The Town of Saugeen Shores, ON has received national recognition for its Shore Report Podcast from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA). The town was presented with the 2019 CAMA Willis Award for Innovation, in the Under 20,000 population category, during CAMA’s national conference in Quebec, QC.
“CAMA is pleased to recognize Saugeen Shores for the excellent effort and best practice being demonstrated by their municipal podcast,” said Marc Landry, president of CAMA and City Manager for Moncton, NB. “The podcast is an excellent way to increase communication to residents and investors through an accessible and innovative solution.”
A podcast is a web-based audio file, and in the case of the Shore Report, it does not include video and is not live. It is a pre-recorded, engaging, and informative conversation, which is then uploaded to two online platforms (iTunes and SoundCloud). These platforms are then leveraged through the municipal website and through social media.
Storytelling is identified as a priority within the Town of Saugeen Shores Communication Strategy. The free and inclusive access to a podcast provides an innovative solution to tell municipal project stories, local business stories, development success stories, and is a platform to discuss the economic opportunity provided by local industry.
As of April 2019, the podcast has 71 episodes posted, and has over 8,000 listens in 50 countries. This is an extraordinary reach for a community of less than 14,000 people, and the cost of $200 a year to produce makes it affordable for all municipalities. The Shore Report can be found online at saugeenshores.ca/shorereport.
“We are extremely pleased with the quality and scope of the 35 award submissions received for this year’s CAMA Awards of Excellence,” said Louis Coutinho, Chair for the 2019 CAMA Awards Jury, CAMA representative for Nova Scotia & PEI, and Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Windsor, NS. “Congratulations to the winners and all those who took the time to enter a submission.”
The Willis Award for Innovation, awarded in recognition of Jack Willis for his contribution to CAMA, is presented for programs, projects or services that demonstrate exceptional innovation or meritorious initiative. Since Canada has a unique mixture of small and large communities, awards are granted according to population – for municipalities under 20,000, for those between 20,001 and 100,000 and for those over 100,000.