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Featured Image: (From right) Visit Dana Point Director of Sales and Marketing Rachel O’Neill-Cusey co-hosts Visit Dana Point’s new podcast, the Dana Point Wave, with Relic Advertising Agency Business Development Specialist Cali Oram. Photo: Courtesy of Dana Point Wave Podcast

By Breeana Greenberg

Visit Dana Point’s new podcast, the Dana Point Wave, aims to make visitors feel like a part of the community during their stay by sharing the stories of local businesses and community members who make up the fabric of the city.

The podcast’s first episode was released this past March with Rachel O’Neill-Cusey, Visit Dana Point’s director of Sales and Marketing, co-hosting with Cali Oram, Relic Advertising Agency’s business development specialist.

“The whole basis of the Dana Point Wave is to talk about . . . taking a deep dive into all of our excursions, our events, our hotels and to really tell the authentic Dana Point story,” O’Neill-Cusey said.                                     

At the start of this year, Visit Dana Point brought on Relic Marketing Agency, which produces the Destination Marketing Podcast.

When O’Neill-Cusey was a guest on the Destination Marketing Podcast, she had the idea that Visit Dana Point should produce a similar podcast marketing the city. Relic Marketing CEO Adam Stoker helped O’Neill-Cusey come up with the logo and title of the podcast, which plays off Dana Point’s rich surfing history.

The first guest that O’Neill-Cusey and Oram had on was Donna Kalez of Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching to discuss the legacy of her father, Don Hansen, and the city’s trademarked designation as the Dolphin and Whale Watching Capital of the World.

(From right) The latest episode of Visit Dana Point’s new podcast, the Dana Point Wave, features co-hosts Rachel O’Neill-Cusey and Cali Oram, along with producer Julie Sheffield, traveling throughout the city detailing their stops along the way. Photo: Courtesy of Dana Point Wave Podcast

“I’ve been trying to have guests that are local and that really make up what makes Dana Point, Dana Point,” O’Neill-Cusey continued.

Later episodes have had Vicki Patterson, founder of Stand Up to Trash; iHeartYoga founder Elsa Stuart; Candice Appleby of the Ocean Academy; members of the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce; Anthony Small from Music Preserves Foundation; and Gisele Anderson, vice president of Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari.

“I love Dana Point so much, and I get to talk about Dana Point and get people to come visit and tell them why they should be here, why they should be bringing their families here,” O’Neill-Cusey said.

The Dana Point Wave comes out with new episodes every two weeks. Episodes are usually from 20-25 minutes, though, she says, some run longer because guests are so passionate about what they do.

“When we started, we weren’t really sure what length we wanted to have, but we found that it’s more consumable when it’s shorter and gets more listeners,” O’Neill-Cusey said.

O’Neill-Cusey said she hopes listeners will discover new things to do in Dana Point.

“If they’re a local, I’m hoping that they’ll maybe rediscover something in Dana Point that they haven’t in a while,” O’Neill-Cusey said. “I hope for our visitors that they really come and enjoy some of the things that our local vendors offer and they can really get that feeling of being here in Dana Point and being part of the community while they’re visiting.”

For visitors, O’Neill-Cusey said she also hopes the podcast will help people plan their trips to Dana Point, listening to episodes on their drive or flight here and get inspired to try something new.

After just a few months of being up and running, O’Neill-Cusey said she already has residents asking to be guests on the podcast. Though she is mostly talking with local vendors to appear, O’Neill-Cusey encouraged those who are interested to email her at roneill@visitdanapoint.com.

Breeana Greenberg

Breeana Greenberg is the city reporter for the Dana Point Times. She graduated from Chapman University with a bachelor of arts degree in English. Before joining Picket Fence Media, she worked as a freelance reporter with the Laguna Beach Independent. Breeana can be reached by email at bgreenberg@picketfencemedia.com

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