Top Retail Podcasts PR Pros Should Know

For retail companies, podcasts have become increasingly popular over the past couple of years. Many have made their way into PR plans, and for good reason  They’re a great way to showcase an executive or industry expert’s knowledge and expertise on the ins and outs of the retail industry at a challenging time. 

But with so many different podcasts out there, it can be tough to pin down which should be considered. It’s the job of the PR team to sift through the variety of shows to assess which are most worth a business executive’s time. 

With that in mind, here are five retail podcasts to check out and consider for retail companies who want to amp up their podcast footprint.

Total Retail Talks

Produced by the well-regarded retail publication Total Retail, the podcast is hosted by Joe Keenan and targeted to executives who crave the knowledge and insights necessary to stay afloat in the busy, ever-changing retail industry. It consists of topical interviews and chats with a wide variety of guests. Listeners will absorb too-notch information and practical advice from retail experts, influencers and leaders. 

Recent Guests: Alexander Sienkiewicz (CMO, SwimOutlet), James Brohamer (Director of Omnichannel Marketing, Purple), Jessica Herrin (CEO & Founder, Stella & Dot)

Retail Gets Real

Retail Gets Real is a weekly podcast from the National Retail Federation (NRF) that showcases authentic, insightful chats with some of the most interesting and important people in the industry. Each week, retail executives, industry experts, entrepreneurs, influencers and more come on the show to discuss current trends, their personal stories and what the future holds for the retail industry. 

Recent Guests: Amanda Hesser (CEO & Co-Founder, Food 52) and Merrill Stubbs (President & Co-Founder, Food 52), Sharon Leite (CEO, The Vitamin Shoppe), Amy Vener (Head of Retail Strategy, Pinterest)

The Jason & Scot Show

Hosted by industry vets Jason Goldberg (Chief Commerce Strategy Officer at Publicis) and Scot Wingo (CEO of GetSpiffy and Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor), this weekly podcast focuses on the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing and its most prominent trends. Episodes include interviews with retail and e-commerce leaders, deep dives into key topics, as well as any timely news. 

Recent Guests: Nick Huzar (CEO, OfferUp), Juozas Kaziukenas (Founder and CEO, Marketplace Pulse), Kasey Lobaugh (Principal & Chief Retail Innovation Officer, Deloitte)

The Modern Retail Podcast

The Modern Retail Podcast is hosted by Digiday Managing Director of Editorial Products Shareen Pathak. Each week, it features an interview with an entrepreneur or executive in the retail or DTC space. There have been more than 100 episodes of the show so far, and it’s a favorite for those looking to hear insightful commentary from some of the brightest names in the industry. 

Recent Guests: Stuart Landesberg (CEO, Grove Collaborative), Franklin Isacson (Co-Founder, Coefficient Capital), Nick Ling (Co-Founder, Pattern)

Retail Focus Podcast

The Retail Focus podcast takes a close look at the world of retail as a whole. Everything from the latest trends to new businesses developments to more general, historical perspectives are covered each week. Podcast episodes include news summaries, interviews and a look into what’s on the horizon for the retail industry. 

Recent Guests: Karl Haller (Consumer Center of Competency, IBM), Meghann Martindale (Global Head of Retail Research, CBRE), Paul Cohen (National Sales Director, CREXi)

A Journalist’s POV: 3 Questions From A PR Team

Like many in the PR world, I am an unabashed podcast junkie. The best of the genre provide in-depth looks at a range of people or ideas, and they often include the extra interview questions that you just don’t get on traditional radio shows. Podcasts can spark ideas that are just irresistible to the PR profession. One of my personal favorites is The Sporkful food podcast at WNYC Studios, and its thoughtful and witty host, Dan Pashman (who also hosts the Cooking Channel show “You’re Eating It Wrong.”)

Reliably entertaining whether discussing something scientific or just loving on favorite foods, (I’m a sucker for his bagel musings) The Sporkful is a must-listen. In our Q & A with him below, Dan, who also happens to do his own PR, gave us his no-holds-barred perspective on how PR pros can improve their relationships with producers.

Q: Do you find that PR people understand how to work well with a podcast producer and what would you say are the differences between “pitching ” an interview on a traditional radio broadcast vs a podcast? 

A: I find that most PR people don’t know how to work with any kind of producer. I think the main difference with podcasts vs. radio is that podcasts are more niche. They are more specific in what they cover. So you really, really have to know what a podcast covers and specializes in before you pitch them if you want to have success. I do a food podcast, but there are whole parts of the food world and food-related topics that I have no interest in and never cover. I often get sprayed with food pitches from people who have clearly never listened to a single episode of The Sporkful.

Q: How often do you work with PR reps and what is an example of a good experience you have had?
Here Dan was kind enough to compliment Crenshaw and another agency whom he cited as consistently opting for “quality over quantity.” Dan continued to say that he finds most PR people lazy, but qualified this by saying they rely too heavily on compiling huge media lists and sending mass email pitches so they can tell their client, “I pitched you to this place and that place!”

A: Sending a mass email is not a pitch. I never send the exact same pitch to two people. You’re better off sending 10 individual, personalized pitches that are custom tailored to the specific recipients than you are sending one mass email to 1,000 people. You’ll get about the same number of hits and you’ll build good will and a strong contact base. I always read the emails I get from my trusted PR sources because they know what I do and they only email me when they have a good idea that could really fit. We don’t always go for it, but I always read the email and consider it. (And to be clear, I can easily tell the difference between a person who spent 30 seconds scanning my website so they could reference something specific I’ve done and someone who actually listens.)

Q: What advice would you have for someone who wanted to start a podcast, perhaps one about PR? 

A: There are a couple of specific PR podcasts but they tend to be very “Inside Baseball,” it might be interesting for someone to produce one that was more fun and appealed to a broad audience by telling some PR secrets or pulling back the curtain on some interesting stories –that the layperson would have no clue – were PR-generated. PR is so much about presenting a certain image or idea to the world, I think people who are really immersed in PR can become so accustomed to communicating with a certain filter. I’d love to hear PR people talking without that filter. Anyone up for the challenge?