Glenwood Area Chamber Of Commerce Sees Podcast As Opportunity To Tell Its Story
Shortly after Rachel Reis took on the role of executive director of the Glenwood Area Chamber of Commerce in May 2018, she and events and communications manager Tana Saddler began compiling a “someday” list. More than anything, Reis said, it was a list of goals to enhance the mission of the chamber and better serve its member businesses.
“Things we wanted to see happen and what we wanted to build towards,” Reis recalled.
Among the general ideas to come out of the list was developing new ways to communicate the role of the chamber to the community and member businesses. Since becoming director, Reis has written a monthly “Chamber Chit Chat” column for publication in The Opinion-Tribune. It’s also sent electronically to member businesses. Reis and Saddler also distribute a weekly newsletter via e-mail, but they felt they could do more.
That’s when the idea of doing a podcast surfaced, at the suggestion of Council Bluffs business communication specialist Todd Studer, a former radio broadcaster who specializes in providing businesses with professional voice over services and serves as the moderator of the Success In Iowa podcast.
“We knew we needed something that would enhance what we’re already doing. We have a newsletter that kind of lets people know what is going on, we have a partnership with the newspaper,” Reis said. “ We needed something that wasn’t marketing focused and more about how we support businesses while also telling our story – being very specific about telling our story and our successes.”
Studer first presented the podcast idea to Reis about a year ago, but the initiative was put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“He finally pulled Tana and I into a room about a month ago and said, ‘I think we ought to do this,” Reis said. “Tana and I heard him out and listened so here I am.”
The “Mind Your Business, Mills County” podcast debuted in late January with Studer serving as the moderator.
“It’s a little bit more of who I am and how we do our business here. It’s a little more laid back,” Reis said. “We needed something that wasn’t marketing focused and more about how we support businesses while also telling our story – being very specific about telling our story and our successes.”
Up to this point, the podcast has been a conversation between Studer and Reis, focusing on the chamber’s role in the business community and highlighting the regular and annual events the organization sponsors throughout the year. She’s also made an effort to clear up some misconceptions about what the chamber is and what it isn’t.
The podcast is taped on Friday and begins airing the following Wednesday. The podcasts can be listened to at any time through the “Business Toolkit” link on the chamber’s website.
Listeners can expect future podcasts to celebrate the successes of local businesses and provide valuable information and food for thought to the business community.
“We want make sure anything that we talk about on there that we’re connecting it back to a business here so that people can start looking at each other here as the experts. We need to do a better job of creating experts in our businesses here – getting more return on investment for them,” Reis said.