Public relations pros tend to love podcasts, and we’re no exception! Once an under-the-radar media form that blended the old school (radio) with the new (digital distribution), podcasts have certainly come into their own. We love them for obvious reasons: many are incredibly informative, taking the time to thoroughly explain an important topic, and how it affects and changes our world. We listen to learn, understand, and be able to better serve our clients in diverse industries, from technology and design, to food and beverage, and 3D printing.
But more than that, the podcasts we love are simply riveting. We appreciate the brilliance of simple storytelling, and draw lessons on how the best podcasts employ drama, suspense, surprise, and curiosity to tell stories. We also love listening to expert interviewers, how they question and probe (or not) to draw out the best responses from subjects. These observations inform the work we do as professional communicators and media relations specialists, making podcasts a must-listen in our minds.
Here are our top picks for podcasts PR people should be listening to.
Note To Self (formerly New Tech City). As a tech PR firm in New York City, “the tech show about being human” is an obvious pick. It’s easy to get so caught up in breaking technology news and lose sight of the bigger picture. Note To Self helps us take a step back and analyze the impact technology is having on us — which gives us the perspective we need to keep things fresh and new.
Taking Stock. This interview format show from Bloomberg is essential for those wanting to understand what makes markets tick. The top minds of Wall Street dish on the latest business news, providing instant insights for the PR pro needing to become well versed in the nuances of the global business world.
Startup. Our team often works with technology startups, and this podcast is a window into the world of what it’s really like to get a business off the ground. Alex Blumberg, a veteran of the podcast world, keeps the stories expertly informative and entertaining at the same time.
Nerdist. We love host Chris Hardwick for being a nerd long before it was considered cool. Among the many ventures of this stand-up comedian and media personality, Nerdist keeps us up to date on pop culture happenings with its celebrity interviews, which is, of course, a must for PR.
Reply All. Another podcast from Blumberg’s Gimlet Media, this one is “a show about the internet,” a topic so ubiquitous we take it for granted. The show reminds us of how technology influences our lives, often in ways we can personally relate to.
99 Percent Invisible. This podcast about “the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world” is especially informative when you work with companies that are spearheading innovation in technology and design.
Death, Sex and Money. An irresistible listen to personal stories about topics we all wonder about, but rarely discuss. Helpful for its narrative storytelling form, and to keep us curious and thinking.
Fresh Air. An oldie and a classic. Fresh Air started as an interview format radio show in 1987, hosted by Terry Gross, one of the most skilled interviewers around. The Peabody Award-wining daily covers everything from politics to the arts and culture. Gross never fails to unearth details and angles not heard anywhere else. If you’ve fallen behind on keeping up with media, listen to a week’s worth of Fresh Air podcasts, and you’ll quickly have a handle on happenings in the world.