The podcast about the biggest issues impacting our communities.

The Better Communities Podcast

Our mission has always been focused on building better communities through the power of storytelling. And as communications professionals, we believe it is fundamental to hear different perspectives. This helps us all understand how the decisions we make in our communities impact the people who call the Pacific Northwest home. The Better Communities Podcast is a production of Hubbell Communications.



EP 11: Is the Polling Industry Broken?

2020 was a tough year. And a global pandemic, a shuttered economy, and the social justice movement made it a uniquely tough election year for opinion pollsters.

Election night seemed like a repeat of 2016. The polls simply got it wrong. Again.

The predictions of a “blue wave” never materialized. Pollsters had to admit there was something wrong with the models their industry has relied on for decades.

So why do the polls keep getting it wrong?

The $19 billion opinion research business is now searching for answers. In this episode, we explore how the polling industry is rethinking how behavioral and demographic shifts are disrupting long-standing opinion research methods.

Listen as John Horvick of DHM ResearchDave Metz of FM3 Research, and Stefan Hankin of Trendency Research share their perspectives on the forces changing the polling business – and how research firms are adapting to a real-time information world.


EP 10: Division and the Discomfort of Otherness

We are often told society today is more divided than ever. But what is driving this division?

In this episode, we explore issues of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination through a unique lens. Listen as we take a journey into a group commonly misunderstood: hunters.

Join us as host Bryan Dorn goes on his first hunting trip and meets up with Jimmy Flatt of Hunters of Color to talk about why hunting is seen as a “white man’s sport”; with Marcia Brownlee of Artemis Sportswomen about her mission to bend gender stereotypes in the community; with Carla Brauer about her journey from being a vegan animal rights activist to a proponent of ethical hunting practices; with Evan Charpentier on his experience as both a hunter and soccer Dad in Lake Oswego; and Ian Isaacson of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers about why the hunting community needs to do more to tell its story better.

EP 9: Losing Faith: Why We Distrust the Media

What role does social media play in our understanding of truth? How can journalists utilize the digital age to build civic engagement? And what role does the consumer play in sustaining a trustworthy information ecosystem?

In this episode, we examine our growing distrust in news media and take a closer look at what the future may hold for journalists and consumers to regain trust in this important democratic institution.

Listen as we talk with University of Oregon professors Lisa Heyamoto and Todd Milbourn about the 32 Percent Project – a study aimed at uncovering why less than one third of Americans say they trust the media.

We also sit down with Caitlyn May, a reporter for the Albany Democrat Herald. She explains why journalists play a role in cultivating and reinforcing an honest information ecosystem and how they can use social media more effectively to bolster greater community engagement.

And, we talk to Veryan Kahn, President of the Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium, about how disinformation is spread online and the impact social media has on our news consumption and production.

EP 8: Farming Through Uncertianty

The COVID crisis has had far reaching impacts on Oregon’s economy from closed restaurants to work from home practices. But a story that has largely gone untold is the impact this crisis is having on Oregon’s food producers. What happens when restaurants are forced to close overnight, and shoppers panic buy supermarket shelves? How do farms react to an ever-changing market and what will this mean for Oregon’s food economy? Join us as we talk with framers, ranchers, and dairymen to better understand how this pandemic is impacting agriculture in the PNW.

EP 7: A Message from Ward Hubbell

In this short episode we sit down with Hubbell Communications founder Ward Hubbell and his father to learn some valuable life lessons about raising children and participating in the community. Join us as we learn about the values instilled in Ward at a young age that he brings to Hubbell Communications today.

EP 6: The Comming Crisis for Oregon’s Hospitals

Our hospitals have been celebrated for their role on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have watched the images of doctors, nurses and first responders working long hours and saving lives. It is a powerful testament to the role our hospitals play in our community. But there is more at stake as we look ahead to what comes after the crisis subsides. Hospitals are now facing a second crisis – one that may be more complex and intractable than the rapid response to treat sick patients. Listen as we talk with three of Oregon’s top hospital and healthcare leaders about the challenges ahead – and how this pandemic will change our healthcare system going forward.

EP 5: How COVID is Changing Gen-Z

Gen Z is facing a uniquely challenging situation. They were supposed to graduate into the strongest job
market in a generation. Now they are having to rethink their career paths. Despite being the first
generation of digital natives, they are suddenly having to navigate e-learning and virtual networking. For
soon-to-be graduates, they are having to job hunt and start their careers through remote channels. In
this episode, our own Bryan Dorn, a recent college graduate himself, shares the voices and experiences
of Gen Z – and how they are rethinking life in a post-COVID world.

EP 4: Communicating Unknowns

The COVID crisis has caused unprecedented change in our communities. Restaurants are shut down; businesses are working from home and health care employees are focusing on emergency care. During all this, businesses are having to adapt to ever changing policies and growing uncertainty. So, how do you communicate the unknown and how can you be a leader when the future looks bleak? In this episode of the Better Communities Podcast we talk with Hubbell Communications Founder Ward Hubbell to better understand how to lead and communicate in uncharted waters

EP 3: The Higher Education Crisis

Across the nation higher education institutions face an arguably unprecedented slate of dire circumstances. From waning enrollment, to declining birth rates, to skyrocketing student debt, tuition, and the costs colleges bear to deliver degrees–the mainstream story is grim.

In this episode, Hubbell President Zach Hyder hosts Melody Rose, a higher education growth coach and governance consultant, and Hubbell President Ward Hubbell to break down what is really happening within the walls of America’s higher education institutions.

EP 2: Oregon’s Cap-and-Trade Bill Implodes

The Oregon legislative session just wrapped. On the agenda was an ambitious plan to cap Oregon’s greenhouse emissions in a carbon marketplace known as “cap and trade.” Opponents of the bill made national headlines by walking out of session to prevent its passage. But even with a supermajority, the Democratic leadership did not have the votes to pass the bill. So, what happened? What lessons can we learn about the power of human-interest messaging and the state of public discourse in Oregon today?

EP 1: The Better Communities Podcast Trailer

The Better Communities Podcast has evolved in format, size, audience and so much more. From our early discussions around cap and trade to real life hunting expeditions, the BCP utilizes the limitless audio environment to tell life changing stories. Join us as we explore a variety of topics, conversations and questions in order to uncovers hidden truths and build better communities. Learn more about our podcast by listening to the trailer!