Go to Spotify, Google Play, Podbean, or ITunes. Then enter: “WRCOG.”
And you can subscribe to the WRCOGcast–the podcast of the Western Riverside Council of Governments.
Technology has changed how we communicate. Historically, people read newspapers to stay informed. Today, we know people are more likely to gather information from newer means like blogs, podcasts, and social media including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and, if you want to go old-school, Myspace.
How should public agencies respond? Do they keep the status quo or try something different? It was out these questions and new challenges that the Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG) launched their very own podcast, called the WRCOGcast. The goal is simple; offer a convenient and easy way for people to learn about programs, activities, people, and agencies who are working to improve the quality of life in the region and beyond.
New COGcast episodes posts biweekly At 20-ish minutes, each provide listeners with information in an easy-to-listen format for a commute or lunch break.
In an ode to the TV series Friends, each one starts with the title “The one about . . . ” It’s audio library now covers a range of topics ranging from homelessness, automation, professional development, and everything in between.
What did this “big endeavor” into new technology require?
Two microphones, a recorder, and a quiet space (literally the storage closet) are the building blocks of the WRCOGcast.
WRCOG staff meets with featured guests in advance to outline the discussion. Guests are encouraged to speak in plain terms, focusing on providing a simple overview, and a few best practices for the actual recording. Acronyms and government bureaucrat-speak are frowned upon. Other tips include silencing cell phones and refraining from tapping a pen during the session (since you can hear all noises). After the recording session, a media consultant edits and finalizes the episode. The featured guest then gets to listen and give the final approval.
WRCOG then releases the COGcast on social media networks for the listening enjoyment of the public.
WRCOG has released 20 episodes to date.
The response has been overwhelmingly positive in the community. The WRCOGcast has strengthened WRCOG’s organizational relationships with guests and the agencies/interests they represent in the region, creating new opportunities for partnership and collaboration.
How WRCOG made it happen:
- Sought a means for making it easier for stakeholders and the public to learn about projects, people and agencies that are working to improve the quality of life in the subregion
- Received support from WRCOG elected officials
- Stayed true to episode objectives: short, easy to listen to, minimal government-speak
- Bought two microphones and found a closet to record in
Click here to listen to every WRCOGcast episode to date!
Interested in being featured on the WRCOGcast? Contact Rachel Singer at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.