Training & Development

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Podcast Lab - Online

Start date:
Oct 12, 2021
Ability Level:
Intermediate to Advanced

Lab Overview & Structure

This fascinating programme will provide participants with the knowledge, resources, and mentor support for developing their project both creatively—through story development and sound editing workshops—and strategically, with discussions on industry landscape, pitching, marketing, and releasing their project in today’s audio landscape.

In this course, participants will learn the basics of audio storytelling, the art of creating and producing distinctive audio podcasts. They will gain hands-on experience recording and editing with direction from industry experts. Participants will leave with an enriched understanding of the global podcasting landscape and its key players. They will receive invaluable tips on tools, funding models, audience development, distribution, and gain insights on how they will measure their success.

Dates: 12 – 17 October 2021
Hours: Daily session of 4 hours (4 to 8 PM Doha time)
Language: English
Lab Fee: 1,100 QAR
Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Group Size: 6 projects will be selected with a maximum of two attendees per project
Deadline: 3rd October

Lab Objectives

Participants will learn:

  • About the main global players in the podcast industry
    • Platforms like Apple, YouTube, Spotify, Google Podcast etc.
      • Their strengths and weaknesses for creators (especially metrics)
      • Their significance and role in the industry
    • International podcast networks like Deezer, Kerning Cultures, Sowt, etc.
    • All other podcasts.
  • To define their audience and podcast with a purpose
  • To write scripts, map narrative arcs, and generate immersive stories for audio
  • Planning, team roles, and workflow mapping
  • How to choose (and use) the right equipment for their podcast
  • Beginner sound editing
  • To record interviews and edit them
    • Interview prep
    • How to get great tape in your interview
    • The ethics of editing quotes
  • How to brand and market their podcasts
  • Business models
  • Options for distributing their podcast
  • How to pitch their podcast to the industry.

No previous podcasting or audio editing experience is required, and participants should arrive with some ideas about the
type of podcast they would like to make.

The Lab is open to serialized and story-driven audio project. Fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid style projects are
eligible, and projects can be either short-form or long-form series.


The workshop is designed for audio storytellers and producers or anyone interested in entering the Podcast Industry.
Participants must be from Qatar or the MENA region. A total of six to eight participants will be selected for the

No previous podcasting or audio editing experience is required, but participants should arrive with strong ideas about
the type of podcast they would like to make.

The Lab is open to serialized and story-driven audio projects. Fiction, non-fiction, and hybrid style projects are
eligible, and projects can be either short-form or long-form series.

Who Can Apply?

  • Participants in later stages of development must have a pilot script, show trailer, or sample audio. Participants in early stages of development should have a comparable proof of concept detailing their ideas.
  • Participants must have a project presentation with essential information about their intended show, including potential hosts, guests, and topics. Serial narrative projects should detail their full narrative arc and all relevant backstory.
  • Long-format, short-format, limited series, in fiction and non-fiction are eligible.

Submission Requirements
Project information should be extensive enough to give reviewers the fullest idea possible of your audio project.

  1. Project dossier, including:
    • Synopsis
    • Creator’s note detailing intentions and goals
    • Visual concept or pitch deck, if applicable
    • Script and treatment, if applicable
    • Any preliminary topical research and a list of interviews, voice actors, or sources you have contacted or might approach to participate
    • Biography of the creative team and key crew members
    • Production company information
    • Supplementary materials as desired (audio trailer, etc.)
  2. A letter outlining your motivation to participate in the lab, describing the project’s current stage and its needs—and sample questions you would like to discuss in the workshop.
  3. Link(s) to producer’s previous work
  4. Copy of passport or government-issued ID.

Please submit your materials before 3rd October in Word or PDF format to including your full name, project title, email and phone contact in all text documents.

Course Overview

Day One: Foundations

  • Introductions
    • All participants: ideally, 6 teams maximum w/ two people per team able to join.
    • Lab producer: Alexandra Blair
      Lead lab mentor: Stephanie Kuo, Senior Manager of training at PRX
  • Introduction to the Podcasting Landscape & Lingo
  • MENA Podcasting Overview + Q&A

Day Two: North Star

  • Defining Your Audience
  • Identifying “top down” trends in your space
  • Guest: Global/Local trends in audio

Day Three: Storytelling

  • Audio Storytelling
  • Mapping a Narrative Arc
  • Guest: Audio storytelling

Day Four: Production

  • Equipment, Interview & Recording
  • Software & Editing

Day Five: Making it Work

  • Workflow Mapping
  • Money, Audience Development, and Measuring Success
  • Guest: Business development for audio projects in MENA

Day Six: Talking About Your Project

  • Facing the Industry
  • Marketing and branding
  • Guest: marketing for audio

Lab Mentors

Lab Programme Producer

Alexandra Blair’s work lives at the intersection of transformative problem solving, radical agility, and media. Her goal: to empower all creators to nimbly address 21st century demands with confidence and empathy.

Currently she serves as the Project Manager for PRX and Google’s joint podcasting initiative where she has generated and delivered design-thinking-centric training and creative mentorship to more than 300 audio creators the world over.

She also helps bring fresh modes of thought into the classroom with the department of Journalism + Design at The New School where she collaborates with a cross-disciplinary team to create design and systems thinking resources for aspiring journalists across the United States.

Previously, she worked in music media, appearing on New York Times’ Popcast, NPR’s Worldview and masterclass music-centric programming at Moogfest 2017 and 2019.

She is a proud first generation college graduate and received her BFA from Parsons School of Design with highest honors and a curricular focus on journalistic practices and memory in art and design. Find her climbing any given rock near Houston, TX.

Lead lab mentor

Stephanie Kuo is the Director of Training at PRX, overseeing all training accelerator programs for early-stage podcasters and organizations of all sizes around the U.S. and the world.

Stephanie manages a dynamic team of project managers and podcast design strategists to support audio creators looking to refine their podcast ideas, identify and grow their target audience, and develop unique plans for sustainability and success.

Past work includes managing Project Catapult, a PRX initiative with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, to help public radio stations make podcasts as a way of reaching new audiences; the Google Podcasts creator program for independent international podcasters; and Ready to Learn, in partnership with PBS, to create educational podcasts for children ages 4-8.

Stephanie studied journalism at the University of Texas at Austin and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

Guest Speakers

Claudius Boller
Managing Director Middle East, Africa and South Asia (excl. India) at Spotify 

Claudius Boller is Managing Director for MEA+ at Spotify. He oversees new market launches, strategy and operations for the world’s biggest music streaming subscription service in these markets. 

Prior to his engagement at Spotify, Claudius headed Digital Business, Business Development and Brand Partnerships as Vice President at Universal Music MENA for 7 years. He developed and executed Universal Music’s MENA strategy and brought the Dubai operation and business to life.

Before joining Universal Music, Claudius was Vice President Business Development at Arvato/Bertelsmann in Dubai and Hamburg for 4 years. He was responsible for digital content solutions for mobile operators, technical service providers, media companies and brands.

Claudius developed customized services for his clients in more than 35 countries. He also developed the relevant marketing and implementation plans for the digital entertainment services to be successful.
Prior to his career at Arvato, Claudius worked in several Advertising agencies in Germany, UK, Austria and Greece as Account Manager and New Business Freelancer.

Kevin O’Connell

Kevin is a professional musician, audio engineer/producer, educator, and arts advocate with a focus in creative development, mentorship, and production. As an educator and arts advocate, he founded the West Suburban YMCA Center for the Creative Arts (YCCA) – a 360-degree youth music and media program serving youth and teens in the MetroWest suburbs of Boston. 

As an engineer and producer, he has worked with a number of local, regional and international artists and musicians including Grammy Recording Artist Alex Torres y Sú Orquestra.

As a musician, Kevin performs and records with Boston-based rock band Coral Moons, releasing their debut full-length LP ‘Fieldcrest’. Kevin can be seen taking the stage with other New England artists including the Ballroom Thieves, Hawthorn, Kaiti Jones, and Tory Silver.

Formerly the Studio + Operations Manager at the PRX Podcast Garage in Allston, MA, Kevin has recently joined the team at Descript as a Product Specialist, working with and training audio teams around the world.

Mayss Al Alami

Mayss Al Alami is an Amman-based writer and digital communications manager. Her work explores the use of digital media in its various forms as a medium for education, activism, intersectional solidarity and storytelling. She currently works with the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy (PIPD) and its digital brand, Rābet, and has previously worked with Sowt Podcasting on developing business strategy to produce podcasts in Arabic for the SWANA region.

Michael Russo

Previous to Mike’s work in public radio marketing and podcast production he was a full-time professor at The University of Missouri – Columbia as a Marketing and Video Production lecturer in their Communication Studies Department. In addition Mike has over 10 years of experience working for various media organizations and holds a Master’s Degree from The Rhode Island School of Design.  Currently Mike is the Director of Audience Development for KCUR 89.3 and Classical KC as well as the director of KCUR studios (The podcast development wing of KCUR 89.3). In Mike’s freetime he is a podcast marketing] contractor doing work with international brands, B2B podcasts and culture podcasts.

Ryan Dilley
Producer at Pushkin Industries

A journalist and audio producer, Ryan Dilley has created hit shows for Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast company, Pushkin Industries. ‘The Happiness Lab with Dr Laurie Santos’ and ‘Cautionary Tales’ have attracted ten of millions of downloads since they debuted in 2019. Ryan has also made podcasts with the likes of Marc Maron, John Oliver, Alexis Ohanian, Elizabeth Banks and John Cleese; and advised clients including The British Council, Channel 4 Television and The Times of London.     

Ryan previously worked at the BBC, where he edited some of the corporation’s biggest TV and radio news shows.

Hebah Fisher

Hebah Fisher is a serial entrepreneur and journalist. She is the co-founder of Kerning Cultures Network, the award-winning podcast network with 13 original Arabic and English shows that regularly top the charts across the Middle East and North Africa. Kerning Cultures Network stories have aired on Radiolab, Gimlet Media, 99% Invisible, and NPR. To learn more about Hebah, listen to her episode on al empire.

Sharon Mashihi
Sharon Mashihi works in the mediums of audio, film, and performance. In 2018, Sharon won the Third Coast International Audio Prize Silver Award for her audio documentary, Man Choubam (I Am Good.) Her latest project is a metafictional audio series called, Appearances, which was named the number 1 podcast of 2020 by Podcast Review from The L.A. Review of Books and one of the “Best New Podcasts of 2020” by The New York Times. Sharon is a former editor of the podcasts, The Heart and KCRW’s Bodies.


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