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 of 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.
The WRCOGcast is released biweekly and features 20-ish minute episodes; each is designed to be an easy and effective way to provide listeners with relevant information either during a commute or lunch break – hence the short episodes. Launched in late 2018, the WRCOGcast now has a library of resources for listeners on topics ranging from homelessness, automation, professional development, and everything in between.
So, 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. To prepare for recordings, WRCOG staff works with upcoming featured guests to outline topics to be discussed - focusing on simple outcomes - and shares best practices for the actual recording (use of acronyms and government bureaucrat-speak is frowned upon), like silencing cell phones and refraining from tapping a pen during the session (since you can hear all noises). After the recording session, staff works with a media consultant to finalize the episode and then shares the edited version with the featured guest for their review. Once approved by the guest, WRCOG releases the WRCOGcast on social media networks for the listening enjoyment of the public.
20 episodes of the WRCOGcast have been released to-date. Or, you can just google “WRCOGcast” and go from there (warning that if you just google “cogcast” you will may find podcasts that discusses best practices for farm living or for the Church of God). Perhaps in an ode to the TV series Friends, each one starts with the title "The one about . . . "
The WRCOGcast has been positively received by the community. We also think that 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.