In praise of podcasts for public relations learning and development

I spent a chunk of time driving back and forth across the North Pennines during the weekend.

Aside from the usual Radio 4 Sunday diet of Broadcasting House, The Archers and Gardeners World I used the time to catch-up on podcasts.

There are two standout weekly podcasts in the public relations and communication industry: For Immediate Release, and Internet Marketing. You’ll find them both on iTunes or can subscribe via RSS from their respective web sites.

FIR by Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz covers the intersection of communication and technology. Each week, UK-based Hobson, and US-based Holtz, jump on a call and record the hour-long podcast, interspersed with interviews, reports from contributors, and listener comment.

FIR has recently published keynotes from the Dell B2B Social Media event during Social Media Week including: David Coplin, director of search UK, Microsoft; Antony Mayfield, co-founder, Brilliant Noise; and Andrew Grill, CEO, Kred.

Internet Marketing published by Site Visibility takes a topic per 30-minute show which hosts Andy Chew and Kelvin Newman chew over in detail. Recent subjects include content marketing tools, conversion, Facebook EdgeRank, mobile marketing and display advertising.

I cannot recommend this content enough as a means of keeping up to date with news, comment and opinion in the industry as part of your continuous professional learning and development.

Podcasts continue to be an underused media format in the communications industry. It takes talent and a huge amount of effort to build an audience and maintain the frequency to create long running shows such as FIR and Internet Marketing.

Although not strictly a podcast, I’d also recommending adding CIPR TV created by the CIPR Social Media Panel and produced by markettiers4dc, to your subscription list. The monthly show consists of a video discussion around an industry topic between a regular presenter and guest.

If you’re looking for other good industry related podcasts I’d recommend Media Talk from The Guardian and The Media Show from BBC Radio 4.

Image: Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz recording FIR (via the FIR G+ profile page with thanks).

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Stephen Waddington

Partner and Chief Engagement Officer, Ketchum and Visiting Professor in Practice, Newcastle University.


  1. You’ve actually touched on something ‘hear’ that I was going to raise at today’s CIPR social media panel. As CIPR TV is essentially a chat show we should be making the audio available as a podcast. It would make it much easier for people to hear it as they could subscribe and download to listen in environments where you can’t easily watch video (especially streaming video).

  2. Thank’s for the shoutout, Stephen, I appreciate it. Your post makes a great case for podcasting generally as one tool, a complementary one, for continuous professional learning and development.

    Stuart’s point about publishing CIPR TV audio content as a podcast is a good one. If you did that, I’d subscribe!

    • Thanks Neville. I particularly enjoyed the commentary around the Dell B2B Huddle during Social Media Week London. Essential listening for anyone that wasn’t able to attend in person.

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