Like many other professionals who live and work in a city area, I spend an average of two hours per day driving to and from work. When I first discovered audio podcasts, I consumed them at such a rate that new episodes weren’t being released often enough for me. On an average day I could listen to between one and four podcasts, taking advantage of time that would otherwise be spent listening to nothing much on the radio.

Eventually, I decided to explore what other podcasts were available, and that’s when I realised what a great resource podcasts could be for professional development. But there’s more – as they grow in popularity, podcasts are becoming an important tool we communicators need to understand – just as much as any other digital communications channel.

After nearly two years of listening to different podcasts, I want to share with you the top five podcasts which have helped me to grow professionally and which I believe would benefit any not-for-profit communicators or digital marketing professionals.

My Top 5 Podcasts_socialmediamarketing

1) Social Media Marketing

Official Description: Social Media Examiner’s Michael Stelzner interviews experts to help marketers and business owners know what works with social media.

My Description: Incredibly instructional and insightful interviews with people who know what they’re talking about. All your questions answered about social media. I’m not kidding, there is so much information here and it’s usually my first place to look when I need any help understanding something to do with one of the big social media platforms. It’s all the information in one place and it’s easy to listen to.

My Top 5 Podcasts_rick_mulready

2) Inside Social Media

Official Description: Learn secrets, insights and strategies from the heads of social media from the most successful brands in the world. Also, learn how you can grow your own business by modelling their success with little to no budget.

My Description: This is gold – you basically get a private interview with the Marketing/Comms/Social Media Heads in major brands like Red Bull, Coco Cola, NASA, Ford, Adidas, Virgin, CNN, the International Olympic Committee and so many more. There’s even one about Local Government! I love this because of the incredible value and the crazy fact that these people are willing to walk through some of the strategies they’ve used for real life social media campaigns. The interviewer, Rick Mulready, asks questions to help small businesses apply some of the learnings from these huge brands. And by ‘small businesses’, all he really means is a business with little to no budget – which of course can relate directly to charities and the not-for-profit sector.

My Top 5 Podcasts_Small Business Big Marketing

3) Small Business Big Marketing

Official Description: Australia’s #1 Marketing Show – Each weekly episode is chock full of marketing GOLD for the motivated business owner. Includes: Practical marketing tips & tricks, interviews with successful business owners, listener questions answered, all delivered with a smile and a laugh!

My Description: This Australian podcast also includes interviews with successful business owners (usually Australians) who have used Marketing to build their brand successfully. Many of the information found in these podcasts are very easily applicable and the fact that the information relates to Australians is invaluable. Although the podcast doesn’t just focus on online marketing and communications, it usually touches on them in most success stories anyway. Another benefit is that the host, Timbo Reid, has a great sense of humour (read: cringe-worthy ‘dad jokes’). Reid also always brings back the discussion to relate to businesses (and nonprofits) without big budgets.

My Top 5 Podcasts_michaelhyatt

4) This Is Your Life with Michael Hyatt

Official Description: A weekly podcast dedicated to intentional leadership. My goal is to help you live with more passion, work with greater focus, and lead with extraordinary influence.

My Description: An awesome podcast about how to be a leader in what you do, by someone who is famous for his approach to leadership. Many of the episodes relate to social media and online communication channels and tools, from the perspective of becoming a leader in your industry. Whether you approach this from an individual or organisational perspective, many of the tips in these podcasts are invaluable. Whenever Hyatt talks about profits and sales I relate the information to fundraising or other goals, and have had many innovative ideas as a result. It’s also inspirational, which is perfect after a long day at work.

My Top 5 Podcasts_Coffee Break Spanish

5) Coffee Break Spanish (and other language or educational podcasts)

Official Description: Everything you need to learn Spanish, whether you’re an absolute beginner or a more experienced learner wishing to build your confidence in spoken and written Spanish.

My Description: In five minute lessons learn a basic phrase in Spanish, give your brain some exercise and grow your understanding of different cultures. Whilst learning languages is a personal interest, I believe it’s great for professional development too. Understanding another language is a great way to understand your own language and culture better – and to become a much better communicator at the same time. With our online communications potentially reaching anywhere in the world, it’s also good to have an understanding of how things can be interpreted differently. I recently read an article that made me think, ‘To a Spanish-speaking person, the main point in this article contradicts itself’.

What podcasts do you listen to?

There you have it, my top five podcasts that I listen to for professional development. What podcasts do you listen to? Have I missed one that other nonprofit comms or social media marketing professionals would enjoy? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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