Podcast Persuasion: Seven Business Podcasts for Professional Development

Since 2013, the number of United States citizens who listen to podcasts has steadily increased from 10% to 17% with at least 44% of Americans having listened to a podcast at least once in their lives(1). With this increase in podcast listeners, the different categories of podcasts have expanded. You can now find podcasts on topics from news and politics, society and culture, to comedy. Whatever your interests, there seems to be a podcast for you. Podcasts are widely available through the iPhone podcast app, Google podcasts app, and Stitcher (a podcast app available on both iPhone and Android). Due to the vast coverage of topics and availability, podcasts are a great way to continue educating yourself on special interests. The list below gives a brief description of different podcasts that are specific to business.

  1. Women at Work by Harvard Business Review

Women at Work is a podcast that labels itself as “Conversations about the workplace, and women’s place in it.” The hosts discuss topics that specifically affect women, but go more in-depth with the topics by discussing how these issues affect the company culture overall. Special guests are brought in to describe how managers, co-workers, and women themselves are able to address the issues in a professional manner. Episodes have discussed claiming credit for your work to giving and receiving feedback. This podcast brings different perspectives to issues that women face in the workplace.

  1. Dear HBR by Harvard Business Review

Dear HBR is a podcast where episodes are completely based on the listeners. Workplace dilemmas are sent in to the hosts who bring in experts to give advice on how to handle these dilemmas. Dilemmas discussed in past episodes have ranged from working with difficult people to working remotely. Many of the situations are discussed from multiple perspectives within the work place, including employees and employers. Each podcast is about 30 minutes long, giving you practical advice without taking up a lot of your time.

  1. TEDTalks Business by TEDTalks

Don’t have an hour, or even 30 minutes, to dedicate to a podcast? TEDTalks Business is for you then. Learn more about social change, generational differences, or failing mindfully in less than 15 minutes. Each talk is presented by a different person, including Shonda Rhimes, Mohamed Ali, and Elon Musk. TEDTalks Business is a long-running podcast with episodes dating back to 2011, so there are multiple episodes to choose from.

  1. Making Data Simple by IBM Analytics Insights Podcasts

Interested in Big Data, but overwhelmed by all it involves? Making Data Simple is a podcast that is dedicated to breaking down Big Data. Episodes discuss Big Data and how it relates to different areas in the business world. Episodes have included discussing Japanese business culture, data in the retail industry, and data analytics. This podcast is great for everyone, from the people specializing in Big Data to the newcomer who wants to learn more about Big Data.

  1. The THRIVEcast by THRIVEal

THRIVEcast is linked to the THRIVEal network created to engage CPAs through an online community, with occasional real-world networking events. This podcast aids accountants in staying up to date with new information and best practices, as well as occasionally reviewing the history of accounting. Specific topics include learning processes and capacity management, value pricing, and trends to watch out for. Episodes air monthly and are about an hour long.

  1. Nine to Thrive HR by Human Capital Institute

Nine to Thrive HR is a great tool for managers and supervisors to learn new tactics and stay up to date with current events in human resources. However, this podcast is also beneficial for employees to learn more about human resources and gain a better understanding of HR’s role in the organization. Episodes include discussions on performance management, feedback, and diversity and inclusion. Human resources is connected to every individual in the workplace, so learning more about it is great for you and your organization.

  1. Marketing Over Coffee

Marketing Over Coffee covers a wide range of topics related to marketing, including search engine optimization (SEO) and other digital marketing strategies, as well as “old school” marketing strategies (offline marketing). This podcast also keeps its listeners up to speed with current events in marketing and how these events can affect business and strategies. Each episode covers a few topics, helping you to get the most out of your time.

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Knowing that podcasts are available is great, but why spend your time listening to a podcast? Many podcasts typically run an hour or less, which is a great way to productively spend your commute, whether that be driving to work or walking to class. Many people strive to continue growing in their field but have little time to devote to additional reading or research. Listening to a podcast is a great way to jumpstart or continue your professional development when you aren’t able to dedicate time to reading. Listening to podcasts is also a great way to stay informed about the business community in general, which can help during networking opportunities by showcasing your ability to understand multiple facets of the business world.


  1. http://www.journalism.org/fact-sheet/audio-and-podcasting/

A Closer Look Into One of the NHL’s Best Marketing Strategies

If you live in or around Pittsburgh, it’s likely you’ve heard of the Pittsburgh Penguins, but have you ever thought about the marketing strategy behind the Penguins organization? Does a sports team in Pittsburgh even really need a marketing strategy? Well, they do. To keep growing its fan base, the Penguins have had to continually evolve their marketing campaigns.

In 2007, the Penguins began targeting their fans through mobile technology when they worked in collaboration with Vibe Marketing Group. Both parties worked to create the Pens Mobile Club(1), which has, since 2010, expanded into the Pens App. The creation and promotion of the Pens Mobile Club increased the membership of their club from approximately 14,000 members to 74,000 members(1). The Pens App has many features, including updates throughout the game and Game Day Previews. Videos and articles fill the home page of the app covering topics from “Verizon Coach’s Corner” to “Pet Calendar Shoot.” Through the app, fans can also sign up for the Pens Pass Last Minute Ticket Club. Once signed up, fans receive a text message when last minute tickets, including playoff games, are available in the FedEx Level or the Giant Eagle/Snapple Level. App users also have access to podcasts, Fan Central, and players’ stats throughout the season. The app is free and available to download for iPhone and Android users by searching “Pittsburgh Penguins” in the app store.

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Fast forward to 2010, the Penguins organization teamed up with Gatesman, Marmion, Drake, and Dave, Inc. to restructure its marketing campaigns(2). Coming out of the 2009-10 season, the Penguins finished fourth place in the Eastern Conference. This was an upsetting outcome based on the Penguins winning the 2008-09 Stanley Cup. To continue to incorporate the fans and continue to build upon their foundation, the Penguins presented their newest slogan “Destiny Has A New Home”(2).  An additional tie-in to this slogan, the Penguins were finding a new home in the Consol Energy Center (now PPG Paints Arena) at the beginning of the 2010 season. This move into a more modern arena from Mellon Arena (also known as the Igloo)  aided the Penguins in being able to be more technological when it came to marketing strategies and fan engagement. The marketing slogan helped to bring focus to this change, but also show the fans the continued commitment to excellence they came to expect of the Penguins.

The Penguins marketing team seems to identify early on what moves will be needed to keep up with current marketing strategies. Since 2010, and especially in the last three years, there has been an increase in the Penguins social media content becoming more geared towards fan interactions. No longer are its posts strictly related to the score of the game or other game-related information. The organization tends to focus on off-ice accomplishments and interactions more so in their social media – which helps grow that connection between fans and the organization. A prime example where the organization builds on previous posts made – last season the Penguins posted about the players’ love of Mario Kart. This season, the Penguins posted a video of Jake Guentzel and Patric Hornqvist playing a live-action game of Mario Kart. Matt Murray also announced yesterday that he will be making a $30 donation for every save he makes during the season as part of his “Saves MATTer” charity program(3). If this program would have been implemented last season, he would have donated over $38,000 to youth organizations(3). If you talk to fans, they feel like part of the Penguin’s family. Players are called by their first names and nicknames in casual conversation (i.e. Sid the Kid, Geno) and if you didn’t know better, you would think these fans were neighbors with the players. The Penguins really do a fantastic job of creating that connection between fans and players and having it be a positive experience for all involved.


Even with the major overhaul in 2010, the Penguins continue to improve their interactions with their fans going into the 2018-19 season. This season, the Penguins are doing away with PensPoints and looking to launch a new program in November, the Pens Instant Win Program. Very little is known about this program because the organization is not relaying any information to the public at the moment.  

The Penguins are also active on multiple social media platforms, including Pinterest and Facebook. Although their Pinterest account hasn’t been updated for the 2018-19 season, fans can still follow many boards that include#PensValentines, Wedding on Ice, and Holiday HapPENings. The Penguins also have a fan interaction board for pets.


While creating content on multiple platforms, the Penguins seem to post the most content on their Twitter profile. The Penguins use this platform to interact with fans, as well as give game updates, practice updates, etc., which are typically in real time, as well as posting off-ice content. For example, I tweeted the Penguins and in less than 30 minutes, they had responded. You can also find many of the Penguins staff tweeting about behind the scenes information, like a sneak peek at Matt Murray’s mask before the preseason started (which garnered 619 Retweets and 4,070 likes) and their take on current happenings in the hockey community.  Two of the best examples for incorporating off-ice accomplishments into the Penguins marketing are posts about an article on Jake Guentzel’s rise to fame and Bryan Domoulin’s “hat trick of summers.” Plus, to no one’s surprise, a big “Happy Birthday” to Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin together received 6,412 Retweets and 21,246 Likes. Their most recent high impact tweet was their reaction to the new Philadelphia Flyers mascot, Gritty, with over 15,000 Likes. The Penguins Snapchat and Instagram stories are great for behind the scenes look at warm-ups, practices, and time with the players – on and off the ice.

The Pittsburgh Penguins marketing strategy is much like its team; it has evolved through the years. It has found new ways to bring fans into the sport, just as it has brought new team members to the club. Yet it has maintained its loyal following, just as it has managed to maintain some of its key players, such as Mario Lemieux. It is easy to see how the Penguins tap into modern culture, while still looking back on great athletes that have passed through the organization, to include multiple generations of fans in the organization.

To date, the Penguins have a strong social media following and a solid fan base to lean on. However, to continue to bring new fans to the organization, the Penguins will have to maintain its current level of fan interaction through social media, as well as stay one step ahead of the current trends. When attempting to build the fan base, the mindset of listening to fans important, but the follow through with related actions is what will keep the Penguins at the forefront of many hockey fans’ minds. The KeyBank Challenge videos posted throughout the season seem to be a major selling point to fans who want to feel like they are getting to know the players more personally. This personal connection will not only help maintain the current fan base, but will continue to bring in more fans as the Penguins progress through the 2018-19 season.



  1. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/pittsburgh-penguins-score-on-marketing-power-play-with-vibes-media-103434534.html
  2. https://www.nhl.com/penguins/news/pens-launch-new-marketing-campaign/c-537777
  3. https://www.nhl.com/penguins/news/matt-murray-charity-program/c-300581156