The FIR Podcast Network


I first heard about podcasting in September 2004 when Rex Hammock mentioned it. That’s when I discovered podcasting pioneers like Todd Cochrane, Adam Curry and Eric Rice.

The following January 2005, I started co-presenting a business podcast called For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report with my friend and colleague Shel Holtz. At that time, I lived in Amsterdam, The Netherlands; with Shel in California, USA, we connected and recorded our podcast via Skype.

Today, I’m in the UK but Skype is still the means by which Shel and I connect to do our show every Monday.

Since that first episode in January 2005, we’ve build FIR into a series that comprises six distinct podcasts:

  • FIR: The Hobson & Holtz Report – a weekly show recorded on Mondays with commentary and opinion at the intersection of online communication, business and technology.
  • FIR Live – an occasional live call-in show that started at BlogTalk Radio where a topical issue is up for discussion by the two co-hosts and usually a panel plus listeners who add an opinion in the chat room. Today, FIR Live has evolved into a live video show, using Google+ Hangouts On Air and YouTube.
  • FIR Cuts – occasional clips from the virtual cutting room floor of The Hobson & Holtz Report.
  • FIR Interviews with newsmakers and influencers from the online technology and organizational communication worlds.
  • FIR Book Reviews aligned with our theme of PR/communications and the online world.
  • FIR Speakers and Speeches – occasional podcasts of speeches, keynote addresses, breakout sessions, and other recordings from meetings and conferences of interest to PR and communication professionals.

We publish every show on the FIR website, and I cross-post here as well.

In the summer of 2007, McGraw-Hill published How To Do Everything With Podcasting, a 360-page book that walks you step by step through the whole process of creating, publishing and promoting your own business podcast. Much of what we experienced and learned from doing our own podcast informed our thinking when we wrote this book.

FIR has a vibrant community of listeners across the social web to discuss topics of interest to other listeners, centred around the FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

FIR Podcast Network

In late 2013, Shel and I started taking the FIR brand to a new level by co-founding the FIR Podcast Network – a platform for other voices to join us and talk about their passion and professional interests in audio podcasts that they create and publish under the FIR brand name.

As of June 2014, there are ten new podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network in addition to the core shows mentioned above:

  • FIR B2B – Hosted by Paul Gillin and Allan Schoenberg, FIR B2B covers the latest news in B2B communications, interviews practitioners at innovative companies, and presents weekly ideas and tips for making the most of online and in-person conversations.
  • FIR On Strategy – Presented by Andrea Vascellari, an award-winning digital marketing consultant and keynote speaker in the online communications industry.
  • AMP Up Your Social Media – A podcast on optimizing social media with GaggleAMP’s Glenn Gaudet.
  • FIR On Technology – Join Dan York to get insight and answers on the key tech topics for communicators today.
  • TV@Work – An audio show about using video to engage employees, featuring Ron Shewchuk.
  • AllthingsIC – Every month, Rachel Miller presents the latest news and views from an internal communication perspective.
  • Inside PR – The venerable North American PR podcast that started not that long after FIR did continues as a member of the FIR Podcast Network. Inside PR is a weekly podcast about public relations and social media, hosted by Gini Dietrich in Chicago, Joseph Thornley in Ottawa and Martin Waxman in Toronto and produced by Thornley Fallis. Each week, the three industry veterans take a look at the state of the PR industry, explore topical and provocative issues, discuss listener comments, and even interview an interesting guest or two.
  • Linked Conversations – Each week, Chuck Hester will show you how to use LinkedIn, talk with a guest about their experience in leveraging the platform and bring you a few tips on making the most of the most powerful social business tool on the web.
  • Thought Leadership – In each podcast, co-hosts Mitchell Levy and Michael Procopio will interview a thought leader or someone involved in thought leadership to tease out how to become an effective thought leader and best practices.
  • FIR On Higher Education – Presented by Kevin Anselmo, each episode will consist of an interview with a professor, communicator, researcher, administrator or a journalist, among others.

FIR has evolved into much more than just a hobby as it was in the early days: it’s still a labour of love but we also have sponsors:

  • Lawrence Ragan Communications – Serving communicators worldwide for over 35 years. (Ragan sponsors all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network.)
  • CustomScoop – Save time with the CustomScoop online clipping service: sign up for your free two-week trial. (Sponsor of The Hobson and Holtz Report.)
  • Igloo Software – Providers of an intranet you’ll actually like, delivered securely with their cloud platform. (Sponsor of The Hobson and Holtz Report.)

If you haven’t listened to any podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network yet, do try one out.

And contribute a comment if you wish.