Lights, chamber, action!
Since 2006, the Waco Chamber of Commerce has produced its own monthly TV show, “Chamber Connection.” The talk-show, which is broadcast on Waco City Cable Channel (WCCC), offers a platform for chamber members to speak directly to the community.
“It’s about giving our members a voice so they can tell their stories,” said Autumn Outlaw, the chamber’s director of marketing and communication and host of Chamber Connection. “The show gives them the opportunity to explain what their business is about, where they came from and why they’re a member of the chamber.”
WCCC is funded by a local tax on cable usage, which goes to public broadcast services. The station, which has a partnership with the Waco Chamber, covers the costs for nearly all aspects of the show’s production.
“The one question I try to ask everyone is, ‘Why would you encourage someone to join the chamber?’” said Outlaw. “Besides being a great message for former and prospective members, it allows people who aren’t business owners to hear how the chamber fosters collaboration and serves the community.”
Outlaw says her favorite part of the show is interviewing members and learning about the businesses they run.
“Doing Chamber Connection, I always learn so much more than I ever thought I would,” she said. “I love finding out what brought our members to Waco and why they do business here. It’s very rewarding to learn about the people we get to serve.”
“I also try to tie in our quarterly publication,” she continued. “For example, I recently pulled in one of our young professionals who was featured in the magazine, and he talked about why young people should move to Waco and the value the YP group brings to the community.”
Outlaw says the show’s reach has been growing and that the feedback she gets is mostly positive.
“We use snippets from the show on social media, and the reach has been fantastic,” she said. “I have people calling all the time asking if they can be interviewed on Chamber Connection.”
For chambers looking to start producing original video content, but unsure where to begin, Outlaw suggests starting out small.
“A cell phone video is an authentic way to capture people’s responses, which could be a good start for building a show of your own,” she said. “It’s also definitely worth reaching out to your local news stations to see if they’d partner with the chamber on some level, too.”
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