Outreach Coordinator

Organization: 
WERU-FM Community Radio
VISTA Name: 
Meaghan Lasala
Program Start: 
9/2010
Program End: 
9/2011
Project Description: 

The Corps member will serve in a vital outreach and engagement role that is necessary to boost community engagement work in our new broadcast service area. The Corps member will also serve as a liaison between the radio station and the community during this critical time of community engagement.

Project Outcome: 

Meaghan was responsible for Outreach & Community Engagement in the Greater Bangor area (which WERU just started serving with a new radio signal). She:
- Coordinated four listener focus groups
- Coordinated three major events
- Attended several community events on behalf of WERU
- Networked with several area nonprofit organizations and businesses
- Trained two high school teachers in radio program production so that they can instruct their students in the same.
- Produced several community interest short features for broadcast
- Coordinated and hosted a monthly panel discussion and call-in program about various issues and goings-on in Greater Bangor.
- Is creating a report and manual of all her activities so that they may be replicated and sustained after her term at WERU has ended.

While one may think that if your radio broadcast signal reaches a community then you are part of that community, but this is not necessarily true. The changes for our organization as a result of our Corps member’s work are primarily with regards to having a greater connection with the Greater Bangor area. Our network of partners and contacts has been expanded greatly. We are better known by institutions such as the University of Maine New Media Studies Department, the Maine Discovery Museum (children’s museum) and the United Way. We have a relationship with the Bangor Area Chamber of Commerce and are better known by a variety of locally-owned businesses. We are seen as an organization that is physically present in the area by virtue of our holding events and attending other organizations’ events. Listener/members in the area have a greater sense of belonging to the radio station “family,” in part due to a new public affairs programming about the Bangor community created by our Corps member. To sustain these positive changes we need to prioritize the relationships, events, etc. that she has done and assign those activities to members of our staff and volunteers. We may not be able to absorb all the work that she was doing but hopefully will be able to continue doing the activities that we found to be most useful.

All of the objectives of our Corps members were largely accomplished, though a major challenge was that our new radio broadcast transmitter to serve the area didn’t come on line until six months after we had anticipated. Had that happened on schedule the depth of our member’s work would have been more profound and require less work by the organization to grow and sustain.

Transmission Project