Four Podcasts to Make You a Better

One of the things I noticed when I calculated the results of the latest State of Library Marketing survey is that you, my dear readers, are not fans of the podcast format.

I am here to change that.

You are missing out.

Podcasts are fun, informative, and intimate. You get valuable information and insight directly fed to your brain via your ear. They show up on your phone when and wherever you want to listen to them–while exercising, while grocery shopping, while driving, while doing chores, and while crunching marketing data for your monthly reports. If you go away on vacation, you don’t miss anything. They’re there for you when you need them. They make it easy to learn and grow.

Okay, maybe I’m waxing poetic a bit but I love podcasts. In my quest for lifelong learning, I’ve found a bunch of shows that are really awesome–funny, fun, thoughtful, and well-produced.  I subscribe to more than 20 podcasts and I love them all. (If you want my full playlist, it’s at the bottom of this article).

But I think the following four podcasts are essential for anyone who is a library marketer and who wants to do it well. Listening to these four shows will take less than four hours a week. They’ll improve your work performance and make you happy. You’ll learn ways to do your job better and ways to tell better stories.

Focus on Customer Service with Dan Gingiss and Dan Moriarty.  The title is pretty self-explanatory. The twist is that Gingiss and Moriarty don’t actually pick their guests–companies have to be nominated by one of their own customers. That’s genius. Episodes are insightful because guests come from a variety of companies, some big and some small, from Major League Baseball to Twitter to Whole Foods. Gingiss and Moriarty ask guests about how they manage answering customer questions and complaints through social media, including policies and procedures. They also delve into the psychology of dealing with customers on social media. Customer service is a big focus for me this year–I really believe it’s how libraries will differentiate themselves from big box book stores. So this podcast will really help you get a grasp on how good customer service is done in an arena where all companies, big and small, are equal–social media.

Unthinkable to Jay Acunzo. This is a new show, and by new I mean that as of this writing, there are only two episodes in existence but those two episodes are AMAZING. This show focuses on creating the best content possible. I love Jay’s enthusiasm and his encouragement. He wants all of us to be better creators and producers. For those of us who feel pressure to churn out content without much regard for whether it ‘s good, useable, helpful, or remarkable, Jay can help. He’s not advocating less content–he actually talks about how to create A LOT of good content. Jay talks with journalists, authors, entrepreneurs and normal people on the street. It’s engaging and it’s definitely for those of us who are tired of lackluster marketing initiatives and boring “suck”, as he calls it. It’ll make you a braver marketer, which sounds corny, but there it is.

This American Life.  Okay, I know you all about this show, right? Hosted by the incomparable Ira Glass, a staple of NPR, This American Life meshes journalism and storytelling in a seamless and captivating format. It will teach you how to find extraordinary stories in ordinary settings and how to tell those stories in an authentic and relatable way.

TED talks. You all know what TED talks are, right? Here’s why I listen compulsively to these as I walk or drive to work: they’re inspiring. I learn a lot about stuff I would never know about otherwise. Plus, these guys are really good at public speaking and you can really learn how to engage and motivate an audience at your next presentation or conference just by listening to TED talk presenters.

My rest of my podcast playlist

Brand Newsroom

Content Inc. with Joe Pulizzi

Death, Sex & Money

Here’s the Thing with Alec

Inside the Writer’s Head (produced by my library!!)



Mystery Show

On the Media

PNR: This Old Marketing

Professional Book Nerds

Real Crime Profile

Reply All



Snap Judgement

Social Media Marketing

StartUp Podcast

The 12th Story

The Librarian is In

The Smartest Man in the World (NSFW)

The Boss Show

If you have a great podcast suggestion, please let me know in the comments.


Subscribe to this blog and you’ll receive an email every time I post. To do that, click on “Follow” button on the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Connect with me on Twitter and Snapchat–it’s where I talk about library marketing! I’m @Webmastergirl. I’m also on LinkedIn, Slideshare,  Instagram and Pinterest. Views in this post are my own and do not represent those of my employer.