The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) created Social Work Talks Podcast to lift up social work excellence and to share social work expertise with the public in an accessible way.
Social Work Talks Podcast was created to showcase scholars and practitioners in the profession on current issues facing communities and the social workers who serve them.
NASW manages more than 100 communication channels for the national office and 55 chapters. The podcast is an effective way to introduce the public to influential social workers around the country and to make people more aware of the amazing services social workers provide. The stories are compelling and the storytellers are engaging.
There are now 97 episodes in the NASW podcast library. NASW communications staff come up with topic ideas, and they also solicit ideas from members and social work staff in all states.
During the pandemic, NASW produced more shows that offered social workers advice on how to cope personally and how to help clients. And during heightened stress and trauma from frequent public incidents of police violence, NASW offered shows about ways to combat racism in communities.
Some podcast guests approach the production team about show ideas. Other guests are invited after they do high profile media interviews, get traction on social media, or are featured speakers at large social work events.
The most popular Social Work Talks podcast downloads have included self-care, narcissism, suicide prevention, veterinary social work, social workers working in police departments, the opioid crisis and eating disorders. DEI topics are also popular.
Social work is a broad profession, with topics spanning issues across the lifespan -- from birth to death – and all transitions and crises between. Creating a balanced mix of content between clinical practice topics and social justice issues can be a challenge, but the content team manages this by producing one micro (direct practice) and one macro (policy advocacy) episode every month.
Recent episodes include:
South Asians in the United States
Sleep Health as a Social Justice Issue
Social Work from a Burmese Perspective
Social Workers Tackle Recidivism
Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth
How to Reach Special Populations with Motivational Interviewing
How Social Workers Can Help LGBTQ+ People Overcome Addiction
Stop Asian Hate
Voter Registration with Vote-ER
This year, the production team also began using guest hosts which creates lively interactions between social work peers. The conversations are often richer because the two social work professionals are feeding off their shared energy and expertise.
Each Social Work Talks podcast usually generates 3,000-5,000 downloads per episode.
Some of the most popular episodes involve professional self-care topics as many social workers are concerned about burnout and compassion fatigue. Shows about social work ethics are popular as well and drive engagement across all channels, including NASW social media sites, digital marketing and member email.
Per one podcast guest, people who work in human services, like social workers do, face a disproportionate risk of burnout. NASW podcasts present important information, illuminate social work stories and shared narratives, and provide new opportunities for doing well. These podcasts help inspire our community for well-being. “It creates solidarity and it can be motivating to know we are not alone. And it can inspire action,” she said.
NASW began posting all podcast episodes on YouTube this year and now live broadcast some shows. Having reached 1.2 M downloads this year, the NASW Social Work Talks Podcast is beginning to earn advertising and sponsorship revenue. The podcast has earned more than $17,000 in the few months since advertising began.