Storytelling has played a prominent role in the life of Dusty Weis. Dusty took his storytelling roots, which were forged in his small, southern Wisconsin town of Monroe and made a career out of it. Dusty had an incredible close friend group growing up in Monroe who have all gone to flourish in their lives. Remarkably, Dusty and his friend group still stay in touch after all of these years. The stories from that group have to be remarkable! The group got into their fair of shenanigans and most of them wanted to get out of their small town and move on with their life. Dusty and his friends might not have realized it at that time, but this small cheesemaking town was building the foundation for the rest of their lives. Dusty describes growing up in Monroe in the promotional clip for episode 15 of Wisco Legacy, found below:
Dusty got his start in radio at the ripe age of 17 with Big Radio in his hometown of Monroe. He mostly did grunt work at the radio station, but this is where he learned how to edit audio, learned how radio worked, and built skills that he still utilizes to this day through his company Podcamp Media and his podcast Lead Balloon. He showed promise at Big Radio and earned more
opportunities throughout his time there. Dusty recalls his job at Big Radio as the best job of his life. There's something to be said about the jobs you have early on in your career. That's where you get excited about heading to work every day, constantly learn new skills, and build the foundation for the future.
After high school, Dusty attended UW-Madison where he initially pursued a career in Communication Arts Radio/TV/Film. He learned fairly early on that the TV/Film portion wasn't for him, so he pursued a major and career in journalism. After college, Dusty worked for a local media outlet in Madison and was a local correspondent for CNN. He covered the vote for Act 10 and had an incredible story of climbing into a window to get into the State Capital building in Madison to hear the vote on Act 10. If you don't remember, the State Capital building was on lock down the day of the vote, and Dusty had a prominent role in media getting into the building to hear the vote. Dusty made some great connections and wanted to see where he could take his career. With that, he made the leap and moved to Miami.
Dusty covered some really interesting stories and had an unforgettable experience down in Miami.
He from interviewing LeBron James to covering a story on The Miami Zombie - where a guy LITERALLY ate the face of another guy, to the George Zimmerman case and more. Chasing stories like this was taxing. Working in the media in Miami felt like a 24/7 job and at times it was. Dusty felt burned out and knew he needed to make a change. He had enjoyed his time in the broadcast media world, but knew where he roots were. So, Dusty packed his stuff up and moved back to Wisconsin.
Not only did Dusty move back to Wisconsin, he decided to make a career pivot. After spending the early years of his career in radio and print media, he decided to pivot into Public Relations and was hired at the Milwaukee City Hall. He had memorable first week at City Hall, one that he recounts in episode two of Lead Baloon: found here. Dusty gives us the cliff notes version in Wisco Legacy, but if you want to hear about his painful, self-destructive early interaction with Jim Bohl, a Milwaukee City Council member, tune in to Lead Balloon. It was at City Hall where Dusty was coined "The City Storyteller." That couldn't describe him better. After some time at City Hall, Dusty decided to move on from the world of politics and moved to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. This is where he discovered a passion for podcasts. He pitched an idea to his boss to start a podcast. They did and he developed and managed that process. The podcast was a success! He was continually receiving phone calls and emails from other companies wanting to create their own podcast. There, an idea sparked. He thought "there's a demand and there isn't a lot of companies focusing on branded podcast production", so he took the leap of faith and left the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and started Podcamp Media.
Dusty's first act as Founder and President of Podcamp Media was to find his first client. He didn't
look too far. He enjoyed the podcast with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers so much that, upon quitting, he asked if they could be his first client! That took some guts to quit your job, start a company, and immediately ask your former employee to pay you "x" money to produce the work that you were doing previously. But, it worked! They agreed and Dusty has been partnering with them ever since.
Dusty focuses his efforts on branded podcast content marketing. He works with clients like the National Corn Growers Association, The State of Wisconsin Investment Board, SurePayroll, and more to help them tell their stories to their clients. In an effort to showcase his skills and abilities to his clients, Dusty decided to start his own podcast. He wanted an original idea and landed on what is now known as Lead Balloon. Lead Balloon focuses on public relations disaster stories. He talks to multiple guests and walks them through the communication disaster that they went through. Lessons are learned throughout the journey, but Dusty has the impressive skill of generating a really compelling story and narrative through his podcast. I'm not the only one who thinks that. Dusty won the prestigious AdWeek's Marketing Podcast of the Year in 2020! Here is how AdWeek described the podcast (linked above).
Dusty's passion for storytelling was forged in his hometown, built upon, crafted, and refined through schooling and real world experience, and now he's using those tools to help companies tell their stories. If you are interested in working with Dusty through a branded podcast solution or have a compelling story to share through Lead Balloon, please reach out to him. The link to the contact form is below:
Click the link below to check out episode 15 of Wisco Legacy on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. The episode will drop at 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 11th. Hit that subscribe button on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts and follow Wisco Legacy on social media.
Dusty - thanks for joining Wisco Legacy!