Last updated 28th of January 2020
Author Lisa Hartwell
ImPRessive: Our Top 5 PR Podcasts
What are your favourite podcasts in your industry? As a business working in Communications, you can guarantee we have found many great podcasts on this topic – after all, those who work in communications love to communicate and generally do it well! We wanted to share some of our favourites and, in order to do so, we’ve broken things down into more manageable topics, starting with Public Relations.
When you talk about modern PR, it’s impossible not to cover other subject matter, such as marketing, social media and overall communications, as the lines are now blurred between these “industries” but we’ve tried to keep our selections to more PR-focussed programmes (even if they tackle other subjects within their show remit).
Here are our top 5 PR podcasts (in no particular order) as well as some honourable mentions – we hope we’ve included something for all tastes:
Our Top 5 PR Podcasts
The PR Week Podcast
Members of PR Week editorial team and special guests look at the latest news within the PR world with some commentary and informed insight. Guests from the PR world talk about their careers and the things they’ve learned, sometimes with a specific theme.
Who’s it for? This is perfect for PR professionals who want to get the top industry news from a high-level point-of-view i.e. international news, major corporates. But the team also dive deeper into those stories and provide useful nuggets, regardless of where you are in your PR career.
Any criticisms? Audio levels can be a bit erratic. Not just something that annoys audio pros when one presenter sounds louder than another or more distant, or the sound distorts when a presenter raises their voice.
Recommended Episodes: If the news is what matters to you then the most recent episode at the time of listening is for you – and if you enjoy that then you’ll probably want to binge listen to the back catalogue. But, the first 2 episodes of 2020 are both worth listening to for different reasons: 1.3.2020: The year ahead for an overview of what to expect in 2020; and 1.10.2020: Paul Gennaro, Voya Financial where he discusses the special skillset he learned in the Navy and the value of employing former forces journalists.
Sarah and Stephen Waddington (“from the north of England”) talk about important topics from the world of public relations, marketing and social media in the #FuturePRoof Podcast. Sometimes they tackle specific industry news and issues but other times they take important news stories and look at how things might be handled differently.
Who’s it for? Anyone from the UK communications’ industries that appreciates honest and practical insight and advice. Sometimes bold and blunt, but personally I find that a good thing.
Any criticisms? We want more episodes! At the time of writing, the last episode was published in October 2019. They do appear to post in series, so hopefully this is just a hiatus.
Recommended Episodes: “Celebrating Mary Meeker” looking at the latest State of the Internet report; and “LinkedIn porn, don’t do it kids” on Tim Berners-Lee’s speech on the Internet at 30, the House of Lords Select Committee report on Internet regulation and Elizabeth Warren’s comments on what she would do about big tech companies.
The Spin Sucks Podcast with Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich, founder of Spin Sucks (a platform for providing high-level content, training and community within the PR industry), tackles topics important to anyone working in communications, whether employee, agency owner or freelancer. Many of the topics have an even wider appeal, such as choosing your clients, diversifying your business and having a digital declutter, with every episode offering practical exercises relating to the topic.
Who’s it for? Anyone who is looking for practical and actionable career and business advice. Especially appealing to those who want short, info-packed podcasts (10-15 minutes) rather than chat or interviews (most podcasts are Gini talking alone). And there’s the added bonus of there being a Spin Sucks community where you can discuss the topics further.
Any criticisms? Not really a criticism because I find Gini’s presentation style engaging and fun, but if you struggle with fast-paced American accents you might not enjoy it as much (or need to listen very carefully). Similarly, these are so jam-packed with information you will struggle to listen to them while doing other things – such as driving or running - as you’ll want to reach for a pen and paper to make notes!
Recommended Episodes: Any of them! I have yet to come across an episode I wouldn’t recommend.
Ben Smith, founder of PRmoment.com interviews experts in a wide range of topics related to PR and communications. Interviews focus particularly on “leading lights of UK PR” and the UK PR scene.
Who’s it for? Especially valuable to leaders, managers and HR professionals in the industry but would be of use and interest to anybody working in PR, especially in the UK.
Any criticisms? None. The interviews dig deep, they’re well thought out, the interviewer and guests obviously know their topics, and there are plenty of takeaways that can be put into action by individuals, departments and agencies. If you don’t live in the UK, you may not be inclined to listen but there is still plenty to be gained from listening to these interviews.
Recommended Episodes: Too many to list here but, of the most recent at time of writing, I would recommend the interview with Kate Hartley on crisis communications; and Jane Fordham and James Endersby discussing mental health in PR.
The Echo Chamber Podcast
In conjunction with The Holmes Report and hosted on their website, the Echo Chamber podcast features interviews and discussions on the latest PR topics and stories and looks at trends in the industry. The show is UK based but with an international focus.
Who’s It For? Anybody in the PR industry who is interested in global insight and an overview of the industry. For those who enjoy the bigger picture and topics as well as in depth interviews.
Any Criticisms? Presenters change from podcast to podcast (rotates through a few different presenters), which some listeners dislike. Material can be a bit dry at times – again, a matter of personal preference.
Recommended Episodes: Maxim Behar (the CEO of M3 Communications in Bulgaria) On The Global PR Revolution in which he talks about his new book and how the rise of social media has changed the PR industry; and Doing Business In China; PRovoke19 Preview with Arun Sudhaman and Paul Holmes talking about the challenges for brands of doing business in China.
The Communications Guys is not focused on PR as such (otherwise it would have been in our top 5) but is hugely valuable for PR professionals (among many others). Tim Downs and Dr Tom Barrett cover all aspects of communications with the aim of making their listeners better communicators (try their 1 Day Communication Challenge).
FIR Podcast or the For Immediate Release Podcast (formerly The Hobson & Holtz Report) presented by Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson is probably the longest standing PR & communications podcast still broadcasting. Until early 2019 it went out weekly but has now moved to monthly and has one foot in the US and one in the UK. Analysis and commentary on important news and issues from the industry.
Inside PR is a “weekly” (not exactly sticking to a schedule lately) public relations podcast hosted by Gini Dietrich (of The Spin Sucks podcast), Joseph Thornley & Martin Waxman. Based in North America, they discuss industry news and issues, respond to listener comments and occasionally interview experts in the field. This one might have hit our top 5 if they were more consistent with the episodes.
PR Resolution with Stella Bayles is another UK based podcast, which features interviews with experts in emerging areas of PR.
Hanson & Hunt: The Talking Points Podcast. Arik Hanson and Kevin Hunt talk about PR and all aspects of marketing and communications. Another long-standing podcast with a more North American focus.
What’s your favorite PR podcast?
Did we miss any? It was tough to narrow down our choices to just 5, even with the honourable mentions. As I shared earlier, the line between PR and other industries is blurred, and those working in PR can benefit from podcasts on communications (like The Communications Guys), marketing, social media and other digital marketing topics. Watch this space – we’ll try to gather some more ideas for you in a future blog post!