Start Your Day by Tuning-In to these Podcasts

Special to the Philanthropy Journal

By Vanessa Donohue

FleishmanHillard PR Know How Series for Philanthropy Journal

Start Your Day by Tuning-In to these Podcasts is part of an ongoing series with FleishmanHillard, a full-service global public relations agency. The firm specializes in multiple channels and industries including nonprofit, consumer, healthcare and technology. The group is driven by a mission to go beyond for clients and to consistently develop bold work that creates value and changes conversations. In line with this mission, members of the FleishmanHillard team will continue to share their expertise and insights on topics that touch both the professional and personal lives of those in the workforce.  

Just like clothing over the decades, podcasts were in, then out, and now, they’re back again!

Podcasts provide an opportunity to plug into the world and better equip and enhance us across all areas of our lives. For those in the nonprofit arena, podcasts offer a direct (and free) line to hear straight from the movers and shakers, a finger on the pulse of emerging trends and the reminder of self-care in an industry well-known as a culprit of burn-out.  

In 2015, there were more than 250,000 different podcasts to choose from, meaning virtually something for everyone and everything—but where do you start?

Many times you’ll hear a recommendation for a podcast within a podcast, so finding one you enjoy will often guide you to another. In addition you can rely on your app to suggest more, join a podcast group or simply read below! 

A few things with Claire and Erica

Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo have created a lifestyle podcast that’s the perfect balance of life and style. Don’t let the fashion focus fool you, it’s much more than a consumer’s wish list and fashionista favorite. Mazur and Cerulo keep their stylish listeners on trend, providing helpful tips and life hacks that go far beyond the runway. You’ll be surprised at what you will take away that can be used in the workplace and everyday life.

From segments on how to send cold emails, the best sites for consuming news, time-saving apps and services, to products that give back and create good, you’ll be tuned in to every hilarious and charismatic word.

Guests on the show range from well-known designers, editors, authors and more.

NPR: How I built this

For anyone who has ever tried and failed, this show will remind you why you should always get back up again. Hosted by Guy Raz, this podcast is full of real-life examples of people who didn’t let the fear of failure stop them from finding success. Guests include renowned entrepreneurs, designers and innovators like the creator of Uber, TOMS, Instagram, Airbnb, 5-Hour Energy and AOL.

Even if you’re not planning to start your own company, their stories of fears, failures, sacrifices and close calls will resonate with anyone who has ever dared to dream or simply tried something new. True to its title, the show pulls back the curtain on how each guest built their empire, from start to finish.

Start by listening to the episodes with feature designers Kate Spade and Kendra Scott, whose stories prove that big things can happen when you start right where you are right now, and apply hard work, support and passion.

Radical Candor

This podcast is a MUST for anyone working in a team environment. The mantra of this series is, “how to not hate the boss you have, or be the boss you hate.” The concept is to empower the listener to use “radical candor,” meaning you should personally care about others, while still being able to challenge them directly.

The hosts, Kim Scott and Russ Laraway, guide both junior and senior team members through real-life challenges faced every day in the workplace. This includes actionable advice on how to deal with an absent or micro manager, how to give feedback to your manager and on the flip-side, how to receive feedback as a manager or employee—all through the lens of radical candor. The show concludes with tips and answers to listener’s authentic questions and concerns. You can submit your own questions at


These deep-dive interviews with national journalists offer a peek into the story behind the story. Guests on the show hail from media giants such as Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The New Yorker and more. Start with the episodes featuring interviews with Terry Gross, host and co-executive producer of NPR’s Fresh Air, and Jeffrey Gettleman, East Africa bureau chief for The New York Times. Both Gross and Gettleman share their drastically different career journeys, taking the listener along for the ride.  

The interviews take you past their reporter titles  and instead demonstrate how one woman created an award-winning show all of her own, and how an editor clawed his way to the top from a small town newspaper and faced life-changing and life-threatening situations to get his story.

With everyone competing for the media’s attention and the 24-hour news cycle, Longform reminds us to pause and see both the personal and professional integrity behind the story.

The Happiness Project with Gretchen Rubin

At the end of the day we all just want to be happy. In her podcast Gretchen Rubin discusses happiness hacks and identifies stumbling blocks to finding your happiness. Perhaps most importantly, she offers tips on how to address situations in the world around you based on a concept known as the “Four Tendencies.” We all have these tendencies, find out yours by taking her quiz.

Whether you’re an upholder, questioner, obliger or rebel, Rubin teaches you more about yourself and how to more effectively influence others around you.

This show is a place for listeners to find practical, realistic ideas to focus on certain aspects of life, such as work, and how to make it better. One example is an episode that suggests seeking and making friends of varying age ranges, allowing the benefit from the different perspectives that age can bring to any topic of conversation. This is extremely important in the workplace, given the ranges of ages across industries, offices and clients. It reminds us that you can usually find something in common, especially if you’re willing to listen.

COOL or Creating Our Own Lives

Host Lily Percy describes the show as an examination of life on the micro-level first, followed by an expanded world view. The show explores how simple practices such as finding humor in every day and the act of running can impact and shape daily life.

The first series hits the pavement with runners, capturing how the activity has sparked epiphanies for them along the road. Don’t like to run? No problem, you can benefit from the enlightenment and life-lessons of others without breaking a sweat!

The second series looks at how we can use humor as a survival tool and just dropped on June 8! The series makes a nod to the magic of humor, in that it’s not easily replicated or predictable and that laughter has the ability to connect people from all walks of life, political preferences, ages, etc.

Vanessa Donohue is a senior account executive at FleishmanHillard International Communications, a global integrated communications agency. Her work focuses on in strategic media relations for nonprofit and for-profit clients. Vanessa can be reached at   

One response on “Start Your Day by Tuning-In to these Podcasts

  1. Minter Dial says:

    Thanks for the tag. Having just attended the Global Editors Network 2017 in Vienna, I can say that the podcast continues to be a growing topic of interest! I’d urge you to check out the work of Siobhan McHugh too!

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