Podcasts for nonprofit communicators

Podcasts have made a real comeback in my ear buds. I realize the format is not new, and I’ll admit that I’ve even been a resister because I’m not really an auditory learner. However, it seems that the quality and variety of available podcasts is both improving and increasing, so I’m making more room for them in my listening habits.

In February, I attended the Content Success Summit, presented by Social Media Examiner, which included a number of sessions about podcasts and how to offer them to your own audience. To round out my knowledge, I subscribed to a number of the presenters’ podcasts, which in turn, led me to further explore the podcast shows available from the iTunes store.


Free, quality professional development

What I’m realizing is that podcasts are an invaluable learning resource for busy people. There is no shortage of books, blogs and other publications that I could read to stay current and learn more about marketing communications. What is limited, however, is my time to consume them; which is where podcasts come in. I can listen while working out, walking (I do a fair bit in my daily routine) and taking transit. If you have a daily car ride/commute, this is another obvious listening opportunity.

The best part: a wide range of quality podcasts are FREE. They are full of excellent content, yet free of charge! How perfect for a nonprofit communicator!


Interesting podcasts to check out

Here is a round up of podcasts that I’ve already found helpful and which might also be helpful for those in nonprofit communications:


Social Media Marketing Podcast from Mike Stelzner at Social Media Examiner

As the name suggests, this podcast covers all things social media – and content marketing – by featuring expert interviews of social media pros. Topics range from Twitter, Facebook and Google plus, to blogging and writing ebooks as well as bigger picture thinking and marketing concepts. If you are focused on building a loyal following for your nonprofit using an integrated approach, this podcast offers many nuggets and plenty of inspiration.


Marketing Smarts from Marketing Profs

Smart is definitely the key word here. This podcast gets you out of ‘how to’ mode and into the principles and strategic aspects of marketing. If you are one of the many educated-on-the-job nonprofit marketers, or your marketing degree is fading into distant memory, this podcast is a great primer and refresher. Topics include marketing operations, measurement, content, audience analysis, strategy and more.


Mad Marketing from Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion

I latched on to Marcus because of his experience and success with content marketing. He talks a great deal about the opportunities content marketing naturally provides to bridge the divide between marketing and sales – and the benefits of using internal experts to produce content that your customers want. I can’t help but notice the nonprofit parallels with marketing and fund development and the potential application of his ideas to also bring insights and information from volunteer development and program delivery to power the content of your nonprofit blog.


Ms. Ileane Speaks Podcast from Ileane Smith of

The primary focus of this podcast is blogging. If you are thinking about starting a blog for your nonprofit but don’t have experience with the basics, you will appreciate the very helpful, how-to information on planning, tech and content, among other topics. Ms. Ileane’s primary audience is independent bloggers, but if you are in a small nonprofit in which you have to learn and do everything yourself, Ms. Ileane’s suggestions and tips will come in handy.

I am working my way through current episodes as well as the back catalogue of each of these podcasts, so I’m likely just hitting the tip of the iceberg in my summaries. And I’m looking forward to checking out many of the other shows that are available.


What about nonprofit-specific podcasts?

Missing from the list above is nonprofit-specific content. I’ve only listened to (i.e. found!) one nonprofit communications-specific podcast, which seems to have been relatively short-lived, but the episodes are excellent:


The Nonprofit Jungle: Guide to Smart Communications from Big Duck

The episodes start in 2008 and finish in 2009, but most of the content is still very applicable, featuring insights into issues facing nonprofits, resources, and advice you can apply to your communications efforts. I particularly loved the episodes on:

  • Names and Acronyms
  • Taglines
  • Who are You – personify your organization

…among other gems!

There are a number of podcast shows for the nonprofit sector in general, but the Nonprofit Jungle is the only one I’ve found that is nonprofit specific (please chime in if you’ve found something I’ve missed).


Give podcasts a try

With both time and budget often being scarce for nonprofit communicators, podcasts represent a learning opportunity that you should definitely not overlook. Podcasts offer free, high quality professional development, learning and inspiration that you can fit into your schedule at your convenience. Pure awesomeness!


Are you using podcasts? What are you listening to? Have you found any other nonprofit marketing communications podcasts? Please share in the comments!

Posted March 19, 2013 / Filed under Uncategorized / Leave a comment