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Students create ‘Adventures in PRAD’ podcast

woman was speaking on a morning radio station broadcasting a news program and men preparing the content via computers.
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In an era when information is everywhere but true insights are tricky to find, public relations and advertising students at DePaul are going straight to the source. The "Adventures in PRAD" podcast engages listeners with students interviewing professionals—from the Chicago Bears to top PR and advertising agencies—who reveal the complexities of the industry and offer inspiration.

Students in the special-topic advertising course host and produce the podcast and offer their perspectives at the end of each episode—eight so far. Episodes are released the first week of every month.

DePaul Advertising Professional in Residence Nina Abnee earned a Quality of Instruction Council grant to create the assignment.

"I was curious about how students got their news, and for many of them, the answer was podcasts," Abnee says. "This led me to explore the untapped potential of podcasts as a way to enhance students' knowledge and foster connections with industry professionals."

She says another goal of the interactive learning experience is for students to gain insight into their future careers. The course is offered for undergraduate and graduate credit in the winter term.

"This course allows students the freedom to explore their interests in sports communication and journalism, influencer marketing, or even crisis management," says Chioke Armstrong-Malloy, a student who produced an episode. "Creating the podcast can be helpful for a young professional having trouble deciding where to stick their toes in the water when it comes to their first jobs in the industry."

By including their insights as well, the podcast creators acknowledge the significance of student voices. The result is a well-rounded dialogue that benefits both the students and the industry professionals.

One episode students may find interesting is "Gen Z: The New CMO," which analyzes how Generation Z views themselves professionally and their impact on the marketing landscape. Students Mattie Sakalian and Emily Steen interviewed Caroline Thompson, vice president at public relations and marketing firm Akrete, about Gen Z rewriting social codes to create a more inclusive workspace. Thompson also remarks on companies hiring Gen Z to transform the social media scene.

Another episode, "Racial Justice in NFL," focuses on the complexities of racial justice in sports. Student host Sean Graney features Mallorie Sanders, the diversity, equity and inclusion manager for the Chicago Bears, who sheds light on developing and promoting inclusivity throughout the Bears organization. Sanders advocates for dismantling the existing system and constructing a new, inclusive one that amplifies the voices of all individuals, regardless of their background or identity. Sanders is paving the way for a future where racial justice becomes a core principle of the sports industry.

In this month's episode, students Julia Schuurman and Kristin Rzepecki discuss the intricacies of content creation. They interviewed Harry Settel, also known as Lil Sasquatch, about the tactics used to achieve a huge social media presence and vital tips for aspiring creators.

The College of Communication podcast studio is available to all faculty and students to use. For more informative podcasts, the College of Communication has a variety of shows that cover communications, sports, PRAD and journalism. "Adventures in PRAD" is available on Spotify and Apple Music.

Marissa Perales is an undergraduate student and student assistant in the Public Relations and Advertising program.