Between Two Pros: Best Episodes of “The Crux” for the Budding PR Professional

Podcasts. They’re a dime a dozen. Every day, it seems that more and more celebrities are leaving their day jobs to launch their own “advice” podcasts. And, every day it seems like the two sort-of-funny dudes from your floor freshman year have also left their day jobs to start a podcast described as “just their take on things.” In either case, there are just as many people making podcasts as there are listening. So how do you know which podcasts are worth it? How do you want to spend your time (most likely your commute) every day? Well, no matter your interests, there’s one podcast that every up-and-coming communication professional should ‘add to queue’: The Crux of the Story. 

The Crux is hosted by Boston University’s own Gary Sheffer and Mike Fernandez. Between them, they have over 80 years of combined experience and knowledge. But, this isn’t just two dudes “giving their take on things.” Every week, Sheffer and Fernandez bring in a relevant and valued guest, from titans of industry to Oscar-winning filmmakers. These hosts ask the important questions and give the right advice. With 67 episodes and counting, you may not have the time to listen to them all before the semester ends. But, rest (and listen) assured! We’ve collected some of the best episodes for anyone in need of advice or (something to listen to while you cook). 

Gary Sheffer is the Sandra R. Frazier Professor of Public Relations at BU. Sheffer co-hosts The Crux with Mike Fernandez, former BU professor and SVP & Chief Communications Officer at Enbridge.

Episode 24 — Pete Souza 

The Crux consistently brings in high-profile guests but few have as interesting a story to tell as Pete Souza. This BU alum is perhaps most famous for being the chief official White House photographer during the Obama administration. Souza recalls some of the stories behind his most famous photos and talks about what it takes to be a good photojournalist. For all of us who have looked at Souza’s photos lining the walls of the COM building and thought: How do you even get this job? The Crux has answers. 

Episode 40 — Jaqueline Adams   

Emmy Award-winning CBS correspondent Jaqueline Adams sits down with Sheffer and Fernandez to discuss her ever-expanding career as a woman of color and what can be done to empower women in leadership positions. Adams conducted a large-scale survey of women in business and comes to The Crux to share her eye-opening findings. This episode eloquently tackles tough topics and is a must-listen for those curious about the latest developments to bring diversity and equity to every workplace.  

Episode 62 — Dr. Robert Brown 

“It’s always a great opportunity to interview your boss,” says Crux host Gary Sheffer. On this episode, the hosts dive into conversation with BU’s own Dr. Robert Brown. But, don’t think that this episode is just a hunt for a raise. Sheffer and Fernandez speak to Dr. Brown about his diverse background in chemical engineering, the inner workings of BU, and what it really takes to run a university. This episode is a great look into the recent history of BU, along with what Dr. Brown is doing to take the school to new heights in the future. Also, Dr. Brown is faced with one of the most hard-hitting questions of his career: Will the Commonwealth Ave. construction ever end?   

No matter where you start, you will always leave an episode of The Crux learning something new. Sheffer and Fernandez have an uncanny ability to make any topic palatable no matter its complexity. Their guests come from all corners of the communication world and each brings their own unique stories and advice for listeners. If you’re looking for your next favorite news podcast, stop looking and start listening.     

Evan Kielmeyer, Staff Writer

Evan is a second-year graduate student in the Advertising Program here at BU. He received his bachelor’s degree in communication and history from Boston College (and is trying to keep that part quiet from his BU peers). In his free time, Evan enjoys skydiving, motorcycle racing, and lying on the internet. When he’s not doing that, he can be found listening to indie music, watching sci-fi movies, and waving to dogs he passes on the street.  

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