The Greene County Commissioners are expanding their community outreach into the area of podcasting. The first episode of “County Conversations,” a collaborative podcast featuring all three of the county commissioners, released on Oct. 21 on most podcast platforms and touched on a variety of topics relating to Greene County.
According to Mike Belding, chairman of the board of commissioners, the commissioners were previously utilizing media like Facebook, local radio stations and the county website to disseminate information to residents of the county. However, he said people were still telling the commissioners that they didn’t know what was happening within the county.
“We hear this often, people say ‘I don’t know what’s going on in the county’ and this is just another avenue for us to get to a new audience,” he said. “ It’s relatively inexpensive to produce and post and get out to a new audience, it’s just another avenue for us to get the information flow going to individuals that are interested in Greene County information.”
One of the target demographics of the podcast is younger people, Belding said. According to statista.com, 57% of Americans listen to some form of an audio podcast, and Belding said that the podcast will further the commissioner’s goal of transparency.
“We are kind of really leaning forward in transparency and information flow,” he said.
The first episode of the podcast touched on past and future events in Greene County, such as the Rain Day festival from last summer and the upcoming Christmas Open House hosted by the Greene County Historical Society. The commissioners also provided updates on the broadband expansion and Wisecarver expansion.
At the end of the podcast, vice chairman Betsy McClure hinted at some future plans for the podcast.
“Looking forward, our podcast will continue to explore past and future Greene county events, but it will also venture into other important elements in our county,” she said. “Starting with our next episode, we will introduce segments such as tourism updates, economic reports, community developments, small business highlights, and so much more.”
According to Blair Zimmerman, secretary of the board of commissioners, the date for the next podcast has not been determined. He said the commissioners have not yet discussed the date for the next episode with Waynesburg business Direct Results, which is helping the commissioners create and publish the podcasts.
“Direct Results does a lot of our social media stuff, and they approached us a while back about a podcast,” he said. “Direct Results is kind of running the show as far as timing when we are going to do them, and I don’t know that we have had the conversation.”
McClure concluded the podcast by asking for community feedback on the podcast.
“We are so excited to embark on the podcasting journey with our wonderful residents, and don’t forget that we want to hear from you,” she said. “While you are listening or throughout the next month, be sure to keep in contact with us about any questions you may have or suggestions for segments that we can discuss in future episodes.”