Our Favorite Episodes from Four Years of the ‘Hacks and Flacks’ Podcast

The very first episode of our podcast, Hacks and Flacks, was published on January 15, 2015. Now, not many people may celebrate a four-year anniversary, but we’re pretty excited around these parts that this little ol’ PR and marketing podcast is thriving this many years later.

Along the way, we’ve had a lot of fun and interesting conversations with all sorts of guests from the worlds of PR, marketing, journalism and more, and we’ve hit on issues that are important not just to the local Boston PR tech scene, but also national conversations around communications and media.

That certainly includes our most recent episode, where we cover the growing, sometimes complex world of influencer marketing. We tackled the topic from multiple angles, asking top influencer Jess Ann Kirby how she decides which brands to work with, and hearing from our in-house experts, Caroline Black and Kelly O’Brien, about best practices for running influencer campaigns.

But if you’re new to the show, we wanted to share some of our favorite episodes from the past four years. To listen to our full catalog, go ahead and subscribe to Hacks and Flacks on your favorite podcast provider: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or Overcast.

Make It Something I Can Understand

If you’re a PR professional and you want to learn how to pitch local TV media, stop what you’re doing and listen to this podcast. Marshall Hook, the assignment editor at WHDH-TV Channel 7 in Boston, breaks it down as clearly and succinctly as you’ll ever hear it, telling you exactly what you need to know about how TV news shows are formatted, and where (or if) your story will fit into a station’s broadcast schedule. It’s priceless advice from a guy who’s a veteran of a major media market.

We also have two separate interviews with Bloomberg radio anchor Anne Mostue and healthcare reporter Jessica Bartlett if you’re in need of advice on how to pitch to those types of reporters:

The Problem with Podcast Discovery

It’s a podcast about podcasts. Last year Kevin Goldberg, founder and editor of DiscoverPods, joined the show to recap his ongoing coverage of a scheme in which fraudsters are gaming the Apple Podcasts charts to make their shows appear more popular than they really are, and why that’s making things harder for podcast listeners. It was a fascinating look into podcast discovery and measurement, which is a very opaque world.

Doing One Thing Really Well

In 2017, we did a fun series of interviews with the founders of local Boston nonprofits and social entrepreneurships. The series was capped off with a discussion with Elizabeth Dobrska, the executive director of TUGG, which helps early stage, experimental nonprofits connect with Boston’s tech community to earn funding and build their networks. Elizabeth talked about the potential for marketing innovation in the nonprofit sector, and the importance for founders to build genuine, long-term relationships with the media. It’s also worth listening to the rest of the series, below:

Do You Know How to Make a Media List?

Are you looking for a PR job? In this podcast, March founder Cheryl Gale and VP Liz Swenton Hosman provide practical tips and insight on the things they look for in PR job candidates, along with tips for first-time agencies looking to build their team. By the way, if you really are looking for a PR job in Chicago or Boston, check out our careers page.

This Is Not the Time or the Place

Finally, an oldie but a goodie. Way back in 2015, I chopped it up with Hacks and Flacks alum Jim Young about ad blocking. What are the ramifications for publishers if blocked ads suppress revenue opportunities? Are paywalls and contributed content viable alternatives? What about other collateral damage of ad blocking? It’s a timeless topic that’s still relevant to this day.

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