What We Know
O'Neill Communications has worked with the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council since 2017. Based out of Columbus, Ohio, the statewide council works to "create change that improves independence, productivity and inclusion for people with developmental disabilities and their families in community life." One of the charges of the firm was to expand the awareness about the Council across the state among people with disabilities, their families and other stakholders.
In 2020, when the the coronavirus pandemic that raged the nation, many organizations hosted webinars and daily alerts that advised on the updates of the pandemic, state guidleines, and how it's affecting communities, isolation from lockdowns was a feeling felt around the world. For people with disabilities, this was felt even more as businesses and schools closed, therapies were halted, and social programs also came to a standstill. Realizing that community was missed and much needed, the firm utilized the digital space to share stories and create a community.
The firm, with Ohio DD Council, launched a monthly podcast in Spring 2020 to create a connection point for Ohioans with disabilities and their families as the COVID-19 pandemic started to rage through the United States. From sharing stories to creating avenues for people telling their own, the podcast has become a popular form of communication and engagement for the Council. Read more about our strategy and results:
Ohio DD Talks features various topics important to the disability community across Ohio. The podcast interviews people with disabilities, agency leaders and more to cover different topics that impact the community. To include people across Ohio, the podcast also designed a way to collect stories from individuals across the state on the topic of the podcast.
Editorial - Currently, there is one epsiode per month and features topics in relation to what matters to the DD community. The podcast started with two members of the Ohio DD Council who shared their coping skills with COVID - taking up a new hobby, discussing losing a job and trying to keep their spirits up. The podcast then went on to cover the following topics:
- Coping with COVID
- 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
- Financial asset development
- The importance of caregivers/Direct Support Professionals
- The Mailbox - sharing the stories received from the audience around the State.
The producers tapped a Council Member to become the host of Ohio DD Talks as way to get involved and drive the conversation. Michael Denlinger's natural charm and conversational style drove the podcast and messaging on topics.
User-generated content -The firm created a story collection portal allowing people to participate in the podcast as well by sharing their stories as well, allowing them to be a part of the podcast. At the time of this writing, the firm is planning for a People's Episode to touch base with all the individuals who submitted their stories and has received over 20 individual stories.
Distribution: The firm created a specific list to collect new email sign ups/opt-ins for the podcast, and releases the new episode the email list first, before it goes live on Facebook, YouTube and the podcast stations - Apple, Spotify and Google. Then the episode is released via Facebook Watch and Twitter for the community.
Accessibility: The firm ensured that each episode meets accessibility standards with closed captioning and accessible colors for any graphics for the podcast.
Launched in June, and with monthly episodes covering new and relevant topics, the podcast has been received with great enthusiasm across the viewers and listeners. Overall, the podcast/videocast episodes have received 24,813 impressions and over 19,009 in reach, both organic. The podcast is now available on Apple, Spotify and where podcasts are available. The listeners are steadily growing and the Council has received great feedback and interest in the podcast. The most popular episodes were on Direct Support Professionals, transportation and advocacy.
Addtionally, the distribution strategy received the following results:
User-Generated Content: The story collection portion of the podcast strategy has received 20+ unique stories from listeners around the state. Each story is focused on the topic of the podcast.
Brand Awareness: Through the podcast's outreach, the Ohio DD Council reached new counties where the Council has no representation or had rural representation, where the Council has been working to gain more awareness. Additionally, the opt-ins to the Ohio DD Council's email list increased by 90% specifically due to the podcast.
- Written by Super User
- Published: 25 March 2021