The Sound of Knowledge: A Conversation with Pushkin Industries.



(Photo courtesy of me)



Every year, my family celebrates the Passover holiday by having a Seder. A Seder is a traditional meal where Jewish people commemorate the Exodus from Egypt. This annual tradition allows guest to actively participate throughout the meal. The Seder utilizes the three main methods of learning (visual, kinetic, and auditory); visual learning via the reading of the Haggadah (the prayer/story book), kinetic learning via dip parsley in saltwater (Karpas), and auditory learning from the listening or asking of the Four Questions. For me, I vividly remember The Four Questions articulated each year. Per tradition, the youngest is required to ask these questions. I always wondered, why do I remember The Four Questions verbatim, rather than the other parts of the Seder? The answer is that I am an auditory learner. An auditory learner learns best from listening. (The University of Kansas School of Education and Human Sciences, 2021). See the diagram below for more information on auditory learners.








(Diagram courtesy of https://www.workreadytraining.com.au/whats-your-learning-style-auditory-learner )


As an auditory learner, I have always gravitated towards audiobooks and podcasts. These platforms enable me to absorb the material and retain information. Pushkin Industries is a leader in the podcast world. It creates podcasts that push the limits of learning, as the company dives into various sectors including science, history, literature, etc. Through the tutelage of podcast hosts Malcolm Gladwell, Dr. Laurie Santos, and others, I realized that Gladwell's sentiments ring true; seemingly separate and overlooked facts can impart a deep understanding of our own humanity. I had the chance to speak with Maggie T., director of marketing, to learn more about Pushkin Industries.



(Logo Courtesy of Pushkin Industries Facebook Page)


1. Why should someone listen to a Pushkin Industries podcast?

Pushkin Industries creates groundbreaking, exciting shows in the podcast space. It utilizes audio and sound design producers to create a different listening experience. As a result, each show identifies an intellectual curiosity ranging from literature to psychology. The mission of the company is to be curious and unearth knowledge. As a result, when creating a podcast, Pushkin push its boundaries to create unique shows different from others in the podcast world.



(Image courtesy of Pushkin Industries' instagram page)


2. How does Pushkin continue to evolve its content?

It's important to think about growing and expanding the audience. Revisionist History is Pushkin's flagship show. The current task is to figure out how does Pushkin bring in new listeners? Pushkin Industries has different shows, such as Double Date with Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue, which interviews celebrities. Double Date is very different from Revisionist History. Yet, the connective tissue is that both contain intellectual curiosity and stellar sound design. What it boils down to diversifying and taking risks.




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(Gif courtesy of Wix.com)




3. As a communications professional, how do you apply communications efforts in the podcast realm?

There are several different ways to market the shows. Pushkin does a lot of public relations via press outreach. For each show launch or season premiere, the team uses paid media. In addition, the team works in the partnership space by teaming up with other podcasts to encourage their listeners to move over and listen to Pushkin shows. Pushkin works with podcast platforms such as Apple and Spotify for editorial featuring. Finally, the team works in the content sphere via the company's social media, blog, newsletter, website, by providing rich additive content on these channels, to reach new listeners and excite existing listeners.




(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)



4. How has Pushkin evolved during the Pandemic?

The pandemic hasn't affected Pushkin too much, which is great. Podcast listening dipped down a bit at the very beginning of the pandemic last year, but listening is currently up. People are listening at home just as much as they're listening in their offices, which is one of the nice things about podcasting. Overall, the industry is growing, despite the challenges that society is facing. The Pandemic enabled Pushkin to learn how to work collaboratively remotely, which is a challenge when you're making a show where you are in a studio using high quality equipment. So that's been an adaptation. In terms of content, Pushkin creates shows like The Happiness Lab that discusses mental health while people were stuck at home.



(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)





5. How does Pushkin bridge the gap between culture and intellectualism?

A Slight Change of Plans is a show that bridges the intersection of culture and intellectualism by conducting in-depth interviews with celebrities that presents new smart information while building a deep connection.A Slight Change of Plans' host Dr. Maya Shankar describes the essence of the show when she says, "you’ll hear intimate conversations that give an unvarnished look into how people navigate changes of all kinds and use that change to ultimately grow." In one of the show's episodes, Grammy-Award-winning artist Kacey Musgraves discusses how she used psychedelics to elevate her songwriting in her upcoming album. Musgraves, who does not do many interviews, discussed her psychedelic drugs and created an opportunity for existing and potential listenership to learn more about her creative process.








(Image courtesy of SPACE/Shutterstock)


Just like the Seder leaves everyone full and satisfied, Pushkin Industries' podcasts allow listeners to become full of knowledge and leaves everyone with an appetite for more learning.

Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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