Coalitions in Action—NYC PRC Podcasts for Prevention

“The New York City Prevention Resource Center (NYC PRC) is one of six regional prevention resource centers in the state of New York,” said Director Ronni Katz. “We serve the five boroughs of New York City with over eight million people. NYC is one of the most diverse cities in the world, with over 200 languages spoken and over 40% of the population born outside the U.S. The NYC PRC was started in 2009 and is housed within Children's Aid in Manhattan.”

​“NYC PRC provides training and technical assistance to prevention coalitions within NYC and helps establish new ones where needed,” said Katz. “We also provide training to prevention providers. When the pandemic hit, all of our in-person activities were cancelled. We had to create new ways to train coalitions and providers and to foster collaboration throughout the city, so prevention messaging and strategies could still effectively reach the people within the communities we serve. We also needed to find ways to support the work of the coalitions we work with during challenging times.”

“We have continued to provide technical assistance to coalitions virtually and have attended all of their virtual monthly meetings,” said Katz. “We have provided virtual training to coalitions and providers and have even presented a workshop, ‘Podcasting for Prevention,’ at CADCA’s Mid-Year Training Institute.”

“One of our greatest successes has been the formation of NYC POP (Partners of Prevention), a collaboration of 15 coalitions, providers and agencies that collaboratively create two weekly prevention-related social media posts, which we all post on specific days of the week,” said Katz. “We also provide resources and information through multiple platforms together. It allows NYC prevention to have one unified voice.”
“Since last summer, we have resumed our podcast, ‘The Solution: Nothing Changes if we Change Nothing,’ by recording it on Zoom and offering it through multiple audio platforms as well as YouTube,” said Katz. “Each week, we interview guests from our coalitions and our community of prevention providers. Prevention-focused podcasts are still very new, and we have the potential to create a new niche. With the easy access of podcasts, it gives us a huge opportunity to spread the message of prevention to a wide and diverse audience.”

​“Our goal for the podcast was to create one per week and establish a video version, along with the audio version,” said Katz. “We created a YouTube channel in June, and 640 people have downloaded our podcasts since then, combining the audio and video versions. We have promoted the podcasts through our social media platforms, email lists and through the CADCA Community. We are aiming for at least 1,000 downloads by March 2021.”​

“My advice to other prevention professionals working during the pandemic is to be creative and step outside of your comfort zone,” said Katz. “We are living in unprecedented times and what worked before will not necessarily work now. Learn new skills and use them. Meet people where they are at and use multiple ways to get your messaging across.”

​“My entire team will attend CADCA’s National Leadership Forum this February, and we will be sponsoring at least five people from our coalitions to attend,” said Katz. “We attend every year and we hope to take back information and strategies about trends, urban coalitions, gathering data and how to effectively reach your targeted populations. We are also eager to hear how other groups around the country are adapting to these times.”