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“Focus on improving yourself” With Jason Hartman & Dave Pratt

I believe at the end of the day it is how we help each other. In this world, we need fewer people who are preaching and judging others and more people who are focusing on improving themselves. As part of my series of interviews about “5 things you need to know to create a very successful […]

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I believe at the end of the day it is how we help each other. In this world, we need fewer people who are preaching and judging others and more people who are focusing on improving themselves.


As part of my series of interviews about “5 things you need to know to create a very successful podcast,” I had the pleasure of interviewing Dave Pratt.

Dave Pratt is a member of the Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame, Music and Entertainer’s Hall of Fame and the owner of Star Worldwide Networks, one of the fastest growing internet radio and TV Networks in the nation. Dave is also a Media Consultant for Tribune Media Group with over 40 television stations in America’s largest markets plus WGN radio in Chicago.

The Morning Mayor has been entertaining Arizona for nearly four decades including 20 years on KUPD, creating The Big Red Radio and America’s Rock Station of the Year, and later KZON that quickly became the most listened to rock station in the history of Arizona where Dave shared the drive time spotlight with Howard Stern. In 2003, Dave transitioned as the leader of KMLE Country for over six years, creating the “KMLE Nation” and again being recognized nationally by the CMA as Major Market Personality of the Year.

“Dave Pratt in the Morning” achieved #1 ratings and revenue in both the rock and country formats while helping to raise millions of dollars for Arizona charities.

Dave Pratt, Behind the Mic, 30 Years in Radio, published by Five Star, was released with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society. Dave’s memoir won the prestigious Glyph Award from the Arizona Book Awards as “Autobiography of the Year,” quickly selling out in Barnes and Noble and Borders and now on Amazon. Dave is a cancer survivor who regularly uses his public profile as a speaker, supporter and advocate for others battling cancer.

Dave is proud of his career with multiple awards including National Personality of the Year, but he is most proud of being a husband, father and a friend. Dave and Paula have been married for 30 years and are blessed with 4 children — David Jr. 26, Kyle 24, Sammy 22 and Madison 19…and of course, their yellow lab, Rio! In fact, Rio is the CEO of the parent company, Doublewide Productions.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit of your “personal backstory? What is your background and what eventually brought you to this particular career path?

For over 40 years I have been on the entertainment side of the microphone and camera as a radio personality or TV host. Over a decade ago I noticed how AM-FM radio was declining due to new technology, especially the internet. In turn, I took advantage of the opportunity and created Star Worldwide Networks, now celebrating 10 years as one of the nation’s largest podcast and video networks. The network has morphed into an entire full service advertising agency serving clients in Arizona and throughout the nation.

Can you share a story about the most interesting thing that has happened to you since you started podcasting?

Along with podcasting, our network also offers the option of live internet radio. At first, it was unusual being worldwide as opposed to being on just a limited AM/FM signal. In my first week I was getting calls from Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. I was doing a morning show here and they were listening at night halfway around the world. That alone quickly opened my eyes to the power of internet radio.

Can you share a story about the biggest or funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or takeaways you learned from that?

When I first started doing podcasts, I was accustomed to old school radio where we would comment on the weather, mention the time. Well, in on demand radio the shows are recorded so the time and weather become insignificant. In addition, it is always different time and weather for those listening in other locations around the world. Old habits are hard to break.

How long have you been podcasting and how many shows have you aired?

I have been personally podcasting for over 10 years now, and our Star Worldwide Networks has produced nearly 200,000 podcasts from all-around the world.

What are the main takeaways, lessons or messages that you want your listeners to walk away with after listening to your shows?

Personally, my show is for entertainment. However, many of the shows our network produces are hosted by experts in their particular industries whether medical, legal, travel, business, fashion, charity, comedy or whatever! My hope is that listeners enjoy the experience and are entertained and educated on all of the various topics.

In your opinion what makes your podcast binge-listenable? What do you think makes your podcast unique from the others in your category? What do you think is special about you as a host, your guests or your content?

Again, our network produces hundreds of podcasts each week and thousands of podcasts each year. Each show on our network has its own synergy and its own rhythm, all attracting their own audiences in their own way. For my personal show, it is carrying many years of Arizona as well as media heritage, history and entertainment. After 40 years, my show is a habit that many have followed their entire life.

Doing something on a consistent basis is not easy. Podcasting every workday, or even every week can be monotonous. What would you recommend to others about how to maintain discipline and consistency?

What would you recommend to others about how to avoid burnout? If a host is burned out or feels like their show is monotonous, they are failing. Every show should be new and exciting for the audience and for the host. If not, it is time to hang it up the headphones.

What resources do you get your inspiration for materials from?

General life. Some people merely live, while others are ALIVE! The best hosts are the ones with the ability to observe life and comment on it.

OK fantastic. Let’s now shift to the main questions of our discussion. Is there someone in the podcasting world who you think is a great model for how to run a really fantastic podcast?

Yes, I’ve worked really hard to produce my own podcast as a model to others for what hard work and a lifelong aspiration can turn into.

What are the ingredients that make that podcast so successful? If you could break that down into a blueprint, what would that blueprint look like?

Treat it like a business, not a hobby. Take it seriously by investing the time, energy and money. Give your podcast the respect of professional production and a professional network. Do not try to do it on your own with duct tape and chewing gum from your home or office. Be a pro.

You are a very successful podcaster yourself. Can you share with our readers the five things you need to know to create an extremely successful podcast? (Please share a story or example for each, if you can.)

The ability to strongly describe your show and why people should listen in one sentence. “Dave Pratt Live is a long running entertainment show providing entertainment, interviews, commentary and celebrities!”

Pro production and quality are key. Do not sound like you are leaving a voicemail or talking into a tin can. Use a professional network for production and distribution, which will leave you the ability to focus on your show content.

Utilize pro network studios and experienced network staff to route phone calls, provide custom imaging and a professional atmosphere for your guests. It is hard for a guest to take your show seriously with just a microphone hooked up in your office or kitchen. Elevate yourself, your show and your image.

Have a goal and a strategy, and then stick to it. Stay on course with consistency and frequency over a long period of time to truly give your show a chance.

Concentrate as much on promoting and selling your show as performing your show. Otherwise, you will be talking to yourself.

Can you share some insight from your experience about the best ways to: 1) book great guests; 2) increase listeners; 3) produce it in a professional way; 4) encourage engagement; and 5) the best way to monetize it? Please share a story or example for each, if you can.)

Answering all of these questions would require a novel, and all of these answers must be learned over time through experience. This is exactly why a big part of my business is consulting. Plus, it is hard to teach somebody to drive without getting in a car. Pro podcasting cannot be taught on paper. These questions must be answered through action and in working progress. Again, this is why a podcast host needs a professional and experienced network for support.

For someone looking to start their own podcast, which equipment would you recommend that they start with?

None. Do not waste the money. I would suggest using a pro network, like Star Worldwide Networks where state of the art equipment is already in place.

Because of your position and work, you are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be?

I believe at the end of the day it is how we help each other. In this world, we need fewer people who are preaching and judging others and more people who are focusing on improving themselves.

How can our readers follow you online?

www.StarWorldwideNetworks.com

Thank you so much for sharing your time and your excellent insights! We wish you continued success.

THANK YOU!!

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