Carefully Crafted on May 27

Why I Don’t Listen to PR Podcasts—And the Ones I Tune In to Instead

I’ve gotten really into mindfulness and meditation over the past few years, which has helped me learn to me more aware of how I’m spending my time and what I can do to extract the most value out of each day. Listening to podcasts has become part of my daily routine, as a way to learn and/or be entertained, particularly as I’m completing mundane tasks like getting ready for work, washing dishes, or even driving.

As my list of podcasts grows, I’m drawn to those that force me to think about something in a different way, or that educate me on topics that are new and interesting to me. And while I don’t listen to PR podcasts (I don’t want this time to be “work” time!), I do like to listen to things that energize me and stretch my brain.

As a PR person, it is helpful to be a “know-it-all” on a variety of subjects. We’re better at our jobs when we are well-informed about a wide variety of topics. Plus, I’m finding lately that the podcasts I listen to make terrific jumping-off points for conversations with co-workers, friends, and prospects. You never know when you’ll discover a mutual interest with someone, or how that moment of connection could help you or your business grow!

With that in mind, here are some of the podcasts I’m listening to these days. I’m sure some of them will be interesting to you, too:

  • Re/code Media with Peter Kafka – Probably my favorite podcast at the moment! Peter interviews people from media outlets (TheSkimm, Hearst Magazines, and more) on a wide range of topics, from finding inspiration for content to bridging the gap between online and print media, in an effort to navigate the constantly shifting media landscape.
  • And/And – I have a slight obsession with this podcast. It’s hosted by husband-and-wife duo, Tyler and Sloane Davidson. I’ve known Sloane ever since we met in Haiti. Now, she and her husband have moved, had a child and are balancing career aspirations, a growing family, side projects and philanthropy/community involvement. Like many of us, they are a busy, active, involved couple. Life doesn’t have to be either/or. It can be and/and. On this podcast, they share their personal hacks, interview other people living an “and/and life” and shares tons of tips, tools and advice to inspire listeners to balance entrepreneurship with everything else that matters. Every time I listen, I come away with something new to implement in my own life.
  • Embedded – If you like NPR, you’ll love this podcast,, hosted by All Things Considered anchor Kelly McEvers. Embedded combines the in-depth reporting expertise of NPR with long-form journalism centered on topics just outside the “mainstream” news cycle. For example, one Embedded episode followed a couple of guys around the NBA’s developmental league as they tried to achieve their NBA dreams. During this week’s episode, they spend a week at a Doctors Without Borders hospital in the South Sudan. The topics are compelling and the style is very “NPR”-esque (which I love!).
  • Re/code Decode – Kara Swisher, executive editor of Recode, interviews CEOs in the tech space, providing a fascinating look into the relationship between technology, good ideas, follow-through, and success. I love hearing these CEOs’ stories because it helps me to better understand my clients who work in the tech/startup space, while also helping me stay ahead of how technology is influencing business.
  • The West Wing Weekly – I love the television show The West Wing, and I’ve watched every episode multiple times. In this new podcast, The West Wing actor Joshua Malina (Scandal, anyone?) and musician/podcaster Hrishikesh Hirway re-watch the show week-by-week and give us a really fun behind-the-scenes glimpse into each episode. Plus, the interviews with some of the past characters and writers are gold!
  • The Minimalists Podcast – Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus explore the process of cutting the excess out of your life, whether it’s material possessions, unhealthy relationships, or other distractions. How can you find the time, energy, brain power, and space to focus on the things that really add value to your life?
  • Two Inboxes – Do you have a side hustle? Or something you’re deeply involved in, outside your “regular” job? This podcast features interviews with people who have multiple jobs, projects, passions and “side hustles.” While people talk a lot about wanting their job to be their passion, that isn’t always realistic. Instead of getting frustrated, the people featured on this podcast are building things on the side that provide additional energy, revenue and opportunity.
  • 10% Happier with Dan Harris – Can you be a person in a really competitive career, or have really ambitious career goals, and still meditate? In this extension of his book (which I loved!), Dan explains mindfulness and meditation in very accessible, real-world terms that will make you think, “I can do this!”
  • The Moment with Brian Koppelman – This is one of the newest podcasts on my list. Brian interviews successful (often famous) people about “the moment” when something clicked in their life or career and launched them into new territory. It’s fascinating to hear these stories, many of which are also seriously funny!

What are your favorite podcasts lately? Share your recommendations in the comments!

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  1. […] Why I Don’t Listen to PR Podcasts—And the Ones I Tune In to Instead: I always like hearing about what other people are listening to when it comes to podcasts, and I found some good ones from Heather Whaling’s great list! […]

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