This blog was written by D+P Intern Irene Bak.
As storytellers, we love to hear what others have to say. One form of media that allows us to gain insight and inspiration is podcasts.
In the last few years, and especially now, podcasts have become all the rage. While this form of media continues to be on the rise in popularity, it’s not necessarily a new concept. Podcasts simply use audio to tell stories, report information, and encourage conversation around any topic. But what makes them so special and why now?
Everybody it seems is either listening to a podcast these days — or has one of their own.
It’s easy to understand why. Podcasts feed the natural hunger for storytelling. Plus, they are convenient and personal. Since all you really have to do is listen, podcasts become the best companion for doing anything: going on walks, cooking dinner, or getting ready to turn in for the night. In a world where multitasking has become a greater skill, podcasts encourage and allow us to actively and/or passively enjoy our favorite episode in any setting. There are hundreds to listen to, numerous genres to choose from, and multiple platforms available to use. Depending on your preference, you can listen to everything from news to comedy to true crime.
On the flip side, podcasts allow most anybody to be content creators by developing their own podcast and talk about whatever you desire. You could say it has the same charm to that of YouTube channels because anyone can create and share their own content, leaving you with a new perspective or interest in a specific topic.
Here are some of the D + P Team’s favorite podcasts and recommendations:
The Daily by the New York Times: I like The Daily because it gives a more in-depth perspective on a current story or topic of interest.
For fun, I enjoy NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, a weekly news quiz and 51 Strokes, which is a podcast by a man who has never played golf but is determined to learn the game and become a golf professional on the PGA tour.
The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz: When Dan LeBatard left ESPN there were questions about whether his show could survive. It’s thriving via podcast. LeBatard, co-host Stugotz and the souls in the Shipping Container combine sports, wacky humor and social commentary in a way that makes viewers like me feel part of the family and provides a welcome break.
The Catholic Guy Show with Lino Rulli: I prefer podcasts that make me laugh. Lino Rulli is proof that being a faithful Catholic and being hilarious are not mutually exclusive. Lino takes his faith seriously (mostly), but he doesn’t take himself seriously. And that’s refreshing and authentic.
The Good Life Project: The Good Life Project podcast with Jonathan Fields aims to help listeners live a more meaningful, connected and vital life. Every week they share inspirational, intimate and disarmingly-unfiltered conversations with guests about living a fully-engaged, fiercely-connected and purpose-drenched life.
Listening to this podcast is a breath of fresh air; whether you use it to start your day in the right mindset or relax in the evening, it has an incredibly grounding effect on its listeners. The host Jonathan Fields, award-winning author, Webby-nominated producer, and business innovator, does a fantastic job at articulating intriguing questions to his diverse set of guests. They cover topics that make you feel more connected to life, people around you and your purpose.
The Redheads Book Club: The Redheads Book Club features a group of four girls who read a book together each month and then record their discussion about it. I like listening to the episodes about books I’ve read to see if the club members have similar opinions as me. I also enjoy listening to their discussions about books I haven’t read to hear about their thoughts and recommendations. The hosts add fun segments like choosing which celebrity would play each character if the book was adapted into a movie, which is always entertaining.
Serial: Although I don’t listen to podcasts that often, I remember the first podcast I ever listened to was Serial, hosted by Sarah Koenig. I’m a sucker for mysteries and the first episode of season one focused on Hae Min Lee’s cold case murder which took place in Baltimore 1999. Koenig meticulously goes through all the facts and whereabouts of each person involved in the murder. My initial expectations were quite low and I expected to get bored of listening to someone speak through my headphones. But Koenig’s vivid descriptions and the added sound effects forced me to create a picture in my head of what happened. The ability to imagine a sort of movie in your head is what I love about podcasts, and that’s exactly what Serial gave me! I highly recommend it for any fans of true crime.
CNN 5 Things: CNN 5 Things breaks down the top five topics in the news every morning and evening. Each episode can be listened to in under 5 minutes and they’re great for quick overviews of what’s going on in the news if you’re not able to fit in reading the full articles.
NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour: This NPR podcast covers everything from a recap of the Grammys to an in-depth analysis of the newest Disney movie. I love listening to topics I’m interested in ones that sound intriguing or are new to me. There are several hosts who rotate between episodes, and they are often accompanied by special guests who always bring something different to each episode.
Every Single Album: Taylor Swift: For me, podcasts are a great source for pop culture, and that’s what I really like about all the podcasts from The Ringer. One of their newest series is Every Single Album: Taylor Swift, where Nora Princiotti and Nathan Hubbard discuss the elements of all of Taylor Swift’s albums. They dive into the production of the songs, their favorites and least favorites, but they also take a deeper look into the strategy behind each record and how it has all played a part in Taylor becoming the star and businesswoman that she is today.
Based on our recommendations, you may be able to get a sense of our individual personalities and preferences, here at D+P.
Podcasts are not only highly informative and fun to listen to, but they also encourage critical thinking and thought-provoking discussions on any topic. As PR professionals, it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends and topics and podcasts can make that process a little more exciting and different each day.