July 12, 2022

Advocating for Pro-Choice Through Podcasting With Arielle Nissenblatt

When Roe vs Wade was overturned, did you wonder how you could help?

"Every podcaster has a voice" is the common language in the industry, but what happens when the voices combine to advocate for change? That is precisely what Arielle did with the recent Roe vs. Wade overturned issue. She posted a call to action on Twitter which exploded into people rallying around the effort and offering to play a consistent host read ad at the beginning of their episodes.

It's a simple but powerful way where we collectively can influence a topic. But, as Arielle shares, this is just the beginning, and future causes will be added as the idea expands.

Key Topics:

·     What is the call to action you have asked podcasters to do (3:33)

·     What were the expectations going into this idea (9:18)

·     What pushback from the effort has there been since it started (13:05)

·     How could others jump on board and help support other efforts (16:27)

·     What does the future look like for Podcast activism (19:06)

·     If a podcaster wants to support a future endeavor, where is the best place to connect (23:03)

Host Read Ads Document

Ad Campaign Planning Document

Article on The Verge.com

Tweet that started the movement

Podvoices Contact Page

Website link: (https://www.podvoices.help/)

Social Links

Community Manager at Squadcast

Founder of Ear Buds Collective

CO-Host of the Sounds Profitable News Podcast

This and That With Arielle Nissenblatt Newsletter

Mentioned in this episode:

In Support of Podvoices.help June 2022 Campaign

****The pre-roll you heard is in support of https://www.podvoices.help/. The opinions expressed in this ad are solely the opinions of Mathew Passy and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of co-hosts or guests that may appear on this show. If links mentioned in the ad do not appear in these shownotes, please visit podvoices.help***


Speaker 1 (00:02)

Hello and welcome to Podcasting Anything and ask me anything for all things podcasting. I'm your host Ben Killoy and I'm joined here in the studio with Mathew Passy the Podcast Control. Matt and I wanted to move the conversation beyond the Podcasting 101 topics and move into the intermediate to advance podcasting strategy to reach your goals to interact with the show. Submit your questions to be answered live, book a podcast audible with Matthew or find the notes from today's show. Head on over to podcastnaothing.com.


Speaker 2 (00:31)

Hey all, before we get started with this episode, I just want to let you know there is a little bit of crackling and some interference on Ariel's line. I was hoping that the local recording would get around that, but it seems like that's how it was laid out. That's it. I think this is a really awesome discussion. Ariel is an incredible talent and so I hope you can see your way through the quality to enjoy this conversation with Ariel N and Blatt. All right, we are doing something very different here on the show today. One, you were listening to an interview that was going to be aired on both Podcast Me Anything and on Cause Pods. The reason why is I think this is a super interesting trend and movement that is happening in the podcasting space and it is for a very good cause. So it belongs on both of these shows. And to talk about the strength, we are delighted to be chatting with Ariel Nissenblant. She is the community manager at Squadcast. She is the founder of the Earbuds Collective newsletter. You can learn more about that@earbudscollective.org. She cohosts the Sounds Profitable News podcast.


Speaker 2 (01:33)

And we have talked about Sounds Profitable on podcast. Me anything before. And as if she wasn't busy enough, she is also creator of the this and that with Ariel Nissenblatt newsletter, which I'm not going to read the URL for that, but you can find that on her Twitter profile. You can find that a link in the show notes here. We are delighted to be chatting with the Ariel Nissan. But Ariel, thank you for joining us this evening.


Speaker 3 (01:54)

Thank you. And you are one of those people that just naturally pronounce my name correctly because of Judaism. So thank you.


Speaker 2 (02:02)

A little bit of that and also because you do an amazing job of putting the pronunciation on your Twitter profile. So it is difficult to mess it up if you read it. Plus, I love that you then took that and turned that into a newsletter this and that with Ariel Nissan blood. I think that's amazing. So the reason why we are talking, it is Tuesday, June 28, we are about five days out from the Supreme Court making this game changing edict verdict and rocking our entire world, turning over the precedent of the last 50 years and basically saying that Roe versus Wade is no longer the law of the land and there is no federal protection for abortions. You can get an abortion if you live in a state that still has those kinds of protections. But as of this conversation, nearly half the states, or just over half the states have either already enacted or getting ready to enact ways to restrict abortions. Why are we talking about this in the podcasting space? Because shortly after this news came out, I started to notice on Twitter that you and several other people who I follow and who I respect were trying to figure out how can we use our platform, how can we use our voice in order to show our disdain as well as create support for those who need to hear it right now.


Speaker 2 (03:20)

And so you have been on this amazing effort along with several others and you can tell me some of the other people who are into this, but along with a lot of people to basically try and get out there and encourage podcasters to use their voice to spread the good word. So where did this come from and what is it that you're really asking podcasters to do today?


Speaker 3 (03:41)

So I was in California when I received the notification. So I was 3 hours behind Washington, DC. So I woke up to the notification on my phone that it was bad news and I was expecting it. Everybody was expecting it. We received the leak a few months ago, but still painful because we knew it was coming at the end of June and we just didn't know exactly. When I received the notification, I had to get up and get going. I was at a conference, I was at VidCon and it felt weird that that day I was going to have to be on my game and representing Squad cast and learning about videos and learning about how videos fit into the larger podcast space and professional things. I had to be doing professional things that day and at first I was like, you know what, I'm just going to suck it up. This is just what's going on. But you can't really do that. You can't. It's such a monumental dismay that's going to affect so many millions of people. I notice I'm not just saying women. It is not just women. It's not just non binary people.


Speaker 3 (04:44)

It's not just men. Everybody is going to be affected by this decision. First. Naturally, I think I'm inclined to action. I do not sit idly by very often and that doesn't necessarily mean that I'm always doing productive things, but I'm always trying new things. And some of those things are humanitarian missions. Some of those things are, oh, let's start another newsletter. Some of those things are let me just go for a damn walk. But today, when I received that notification that day, I thought, what would be the podcaster responses? What can podcasters uniquely do that other creators cannot do, that other people cannot do? And one of those things is to run ads in their podcast. And every single podcaster can do this. Who wants to do it? You don't have to be a big podcast. You don't have to be a network back podcast. You can be an independent podcast who has an audience. Everybody at least reaches one person, I hope. And if not, you should contact me for marketing advice. You can use your platform to reach your audience, to let people know what's up, and you can send a message however you want it to be.


Speaker 3 (05:56)

My thought was let's create unified language with podcasters around the globe who are interested in informing their audiences about what happened, what resources are available, and how people can take action. If they want to take action, who can they donate to? So I put out a call on Twitter and I just said, if you are interested in working with me to create a unified message, if you're interested in working with me to create unified language around our opposition to this decision by the Supreme Court, let me know in the comments. And the reason I came up with that kind of wording, I actually didn't think too much. But it did remind me of a tweet that I made a few months ago that said something like, if you're interested in running promo swaps on your podcast with other podcasters, comment on this post similar thing. One of them is really important for right now in response to the overturning of Rob Wade. The other one is great for collaboration. For podcasters. It worked the first time. It was the second time. Second time it blew up to a different audience, to people that I'll get into who it reached and I'm so blown away by the numbers that it reached and the caliber of podcasts that it reached, but put out that call to action.


Speaker 3 (07:16)

It initially started slow in the take off and then it got reweeted by some blue check marks and then some more blue check marks and then just accounts that don't necessarily have blue checkmarks. But our big people were DMing me, telling me that this is such a great effort, how can they help? And I was at a conference, so I let people help. So I started a Google Doc and I knew we had to act fast because I knew that it would lose momentum if we didn't act fast. And I knew that I wanted to get the language out within 24 hours so that people could begin recording it on their podcast. With that in mind, I started a Google Doc where I laid out the goal was to reach people, was to provide resources and to provide support and to make sure that the language was inclusive that we were going to put out there. And I knew I couldn't do that on my own. I am not somebody who is trained in crisis management, so I made sure to get people who are scriptwriters. I made sure to talk to somebody who has worked in crisis management.


Speaker 3 (08:12)

I made sure to talk to not just white people, not just women. And over time I would say within 4 hours we had working statements. I've been talking for a while, so I want to know if you want to cut in or if I should just keep going.


Speaker 2 (08:27)

No, I mean you're the expert on this topic so I mean you've been answering the question which has been really what have you been doing and what is it that others can do right now? And so if you are listening to this episode and if you're hearing my voice, you clearly are, you've already heard our version of the ad that ran before this. But just in case you haven't, a lot of the resources that Ariel is talking about you can also find right now at Podvoices Help, that is Podvoices Help. And of course there will be a link to this in the show notes. I was not surprised to see mention of this in Pod News. And then I think I saw Hot Pod might have Done something out, but then I saw The Verge actually had put out an article talking about this effort and I guess that's kind of what you're alluding to, that this really blew up. More so than I'm not going to say you could have ever imagined, but maybe more so than you even had hoped for.


Speaker 3 (09:17)

Yeah, definitely. I think I have some connections to podcasters that have pretty big audiences either. Honestly, the way that I made a lot of my podcast friends is just by being a fan first tweeting at these people and over time becoming internet friends with them. And a lot of those people stepped up and emailed me personally and said, I really like what you're doing, take part. And I said, Hell, yeah. So one of those people is Bridget Todd who hosts the podcast. There are no girls on the Internet. She's amazing. She's so smart. She's an expert in disinformation and misinformation and she helped craft the statement that was a huge honor that she stepped up. One of my favorite podcasts that I listen to every day is called The Daily Bike Based and it's a news podcast hosted by some of the smartest people I know. And they always have a comedian or somebody who's an expert in the cultural guys on the show or just somebody who wrote a book or who has a new podcast coming out. It's such a great show, I listen to it every day. They ran the ad, they said my name on air.


Speaker 3 (10:17)

That was a huge honor. My favorite Murder.


Speaker 2 (10:20)

Did they say it correctly?


Speaker 3 (10:22)

Close. Pretty close.


Speaker 2 (10:24)



Speaker 3 (10:25)

Better than my favorite murder. My favorite Murder. Huge podcast. They said my name but my name is not important. But it's cool that they said my name. But they said nice and blat fine financial feminists from her 1st 100K, Tory Dunlap ran the ad. That was huge. That's somebody who has a huge following on TikTok and then brought that following over to Twitter and then brought that following over to her podcast which I thought was so amazing and masterclass in marketing in and of itself, podcast marketing at another time. But a lot of people have reached out either with the intention to run the ad or have let me know that they're running the ad. And then further, people have gone to Podvoices Help contacts, they put the links into their podcast that has the published ad and we are compiling those so that we can hopefully get to 1000 podcasts who are participating. Of course it's going to be hard to track every single one, but we're making an effort because I really want to show that this is reaching a lot of people with resources and with helpful information that will hopefully reach somebody who needs to hear it.


Speaker 2 (11:32)

Now, I am not shocked or surprised to hear that many of the people in the podcasting universe, especially the one that we tend to have overlapping relationships with, I mean, there are lots of different podcasting communities and to think that the one that you're in is the only one, is egotistical and crazy. But that said, there are a lot. I was not surprised to see the response of a lot of the folks in our overlapping podcast community but to hear some of those really large shows. The ones that might have been on the new and noteworthy section of Apple. The ones that kind of get regular news coverage when they put out new episodes to see that they were taking apart. Is awesome and incredible and I'm sure you're going to hit a thousand very easily and hopefully very quickly. Maybe even by the time this episode has aired. You've already reached that number. Now I'm curious because earlier today I did an interview with someone for an episode of Cause Pods. He does a show that talks to folks who have dealt with abuse and trauma related to, frankly, religious institutions and cults and communities that more likely than not are going to be on the other side of this decision.


Speaker 2 (12:44)

We're probably celebrating what the Supreme Court did and he was saying that there is a lot of vitriol and anger and just meanness that comes out and I'm wondering if any of that has started to bubble up in response to this effort. If any of the podcasters or leaders or the community that has taken part in this effort has already started to see a little bit of pushback from the other side.


Speaker 3 (13:11)

I am extremely grateful that I have had like 1% of the comments or the reaction to this whole effort has been negative. And I know the other side of it because I went viral a few months ago. I went miniviral on Tik tok a few months ago for a video where I was voicing my support for Neil Young when he said that he was leaving Spotify because of Joe Rogan. And I didn't even say much. I just played Old Man, Old Man, take a look at my life. I love that song. So I just played that song and I screenshot of the tweet and I essentially pointed it to the tweet and was like, Yay, Neil Young, right? I didn't even say much. And yet the pro Joe Rogan trolls were out. And it was really scary. Honestly, I had to hide the comments because I got nervous that they were just saying such hateful things about me. And I've seen the other side. I've seen good and bad. I had a tweet go viral last year that said a podcast where parents try to explain what their adult children do for a living. And it got 100,000 plus likes, comments, all the things that one too, I got.


Speaker 3 (14:24)

1% of the comments of the reaction to it was negative. And the only negative was like, Isn't that ages? And I was like, no, because I could say the same thing about my parents not knowing what I do or me not knowing what my parents do. I'm just saying it's funny. So I've seen the good, I've seen the bad, I've seen the negative and the positive. And thankfully, I have not seen much pushback. The pushback that I have seen is James Craiglin covered it in his newsletter, Pod News, and he posted about it on Twitter. He said one person unsubscribed. One person then said, are you going to cover the other side of things? And then somebody else commented, I'm pretty sure that the other side is covered by the fact that Roe was overturned. So I think we're okay. So thankfully I'm giggling. But it's obviously not funny that people are treating this like it's not a human rights issue. It's a human rights issue. People are going to die because they're not going to have access to abortion. I'm not being alarmist. This is the truth. People die already in childbirth, hopefully.


Speaker 2 (15:33)

I wholeheartedly agree with what you're saying. And yes, this is a human rights issue. This is a healthcare issue. And above everything else, I respect that people have a religious view. What I don't need is for their religious view to change the way that I have to live my life or that anybody else should have to live their life. So I will support your right to have a religious view to the death, but what I will not support is you trying to impose that view on me, on anybody else, and especially using our government to do so. I'm with you 100%. But I suspect that there are many podcasters who agree with us, who want to support, who want to do the right thing, who have that fear that taking that public stance could be problematic for them, whether it is personal, professional or whatever, any encouraging words, advice or something that you would say to those listening who are thinking, I really do want to get off the sidelines.


Speaker 3 (16:32)

It's really, really hard. It's really scary to put yourself out there like that, especially if this is a view that you have that your family and friends don't necessarily know that you have. Maybe you come from a community that's more conservative and you've become more progressive in the years since you lived or interacted with the people in those community, in that community. I think it's really important to say something. I think there are people who need to hear your support. There are people who need to know that it's not just women who care about this issue. There's a podcast called Reddit on Wiki. They shared the pre roll ad in their podcast and they're interesting because their podcast was doing for a while and then they blew up on TikTok for doing a bunch of Am I the asshole videos and they actually had me on their show to discuss Am I the Asshole? It was really fun. They have 200,000 plus followers on TikTok and a lot of those followers follow them over to their podcast, which is another really interesting marketing experiment, which is really good for them. And they just recently made a post about it.


Speaker 3 (17:39)

Anyway, they made this declaration on their podcast and they had somebody reach out and they screenshot the review and it said, thank you so much for speaking out about this. I have not heard a lot of men speak out about this. So thank you for doing that. And I think if you can be that man, if you can be that non woman to say something that is going to go so far for so many people and we need your support. We need your support. We need to know that you respect the fact that women have agency over their own bodies. And I really encourage you, if you want to talk to me personally about how you should do it, how you should come out as pro choice, please feel free to send me a DM.


Speaker 2 (18:20)

Send me an email on the broader spectrum. And by the way, we could talk to you for hours probably about everything else you do in the podcasting space. Between your work with Squad Cast, your work with expertise in marketing, what you're doing, what sounds profitable, like you are just a treasure trove of knowledge and wisdom and hopefully we'll get you back on and take advantage of that as well another time. But do you think that what we're seeing today, led by your efforts or even others out there, do you think that this could be kind of the start of the pod activist scene, revolution, whatever you want to call it? Do you think that we are going to be seeing more of this kind of activism taking place within podcasting community as pre roles, as content, as whatever.


Speaker 3 (19:06)

Yeah, I do. Marcus de Paula bought the Domain Podvoices Help within the day that I announced this preroll campaign. And I think the intention, if you look at the website, is to use it not just for this, but for other things that might happen down the line. And the language that we use in the statement says that this decision by the Supreme Court could lead to the overturning of other fundamental rights that we have held as we've taken for granted over the years, as fact as what we have. Gay rights, gay marriage could all be on the line. And it sounds alarmist if you said that to me five years ago or before Trump, but now it's really a thing. So yes, I think we made Voices Help with the intention of providing folks this language and with these links. And in theory, they could take those links and just throw them into their show notes week after week. If they don't want to run the pre roll ad, they can always have the back up in their show notes or on their website. I've already seen Bipod podcast creators has put out a statement.


Speaker 3 (20:17)

I think they call it Podcasters Unite and it's on their website and they're encouraging podcasters around the world to adopt the language and to share in social posts and to share the language in their newsletters that Podcasters Unite for the podcasters are coming together to oppose this decision and ones that might be coming down the line. And podcasters have a voice. Like I said at the beginning, you reach people, you reach more than one person. I was listening to the Sounds Profitable creator's webinar today, led by Tom Webster, and he said that all podcasts bring in new listeners because when you become a podcaster, that's at least one more new listener. And in theory, you're probably bringing other people, parents, family who want to hear your voice and hopefully people who are not your friends and family to listen to your podcast. If not, let me know and I can help you with your marketing. But the point is you're bringing new listeners into the fold, which means you are reaching people with a potentially vital message.


Speaker 2 (21:23)

Just as you start to answer this question. I can kind of see a scenario where maybe in a couple of months from now, pod Voices Help has been updated, or let's just say this was five months ago, right? Pod Voices that Help could have been blue and yellow flags and the thing that says podcasters in support of Ukraine with the Russian invasion war that's happening over there, right? Just a way to help and encourage and enable podcasters who would not have that writing skill or that impetus to use their platform for action and for social justice and for other causes to do that, right? To give them that assistance, give them that support to give them that community knowing that they wouldn't be doing it alone. And I could see this Pod Voices Help becoming a very powerful platform for lots of great causes in the future and I am even more encouraged by this effort than I was when I originally reached out to you earlier today to talk to you about this.


Speaker 3 (22:22)

And I will say that the website has already gotten so much traffic that we've already gotten spam.


Speaker 2 (22:27)

Nice, you have made it. So we're going to put a link to the doc that has the hosted ads. You can kind of check out, you can see the language there's reads for 30, 60 international, there's longer ads if you want to do a postal as well as all the text, language and links that you can put in your show notes so that others can take part in this effort. But what else to others hearing this who are thinking yes I want to take part in this, I want to use my podcast to further this cause or maybe a future cause. What else can they do to get involved or be a part of this community?


Speaker 3 (23:04)

What would be most helpful is to retweet the original tweet that has a call to action in it because that is the one that keeps getting re upped when somebody new finds it and that makes it reach more people. So if you follow me on Twitter or if you find me on Twitter at re this and that it's pinned to the top of my profile. That is the best way to get all the information. That's where coming up with the idea. I included all of my updates, I said mid morning update, afternoon update, evening update as we were getting the dock ready to go out and it has all the updates for which podcast me anything. It what press coverage we're getting. So that's really I think the most important landing page per se and then definitely go to Pod Voices Help where you can find the language for yourself. So that is where you'd go if you are ready to do the reading and then to find the links to paste into your show notes or onto your website. But in order to spread the word retweet the original tweet, we will put.


Speaker 2 (24:04)

A link to that tweet as well in the show notes. So everything that we've talked about you'll be able to find right here. Whether you're listening to this on the Call spots feed or the Podcast Me Anything feed, we'll have all those resources, all this information for you. So if you are inspired you can jump in and get started right away. Ariel, like I said, I could probably talk to you for hours about everything else that you were doing in the podcasting space. I'm almost daily seeing something coming across my feet from you and thinking my God, is she cool. So thank you for taking time today to talk about this amazing effort and this great cause and look forward to doing it again in the future. Bye.