For Patricia Raskin, founder of Raskin Resources Productions, Inc., her mission is a straightforward one: “to create positive solutions through producing podcasts for my guest experts” via “compelling content for their listeners.”
However, getting to this point has hardly been simple. It’s a combination of skills she’s honed since she was young, her previous professional achievements and a desire to embrace the popularity and reach of podcasts.
Raskin had long been a performer and educator, having begun her career as a teacher and eventually a guidance counselor. Her professional trajectory began to change in 1982, with the advent of cable TV; she simply got a show on positive people by pitching the idea to a local TV station. “I’ve always been ahead of my time,” Raskin said, explaining the ease with which she embraced the new technology.
From there, she began doing more cable shows, branching out into consulting as she grew in knowledge and skill. During a 10-year stint in North Carolina, she produced and directed documentaries for the local PBS affiliate, always with a focus on positivity in some way. “I was interviewing people who were making a difference,” she said.
In 1996, Raskin made the leap to radio. The reason for the move was simple: it allowed a wider range of guests than cable. With radio, participants from all over could call in, and the potential interview pool widened. “I really wanted to be global,” she said, and eventually, internet radio allowed her to do just that in 2002, when she created a new show that is still active today.
“I said, ‘look, I’m going to do it. I don’t know how, but I’m going to do it.’”
By 2008, Raskin returned to New England — Providence, specifically — having gotten a local slot on News Talk 630 WPRO after impressing a producer with a cold call. It was a bigger market with potential for a larger audience — that is, until a sales error left Raskin in the lurch, having to buy her own show or not do it all.
In the end, however, she decided to take the plunge. “I said, ‘look, I’m going to do it. I don’t know how, but I’m going to do it,’” she said.
And she did. “I single-handedly found sponsors,” she said, and her show’s been going there uninterrupted since.
It was while she was working in Providence that she began watching “the new wave” — namely, podcasting. Intrigued by the medium and its popularity, Raskin saw a business opportunity to bring her media talent and mentoring abilities into the burgeoning field.
She assembled a team to do just that. It includes Tony Jones, a long-time podcaster, as technical producer and Chris DiPaola, President of DiPonti Communications, who loaned out a studio with the necessary technical equipment, as media consultant.
Her role as producer is to work with clients to develop engaging content for their podcasts, allowing them to decide “what’s in [the podcast] for the listener, and how you make it interesting,” she said. “You’ve got to ground that story in the point.”
When all is said and done, a RPP client would have three, 20-minute podcasts completely produced and uploaded in three different locations: Spreaker, Stitcher and iTunes. Afterwards, Raskin gives clients the option to have another 15-20 minutes on the phone, for a marketing consultation on how to get the word out about the podcast.
Since her podcast coaching venture’s recent start in early summer, she’s helped clients from across industries develop their digital stories, and she said the results have been positive. “[The podcasts] are outstanding and people love them, and its working,” she said. Looking ahead, Raskin wants to do more of the same — a lot more. “My goal … is to do as many as I can, five or six a week,” she said.
Raskin, who’s interviewed more than 3,000 people in her career and received the 2015 Rhode Island Small Business Administration Award for her work as a solopreneur, has enjoyed the pivot her new role has brought. “[I went from] talent to director. Like Clint Eastwood!” She said. “I love the coaching. I love hosting my show or being behind the mic [just] as much, though, but the coaching, too.”