Launched in August, the 20-minute, bi-weekly podcast (a new episode drops every other Tuesday) takes a look at everything-Pittsburgh with a mix of news, arts, and other coverage. Hosted by WordWrite president and chief storyteller Paul Furiga, Dan Stefano, and Logan Armstrong, the show adds to the Pittsburgh 100, a newsletter that contains “100-word stories and 100-second videos on topics of intrigue in the Pittsburgh area.”
“We wanted to dive into these stories a little more, and the podcast allows us to do that,” says Stefano.
The episodes out now cover a wide range of topics. One takes a story about the Port Authority and turns it into a wider discussion about public transportation in the area, only to then feature an interview with Dawn Keezer of the Pittsburgh Film Office. They’ve also touched on books, food, and football. Even aliens make an appearance.
“It’s almost like a time capsule, so when you go back to the episodes, you’re able to capture a piece of time in Pittsburgh and what’s happening,” says Armstrong, who also serves as an account coordinator for WordWrite. “When you go back and listen to an episode, it doesn’t feel like it’s dated.”
The hosts believe P100, in its own small way, helps to fill the void left by some of the city’s disappearing media, especially now that large news sources like the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have cut back to printing three days a week. This especially hits home for Stefano and Furiga, both veteran former journalists who between them spent years reporting for the Pittsburgh Business Times, Reuters, and Trib Total Media.
“A big part of the way we approach PR is we feel it’s all about storytelling,” says Furiga. “The best storytellers are journalists.”
He believes podcasts like P100 can serve as “great journalistic-style storytelling vehicles” and cater to people with busy lifestyles.
“What I like about the medium of podcasts is more and more today people have a hard time figuring out how to set aside time to read the news,” says Furiga. “Podcasts are nice and easy. You can listen to them on your commute to work, or while you’re cutting to grass or working out … People enjoy listening to them and they have the time to.”
Besides reporting, Armstrong adds another element of expertise as a musician. As part of that, he contributes the Pittsburgh Polyphony spotlight to P100, a look at up-and-coming music acts in the area. So far, the segment has covered Flower Crown and String Machine, each respective episode ending with a track from the artist.
"I’m always grateful to be able to give exposure to lots of musicians in the scene,” says Armstrong, who identifies as a solo pop/R&B act.
As for upcoming segments, they plan on covering opera and the Mummies of the World exhibit now open at the Carnegie Science Center. No matter the topic, they want to make sure to present in a way so anyone can listen and enjoy it.
“We keep it kind of loose,” says Stefano. “We’re able to find different stories that we think are interesting to talk about that hopefully other people will [find interesting] too.”