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Case Studies

Work Less and 10X your Success - A Case Study on JDN's Podcast for the Vatican

How can you balance having a profitable podcast with pro-bono work? This challenge was put to a test with one of Jose Manuel’s most recent commissions by the Vatican itself.


Pro-bono work

The pandemic has made us more aware of the suffering of others. Through this shared pain, we have come to be more willing to help each other out. Today, more than 1 billion people provide unpaid help to others across the world and pro-bono work at law firms has risen by more than 1% since 1998 to 3.9% of total billable hours (around 60 hours per year in the U.S.).

Although helping others is a noble cause, it’s not cheap. A volunteer hour for instance is reported at $29.95 in the U.S. and it keeps increasing year over year. The challenge lies in finding a balance between having a profitable business and giving back to the community.

This is what José Manuel De Urquidi has been facing as well. Since turning away from a successful business in the food and beverage industry, he had to make his podcast work and make a living out of it for both himself and his family. And if podcasting isn’t challenging enough, making a podcast about the word of God would end up being a titanic endeavor. With the creation of the Juan Diego Network podcast agency, José Manuel started a 3-year journey to make this transition which would help him reinvent himself and dedicate his life to God.

How could you balance having a profitable podcast with pro-bono work? This challenge was put to a test with one of Jose Manuel’s most recent commissions by the Vatican itself.

Embracing the Latino community through a podcast

For years there has been a lack of good quality catholic content for the Latino community which has discouraged younger generations from engaging with religion. And in a way, the pandemic proved to be both a curse and a blessing.

The pope’s speech on the 27th of March of 2020 gave hope to millions of believers all over the world. Inspired by his prayer and blessing, José Manuel created the 3/27 podcast series that would focus on people’s experiences during the lockdown. The challenge was to gather stories from Latinos across the world, reach those that don’t necessarily go to mass, and make it more engaging for listeners to embrace their faith.

José Manuel had to find answers to the following questions:

-        I want to make a gift to the Vatican and the Latino catholic community, but how do I make it affordable for my business?

-        I need to gather and edit tons of inspiring stories from my community from those early days of the pandemic, how do I do it more efficiently?

The content had to be captivating, representative of his community, and cost-efficient at the same time. This is where we could help turn José Manuel’s vision into reality.

Getting more audio in less time

With the help of influencers, artists, and catholic figures all over the world, José Manuel had all the support he needed to create this podcast series. He only had to find a way to channel it effectively.

He chose to use our end-to-end audio content solution. He recorded 20 questions about the dark and light experiences during the lockdown and sent them to the interviewees. They would record their answers in their own time (asynchronously) and send them back to create the show.

Gathering responses from multiple guests would prove to be more reliable for the continuity of the podcast later on, as the risk would be distributed among multiple responses. With no single point of failure, if one guest failed to deliver for any reason, having others would fill the void and would allow José Manuel to keep showcasing episodes every week consistently.

The response was so overwhelming that José Manuel gathered hours of audio content, much more than he originally intended. Not only that, but since the guests had time to record their answers on their own time, responses were more thought through, which made the editing process much easier. 

Just think about it. If guests send their best take on your question, you will ensure a top-notch response. Thus, you'll need less time to edit a well-constructed answer for your podcast. When you empower them, you increase the chance of getting high-quality content. And everybody wins. 

So once he edited them on our platform, he asked ESNE TV host Mía Schroeder to do a voice-over of these responses and created podcast episodes in a narrative format that would be released once a week for a year (and it’s still ongoing!).

What would have taken him months to assemble only took a few weeks. Even with pro-bono work, higher margins (in terms of time and effort) are possible.

And once the show came out, it amassed lots of media attention. Newspapers have been writing about it and thanks to all the hard work, today more than 1 million monthly listeners tune to the 70+ podcast shows on Juan Diego Network.

The next steps on the podcast journey

The successful podcast experience with the 3/27 podcast series led José Manuel to launch another show with Rumble Studio.

The podcast El DesPadre focuses on fathers sharing advice with other fathers, and if you’re interested in contributing to this podcast, you can sign up for their project on our platform.

José Manuel plans to keep expanding the use of Rumble Studio and produce other shows on JDN and thanks to this collaboration and José’s valuable feedback, we have included new features on our platform:

  •       You can now pick which microphone to use with our mic selector for recordings.
  •       You can duplicate interviews, including the audio, to use them as templates to save time.
  •       We’ve improved the user experience for both clients (e.g. text fields, enable collaboration on interviews among team members, CSV export for answers) and guests (e.g. adding question descriptions on multiple lines)

Now is the turn to get your own podcast launched with our platform. Whether it’s a pro-bono project, like Jose Manuel’s 3/27 podcast, or any other type of show, we would be thrilled to talk about it. Book a 30-minute free call with us and let’s get started!


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