Creator Spotlight: Tony McNeil
Tony McNeil and The Off Duty Podcast
Step into the world of law enforcement with The Off Duty Podcast—a captivating podcast that goes beyond politics and policies. This show features interviews with active and retired police officers, as well as supporters of the profession, offering listeners a personal glimpse into the lives of those who wear the uniform. Created by Anthony McNeil, a retired officer, the podcast aims to connect with the profession while providing a fun, lighthearted, and informative experience.
Introducing Anthony McNeil and The Off Duty Podcast
Every week Podium features the work of our amazing community. This week we are featuring Anthony McNeil, creator of The Off Duty Podcast—a podcast committed to the stories and lives of law enforcement.
Listen and learn more here:
Tell us about your show!
It's a weekly show where I interview active and retired police officers, as well as those who are not in the profession but support the profession in one manner or another. My podcast is unlike all other law enforcement podcasts, in that I don't get into politics or policies. It's all about the people, and getting to know the men and women who put on the uniform, on a personal level. It's fun, lighthearted and informative.
Why did you start your podcast?
I actually started the show in March of 2020 at the start of the pandemic. Two years prior I tried to do the show as a YouTube or Facebook Watch show, but it was really hard to get officers to go on camera and talk about their personal lives. In January 2020, I became interested in podcasts and Instagram. And while on IG, I started noticing what some call, "Instagram cops", and I said to myself, "These folks are not afraid to put themselves out there, let me reach out to some and turn the show into a podcast." Also, this has been my way of staying connected to the profession since retiring in 2013.
What's been your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge for me has been simply trying to keep the show different and interesting. I've changed the format up a few times, and the listeners always let me know when I'm off target. Other than that, editing would be the next thing. I have a love/hate relationship with it. LOL!
How has podcasting impacted your personal and professional life?
It hasn't impacted my personal life, but the biggest impact overall has been the networking and connections I have made with some of the great guests I've had on. Business related, I've launched a coffee brand off of the podcast, called "Java Blue Coffee Co." Cops drink lots of coffee, but I wanted to offer more than just great tasting coffee—I also wanted to give back to the profession. I've partnered with "Fund the First", a crowd–sourcing platform for first responders, and each month a percentage of the sales goes to a different campaign on the platform to help first responders in need.
What advice do you have for new podcasters?
My advice would be, don't do this expecting to make a boat load of money! You can make money, but you have to treat it as a business from day one. Also I would say, if you're going to do this long term, protect your IP, intellectual property (that would be your domain, RSS feed, logo, etc). And, get a trademark! I had someone start a new podcast and they used the exact same name as mine. Luckily for me, I had a trademark and they had to change the name. Last thing: it's a lot of work! So have fun, and enjoy it.
Anything else you'd like to share with world?
Be nice! We don't have to be the same or think the same... It's ok that we may be different. It doesn't mean we have to hate one another.
How has Podium improved your workflow?
Podium has been a game changer for me! First it has saved me a ton of time, when it comes to writing shownotes and social media posts. But one of the biggest things have been the episode titles it comes with. I've noticed that my episodes are getting more clicks from non-subscribers on podcast apps—I contribute that to the much improved and more interesting episode titles.