The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards


Entered in Podcast


Presenting "UNSUGARCOATED™ with Aalia" – a trailblazing podcast produced and hosted by UNSUGARCOATED™ Media founder, Aalia Lanius, a global best-selling novelist, mission-focused entrepreneur and producer. 

"UNSUGARCOATED™ with Aalia" was launched with the objective of sparking thought-provoking conversations that challenge conventional wisdom, and encourage critical thinking all in the name of social good. The podcast strives to create an inclusive space where it delves into various social, cultural, and personal topics that often go unexplored or are "sugarcoated" in mainstream media.

However, the podcast is two-fold; the production of the audio/visual social good podcast is part of an international internship program which welcomes USC College Interns from various programs, including filmmaking, marketing, psychology, and communications majors. It offers a unique opportunity to work in an environment that fosters both their professional development and ability to create social impact.

Together, they create content that humanizes others by sharing powerful stories that act as currency for social change. Being UNSUGARCOATED means that they do not shy away from talking about the realities of hardship and trauma to help other survivors feel less alone and inspire empathy and understanding. This podcast is produced for the belief that it’s vital to push back against biases which distort the truth and create true empowerment for men, women, and youth in doing so. 



Strategy and Execution

"UNSUGARCOATED™ with Aalia" thrives on a meticulously crafted strategy that unites purpose, innovation, and collaboration. The method is grounded in a curated process for guests, aligning seamlessly with the overarching social good theme of each season. For example, Season 11 delved into the realm of the critical topic of Emotional Intelligence, and each guest's perspective contributed to representation, education, and inspiration.

Filmed at UBN Studios, each season is pre-recorded and released weekly. Each episode maintains a steady rhythm that ensures the audience receives a consistent flow of engaging content.

Our interns, acting as production coordinators and creative forces, are vital to our success. They engage in pre-production research, guest coordination, and post-production duties to ensure seamless execution. Also, their adept social media promotions increase episode awareness and audience reach. This comprehensive involvement not only improves their skills but adds fresh perspectives into our content.

The each season theme reflects the diversity and depth of the conversations. From topics of illiteracy, women in tech, accessing better healthcare to AI, the podcast provides spaces for impactful discussions that resonate across various demographics.

What truly sets this podcast apart, is the commitment to candid narratives. The guests lay bare their truths, fostering a powerful connection between listeners and contributors. This transparency fosters empathy, fuels understanding, and propels positive change.

The strategy is a harmonious blend of curated guest choices, meticulous execution, and intern involvement. This blend champions diversity, empowers emerging talents, and invites listeners to engage with unfiltered stories. "UNSUGARCOATED™ with Aalia" transcends being a mere podcast; it's an arena for transformative conversations, toppling biases, and nurturing societal progress.


As the first branded social good podcast, "UNSUGARCOATED™ with Aalia" has interviewed some of the most influential thought-leaders in their industries, such as Larry Namer, co-founder of E! Entertainment, Robert Pearl, MD, former CEO of Kaiser Permanente, and Anthony Francisco, Marvel Creative Director and artist behind the beloved character "Baby Groot".

This is remarkable considering this is produced by a 501c3 organization with extremely limited funding. However, they have not allowed this to interfere with their efforts and in just four years, the podcast has reached an engaged audience across 70+ countries, leading them to achieve a global ranking of top 5%.

People around the globe have been positively impacted and supported through the collective trauma induced by the pandemic, including the dozens of interns that come to learn how to produce socially conscious content.

The ripple effect extends further through their collaboration with UBN Radio/TV, which resonates with over 1.5 million listeners worldwide. "UNSUGARCOATED™ with Aalia" is distributed on all major podcast platforms, including but not limited to iHeartRadio, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. With Season 11, they expanded their distribution to include Apple TV and Roku. This dynamic growth extends to their YouTube channel, where viewers can engage with each episode visually.

These results reflect the resonance of their approach and the depth of their impact. "UNSUGARCOATED™ with Aalia" continues to fulfill it's objective, being a beacon of transformative conversations that transcend borders and platforms.



Video for UNSUGARCOATED with Aalia

Entrant Company / Organization Name

UNSUGARCOATED Media, a 501c3 media enterprise


Entry Credits