By Jennifer Harrison at Pando Public Relations
The ability to humanize a product and the people behind it is what makes public relations significantly different and – I would argue – is the critical component of an effective marketing plan. One of the reasons is that as consumers, we are continuously bombarded with news and advertising and spam messages. Human beings crave human stories. Our audiences typically gravitate to and engage more deeply with messages that reflect our values or that feed our psyche and sense of well-being.
There’s a reason why reporters interview people rather than simply relay information and facts. Think about how Facebook and Twitter have evolved over the years from being purely text based to almost exclusively visual. Instagram is arguably the most popular social media platform because it has always been visual. Advertisers, too, know that human faces and stories draw attention over words and abstract concepts.
Given this, it’s no surprise that podcasts have taken off. True, podcasts are not visual but they are personal and they communicate more about the host’s character than written words. Through podcasts, listeners develop a relationship and feel like they are part of the host’s story.
In the education space, personal connections are particularly important because the products we sell have long life spans and are intensely human. Children are the direct beneficiaries of the work we do meaning that our education products and our edtech is heavily scrutinized before being purchased.
Historically, filling in this human-centric messaging fell primarily to public relations efforts. PR complemented marketing campaigns with third-party endorsements either through articles and awards, or with commentaries, influencer relations, and speaking engagements. But, now we have podcasts in the mix (and if you don’t have them in the mix now, you should).
At our agency, securing guest speaking spots on podcasts has proven to be highly effective for our client companies so we’re sharing a list of some of our favorite K-12 podcasters. We’ve not explained how to secure those spots – we’ll save that for another article – but we have shared some of the most successful podcasts covering K-12 education. We considered not only the value of the content these podcasters cover, but their audience size, their hosting and conversation skills, frequency of new episodes, and the responsiveness of the host. Most of these hosts are also terrific in sharing and elevating messages on social properties.
Better Leaders Better Schools — Host Daniel Bauer talks with other educators about ways to improve their craft, take care of themselves, and generally anything to do with education. Over 380 episodes are live in BLBS Podcast No. 1 and now there is a new BLBS podcast with various hosts discussing a wide range of topics. Twitter: @alienearbud
Coffee with a Geek — Former elementary school teacher, Andrew Wheelock chats with educators and edtech innovators on their most powerful learning experiences. It’s casual, fun, and insightful. Twitter: @AMWheelock
Coruzant Technology — If you are interested in leadership strategies, host Brian Thomas’ excellent podcast is for you. He interviews leaders from several angles including those in edtech and general business. He also has a robust archive of articles. Twitter: @Coruzant
Cult of Pedagogy Podcast — Jennifer Gonzalez hosts an excellent educational podcast that covers teaching strategies, classroom management, education reform, and educational technology. She interviews educators, students, administrators, and parents. Twitter: @CultofPedagogy
Easy EdTech Podcast — In this podcast, Dr. Monica Burns, author of Class Tech Tips, reviews edtech products while promoting student and teacher technology skills. Monica is personable and professional and has terrific insight from her years of teaching and writing about education. Twitter: @ClassTechTips
EdSurge Podcast— Jeff Young and EdSurge reporters talk about the future of education with teachers, tech trailblazers, and scholars. Their topics are varied and often follow the news cycle. Twitter: @EdSurge
EdTech Bites — Instructional technology specialist Gabriel Carrillo shares a meal with his guests which makes for a charmingly disarming conversation about everything related to teaching or administration. Twitter: @EdTechBites
EduFuturist — EduFuturist is hosted by two educators who have evolved their podcast into the thought-provoking podcast it is today. They continually push into topics that challenge thinking and suggest new ways to improve the education system. Twitter: @EduFuturists
LMS Pulse — LMS Pulse is hosted by Stephen Ladek, who also hosts summits, trains educators and offers a full service marketing mix on everything related to learning management systems. He also covers other learning technologies but primarily in how they relate to the LMS and he has a LIVE version on LinkedIn and Facebook/Meta called The eLearning Hotseat. Twitter: @LMSPulse
MarketScale’s Edtech Today — Long-time reporter/editor, Kevin Hogan, talks primarily with edtech business leaders about compelling topics for those working in edtech as well as educators interested in the newest tech or the most compelling issues related to the education market. Twitter: @MarketScale
Ed Tech Situation Room— Situations and issues affecting education are what hosts Jason Neiffer (@techsavvyteach) and Wes Fryer (@wfryer) cover in the Ed Tech Situation Room. They add educational analysis to the topics of edtech and edtech news and their guests don’t shy away from digging into issues. This podcast has over 240 episodes. Twitter: @EdTechSR
My EdTech Life — Instructional technologist and Google groundbreaker Fonz Mendoza hosts a podcast for people looking to connect, grow, and collaborate on the next big idea in education. Twitter: @MyEdTechLife
No Such Thing: Education in the Digital Age — In this modern educational podcast, Marc Lesser talks about the essential questions and yet exciting potential of learning with technology. He has hosted over 100 episodes since launching. Twitter: @MaLesser
On Education Podcast — Podcast presenters Brad Shreffler and Mike Washburn blend the fun and seriousness of education while letting listeners learn something new in each episode. There have been over 200 episodes. Twitter: @OnEducationPod
TeacherCast — Since 2011, Jeff Bradbury has hosted teachers, administrators, technologists and business leaders to talk about meaningful topics in education and edtech. Jeff also writes about and frequently speaks on the topic of education at conferences. Twitter: @TeacherCast
The Edtech Podcast— Sophie Bailey has produced over 200 episodes and has over 40K downloads a month of her podcast which covers everything related to edtech. This podcast has a global audience. Twitter: @PodcastEdTech
THRIVEinEDU by Rachelle Dene Poth — Host Rachelle Dene Poth discusses emerging educational trends with topics from artificial intelligence and coding to social-emotional learning and more. Rachelle hosts an excellent blog and is very active on social media. Twitter: @Rdene915
Transformative Principal — Podcast host Jethro Jones interviews instructional experts and industry leaders on topics like the latest advances in educational research, standards-based grading, and school leadership initiatives, all with the goal to inspire the school leader with new ideas and keen insights. He has almost 600 episodes and over a million downloads. Twitter: @TrnFrmPrincipal
Trending in Education — A podcast that tackles all things trending in education, host Mike Palmer breaks down what’s next for learning, media, pop culture, and the future of work. He just crossed the threshold of publishing over 400 episodes. Twitter: @TrendingInEd
Unlabeled Leadership — Unlabeled Leadership host Dr. Gary DePaul does not focus on education specifically but his stories about leadership extend to the business sector and to educators and administrators. Twitter: @UnlabeledLead
I welcome your additions to this list. Reach out to Pando Public Relations.