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Listening Before Speaking: Molly Ruland’s Podcast Revolution

Listening Before Speaking: Molly Ruland’s Podcast Revolution


For the last 22 years, Molly Ruland has utilized the power of podcasting to nurture business’ relationships and branding. In an age of content inundation, Ruland has garnered meaningful success for hundreds of clients through the creation of authentic auditory connections.

“Listening is the revolution”. This is the mantra Molly Ruland, CEO and founder of Heartcast Media, has lived and conducted business by for the past two decades. Heartcast Media occupies a unique niche within the public relations industry, solely focusing on the influence that podcasting can have in building business relations or amplifying brand strategy. Single-handedly crafting a company that harnesses the authentic appeal of listening, Ruland has garnered the likes of NATO, DC Government, NBA players, and many more as loyal clients. 

With the podcast boom that has taken place over the last five years, seeing millions of shows find their way to listener’s earbuds, most organizations are only recently tapping into podcast usage as a marketing funnel and business development tool. Ruland has just been waiting for them to catch up. 

From the beginning of her career, Ruland found inspiration in the sounds of her surroundings and the authenticity of auditory experiences. In the early days of her podcasting career, Ruland describes the constant influence of her office’s location in Washington, DC: “I owned a studio across from the legendary Howard Theater. I’ve always been really obsessed with pirate radio and uncensored content, and the Howard Theater was the first black theater in the U.S. at a time when black people weren’t even allowed at the theater. They had Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn. So I’ve always loved that medium. But what I saw was a real gap between the creative world and the business world”.

“I see creative people working with nothing, creating masterpieces”, she continues. “Then in the business world, you’ll pay a company 25 grand a month to be your brand agency, and they deliver nothing”. As the era of social media domination dawned, Ruland noticed that entrepreneurs and companies tended to focus on quantity over quality when it came to content production. 

Thus, Ruland took full advantage of her multimedia expertise and the disconnect she observed between businesses and their marketing. “I [wanted] to create something where I can take all the chops that I got from doing a lot with nothing and bring that into the business world and say, ‘if you put some money and effort behind it, you can create impactful [content] that’s actually authentic and drives revenue’”. 

This led to the creation of Heartcast Media’s services: full-service podcast production for entrepreneurs, and strategic podcast placement for those looking to amplify their business. Ruland provides those looking to start their own podcasts with top-of-the-line microphones, booms, earphones, audio and video editing, and personalized podcast strategy. With 94% of home-grown podcasts unable to survive past their first episode, Ruland’s expertise is invaluable in this space and has led to the staying power of dozens of Heartcast Media’s clients.

Heartcast Media focuses intently on providing their clients with the best podcasting equipment available, because “in this virtual world that we’re living in, what you’re saying and how it’s being delivered audibly are just as important”. 

Likewise, Ruland utilizes her extensive podcasting connections to get guest placements for her clients with shows that match their organization’s message and audience. Through the guests’ forming of authentic relationships with the host and genuine messages delivered to potential customers, they receive natural magnification that garners results.

“All business is done based on relationships. The quality of your life and the quality of your business are 100% based on [your] relationships. So a podcast is a great way to form that relationship. Relationships are dollars, and the gift of reciprocity is real. So it’s not about volume. Because twelve well-targeted, strategic interviews with people you want to do business with, or people that are aggregators to the people that you want to do business with will fill your pipeline for the year”.

Ruland contends the power of strategic podcast placements lies in the defiance of the “shiny object syndrome”. While many company’s R&D teams strive to be a part of every microtrend and the internet joke du jour, “the world listening audience wants [authentic] and longer form content”. 

Ruland also notes that this yearning for authenticity has been intensified by the epidemic of loneliness that’s plagued us since the throes COVID-19. Listening to each other is “where all the magic is. That’s where the bonds happen between people. That’s when we feel a little bit less alone, because I think the whole world is a little bit plagued by that right now”. Ruland’s sentiment was proven during the pandemic, exemplified by Heartcast’s 200% growth over that period. It’s clear to see: “podcasts aren’t going [away]”.

Because of Heartcast Media and Ruland’s focus on excellence, she and her team are deeply involved with their clients at every stage of their podcasting journey. Ruland coaches her clients on the preparation and follow-up required for constructive interviews, lends her expertise on the creation of their ‘podcast voice’, and schedules the release of episodes. Further, she guides her clients on how to get the most out of every aspect of their podcast, through SEO and social media graphics creation.

Ruland’s client testimonials speak for themselves. Kelly Feldcamp of Provention Plus shared “Molly and her team made the process so easy. Hand-holding me from the title of the podcast, to the kind of music we play, to editing the clips. They made sure I had the opportunities to speak to the right people. Molly focused on the hard stuff, and I just needed to have the conversations”. Heartcast led former NBA all-star Spencer Haywood’s podcast to over 500,000 impressions on social media, with no signs of slowing down. 

It is apparent Ruland has mastered the art of listening. If you are looking to amplify your organization, generate revenue, and create valuable relationships, it’s time to tune in.

To learn more about Heartcast Media or begin your podcasting journey with Molly Ruland today, please visit their website.

Written by: Emily Hellam

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