If you’re in PR and you love podcasts, there’s a good chance you listen to The Daily from the New York Times or This American Life from NPR. With this in mind, I’m not going to include them on this list of the Top Five Podcasts for PR People When They’re Off the Clock.
I’m going to recommend some that I think are worth your while but which are not business-related. They may stretch your mind, or give you some context that could be missing. So, let’s get started.
Imagined Life from Wondery
This podcast explores the idea of what it may be like to be famous before actually being famous. The podcast describes itself as an “immersive journey into a world-famous person.”
As such you are introduced to a famous person in a very creative way. You hear the story and get clues to “your” identity as the episode rolls along. It isn’t until the end of the episode that you find out who you really are.
History that Doesn’t Suck
Full disclosure, I know this podcast and its host well, so you may sense a bit of bias here. Nevertheless, I’m going to make an objective case as to why PR people need to listen. In a word, context. Far too many public relations professionals are deficient in their understanding of what came before. This is a liability for any PR pro, because everything we are doing today needs context, and the only way to get that is to have a greater understanding of history.
Professor Greg Jackson, your host, painstakingly and entertainingly takes you on the story of America, from its founding and into the 20th Century, devoting whole episodes to some of the most significant chapter’s in America’s history. You’ll find yourself amazed at what you didn’t know before, and it just may shape the way you put your own work into context today.
You may or may not be into true crime podcasts, but that’s not exactly why you should listen to this one. Aaron and Justin, your hosts, are tremendous storytellers, but the stories they tell are real-life, or real-death as the case may be.
This is one of the first true crime podcasts that ever existed and has stood the test of time because the show’s creators stay true to the facts. They’re careful not to sensationalize or speculate. Yet, they weave a story of each individual case that keeps you listening from start to finish. If you want to learn how to craft a story and be glued to a quality podcast, check this one out.
That’s the Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe
If you’ve ever watched Mike Rowe’s breakthrough TV series called “Dirty Jobs,” you know the host is willing to go anywhere or do anything for his audience. This podcast doesn’t put Mike in any danger, but it taps Rowe’s story-telling abilities and his interviewing abilities. He pulls the stories out from his guests and makes every episode an interesting one.
Full Measure After Hours
This podcast features the investigative work of veteran journalist Sharyl Attkisson. This is presented as a companion podcast to her Sunday TV news program, where she takes her audience behind the scenes and off the news narrative. You’re not likely to hear these well-researched and substantiated stories of our time anywhere else.
Bonus Podcast: Shaping Opinion
OK, a little shameless self-promotion. This is my podcast. It’s called Shaping Opinion. After four years and over 225 episodes it’s evolved into an interview podcast where you probably won’t find many of these guests anywhere else. Yet, they include a Nobel Prize recipient, authors, scientists, artists, songwriters, researchers and so many more. The one common thread is that at the core of every interview is a subject, rooted in passion, that shapes the way you think.
What are your favorite podcasts? Let me know. I’m all ears.