February 2019 Print

Annual Conference

Get Ready to Rumble in Durham!
You did it! You made the deadline and submitted your entries for this year’s NC3C Excellence in Communications Awards – congratulations! 

Now it’s time to get ready to rumble in Durham – because we received 248 total entries, the biggest pool of awards entries in NC3C history! Who will duke it out to earn top honors? Find out on Awards Night, April 11, at the NC3C Annual Conference in Durham. Conference registration is open.

Reserve Your Annual Conference Hotel Rooms Today!
Aloft Downtown Durham has limited number of rooms availble at an exclusive NC3C price. Click this link to get the special NC3C rate

Nominations for Chris Coulson Communicator of the Year Award

Now Accepting Nominations for the Chris Coulson Communicator of the Year Award

Each year, NC3C has the opportunity to recognize a member whose character, career and service represent the highest standards of the profession. The Communicator of the Year is someone who excels in the practice of local government communications and/or has accomplished an outstanding one-time achievement.

The award is named in honor and memory of Chris Coulson, a founding member of NC3C who demonstrated these attributes throughout her career.

Nominations are being accepted through an online nomination form on the NC3C website, where you can share information about the person’s career and accomplishments. The form can be accessed in Meetings and Conferences via a drop-down link from the Excellence in Communications Contest. Scroll to the bottom to find the information for the Chris Coulson Award and the nomination form link.

Feel free to nominate an NC3C member – including yourself! – for this distinguished honor. Nominations are being accepted through Friday, March 1.


Calendar of Events

Mooresville Regional Meeting on February 20

[Still] Navigating the Social Media Maze
February 20, 2019, 10AM – 2PM

As communicators, we are charged with internal and external communications, speech writing, event planning, video production and so much more. Add social media to our daily tasks and it is sometimes hard to keep up with all the NEW options and features and programs. Come meet with other NC3C members and professional colleagues to share ideas, learn new tricks, and maybe even update your LinkedIn profile. It is a never ending course of new technology and communication.

Just click here to register.

Professional Tip of the Month

Connecting the Dots & Expanding Your Reach

I’ve developed communications strategies for stormwater management for the last two years. This includes topics like water pollution, volunteering, and emergency road closures to repair infrastructure. And, getting residents to really understand what we do and why we do it when much of the content is technical and complex. 

When I first started with the City of Raleigh, I focused on learning as much about stormwater as possible. Why do Stormwater Control Measures (SCMs) reduce water pollution? How do concrete box culverts benefit drainage systems? But really, what are these things and why should I (or residents) care? I realized, as a communications professional, it's important to understand my service area. But more importantly, understanding how to explain the content is crucial. If I continued to use our beloved jargon, I wasn't going to get anywhere. 

I’ve made small changes to shift how I communicate technical information and keep residents engaged. Here are a few: 

  • Regular meeting with experts to go over projects. This sometimes requires taking a step back and feeling comfortable to say, “I don’t get this, let’s rework it so that others can understand the great work you’re doing.” 

  • Re-working content. If I’m being honest, it’s easy to start using “engineering speak” when I’m around it all day long. I recently started using Hemingway Editor (thanks to our Communications Department) and I’m hooked! It has helped me keep content conversational and engaging. It’s also been a fun challenge to get the content where we need it to be. 

  • Going where the people are. Stormwater has a pretty large customer base, but our channels and tactics don’t always reflect that. So, more recently it’s been valuable to tap into audiences that are larger and trendier.
    • Art. Storm drain art projects with the Raleigh Arts Office have resulted in three times more of a reach to a new audience who may be interested in the sciences and art.

    • Flooding. During Hurricane Florence, we worked with emergency management, first responders, and the Public Utilities and Communications Departments to cross-promote information. We reached 26,000 customers who were at risk for major flooding and our interactive flood maps reached 25,000 hits organically.

    • Road closures. There were two major road closures for emergency stormwater repairs this year. Partnering with the Transportation Department and GoRaleigh services helped get the word out to drivers and public transit riders. 

While we all know the importance of targeted communications—when you’re given a very specific service area, it is possible to expand your reach and bring the topic to the forefront of your city/county. Just take a step back, look for the connection, and go where the people are!

Kristin Freeman, City of Raleigh 

President's Report

Dear NC3C Members,

Happy 2019!

I hope each of you are off to a great start in 2019!

As promised, we have an exciting few months ahead of us.  We are all looking forward to our annual conference April 10 – 12 in Durham and hope you are too.

Remember that the Awards of Excellence Contest is taking entries through February 4.  Save some money and enter now, since the price goes up on Monday, January 28.  Don’t miss the chance to show off your great work throughout the year!  It is a great way to summarize your work, showcase it to the judges and NC3C members, and you might be the one who wins, which gives you that extra notch of credibility for the bosses.

Topics and speakers are what make our conference stand out.  Now’s the time to share any great topic ideas or speakers with our Conference Committee.  Please send your ideas Kristin Bunton (KLBunton@cabarruscounty.us) and Mark Andrews (mark.andrews@Hollyspringsnc.us).  They are working hard, behind the scenes, to pull together another great conference.

But, before the conference gets here, we have an upcoming Regional on Wednesday, February 20, in Mooresville.  Make sure to register.  The Regionals are great ways to connect with your fellow peers and learn something new.  And, it’s lunch…who doesn’t like lunch?  We look forward to seeing you there!

Stay connected to www.NC3C.com, as well as our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter, for the latest updates all year.

Dana Kaminske
2018-2019 NC3C President
Communications & Marketing Manager, City of Hickory