The city of Melissa announced the debut of a new podcast called “Heart of Melissa.” It will highlight various members of the community.


The first episode featured local business owner Danielle Dorman-Chapa. The second had a conversation with high school seniors Bella Blankenship and Grayson Hurst.


“We’re always trying to find new ways to connect with our community,” City Manager Jason Little said. “As our community grows, I think it’s really important that we try to make the community, as its expanding, as small as possible in the sense that we connect people.”


In the inaugural episode, host Drew Myers said that the podcast is a way to tell the story of Melissa through the people that live and work there. It was designed to paint a “really cool picture” of what it’s like to live in Melissa.


Over the next several of months, people from all walks of life will be featured.


According to Myers, simply hearing their stories will ultimately tell the story of Melissa.


City staff will work to identify futures podcast guests. Little says he already has a list of potential candidates. As guests participate, they will also be asked if there are others who might make good interview subjects.


One of the challenges many new podcasts face is that most people have never been interviewed for one. That leads to some initial nervousness and anxiety.


As the podcast establishes itself, the hope is that it will gain momentum and attract both more listeners and willing participants.


Little says that the city’s rapid growth and the number of people coming and going makes it challenging to reach everyone.


That, combined with the ever-changing way people consume media, leaves leaders of cities constantly on the lookout for better ways to communicate with residents.


In previous eras, there was single place where seemingly everyone would come for information. Now the goal is to try to find all the ways to reach people, and to do it in a way that that they find valuable enough to integrate it into their lives.


The city expects to release two episodes per month.


“Heart of Melissa” is currently available on Spotify, Spreaker and iTunes, although it will be coming to other podcast apps soon.


“I want it to highlight the people that live and work here who make it that place that we all feel is special,” Little said. “I hope it will also connect people to other individuals that they may not have otherwise crossed paths with. There are lot of people here that have good stories to tell.”