions podcast has taught me the art of being a powerful interviewer. It’s eye opening to be on the other side of the microphone. Doing so has no doubt made me a better storyteller, a better communicator with the media, and has given me a broader sense of what clients will be asked during an interview.

Kalli: PR professionals are trained to take on the voice of the companies and brands we represent. However, when hosting a podcast, you must learn to feel comfortable talking in your own voice. By being more genuine and authentic to myself, I’ve noticed the conversations flow better and really helps form deeper connections with both our guests and the audience. Inserting my own voice and personality into the episodes by sharing personal anecdotes, opinions, and experiences related to the podcast’s topic really helps to create a more intimate and relatable listening experience that hopefully keeps audiences coming back for more.

Jenn: A large part of producing and running the imPRessions podcast is planning. We draft questions in advance, write scripts, and get to know our guests and their companies, but the best part of the show is the conversations that develop naturally. imPRessions has taught me critical thinking skills to keep authentic conversations moving in an interesting direction. I’ve learned to better analyze information during the episodes to make informed decisions on where to take the interview next.

Kalli: Creating compelling content is just one step of the podcasting journey; promoting your podcast with precision is equally important. Engaging on a variety of marketing platforms including social media, podcast directories, email newsletters, and partnerships with fellow podcasters helps broaden your outreach and reach fresh audiences. This commitment to promotion not only fosters audience growth over time but also helps secure the long-term success of your podcast.

With a new season on the horizon, there’s much to look forward to. With a variety of new guests, an array of interesting topics, and more Vampire Diaries jokes, Jenn and Kalli detail what they’re looking forward to the most for season two.

Jenn: We have an amazing lineup of guests this season, and while I’m excited to talk to each and every one of them, I’m mainly excited to continue to grow in the areas I’ve learned the most while co-hosting the show. I’m eager to expand my network even more so and learn more tricks of the interviewing trade as I continue on this journey with my fabulous co-host.

Kalli: Season one was all about figuring out how to navigate this journey. We got our feet wet and had so many compelling conversations with a large variety of exciting guests. Now that we have some road behind us, Jenn and I can dive deeper into captivating topics and explore fresh perspectives as we refine our content and delivery to grow and make imPRessions even better!

Reflecting on Season one, we’re energized by the journey we’ve undertaken. Despite its challenges, from technical hiccups to unexpected turns, the experience has been immensely rewarding. Now, as we gear up for Season two, we’re excited to share the insights we’ve gained with aspiring podcasters and continue on our journey. With a diverse lineup of guests and a commitment to delivering engaging content, we’re ready to make an even bigger impact. Thank you to our listeners for joining us on this adventure—we can’t wait to see where it takes us next!