January 2019 Print

NC3C Excellence in Communication Awards

NC3C Awards Entry Period is Open: Deadline Feburary 4
To submit your entries, visit the NC3C website at www.nc3c.com, log into the member area, and select the Excellence in Communications Contest from the left-hand menu. You will find more information about the awards program there, plus a link to begin the entry process.

Get Your Entries in Early! Early bird entries are accepted until January 27 at $35 per entry. The extended entry period is January 28-February 4 at $55 per entry.

Help Us Avoid Awards Submission Gridlock: The NC3C Excellence in Communications Awards platform is easy to use – but it takes some time to complete an entry. Please allow yourself enough time before the rate goes up to prepare your submission and enter it into the system, especially if you have multiple entries. If you choose to submit multiple entries, it is recommended that you complete all entries, save them in your cart, and pay for them together rather than individually. The Awards Committee thanks you for your consideration!

Volunteer to be an Awards Judge: We need NC3C members and other communications professionals to judge the TAMI Awards for the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers (TAMIO). They are kindly judging our NC3C awards, and we are returning the favor! The TAMIO judging period runs from March 26-April 26, and all judging can be completed online. If you would like to serve as a TAMI Awards judge this year, please contact NC3C member Amy McCauley. Please let Amy know if you have an awards category preference and if you are willing to judge more than one category. Thank you in advance for your participation!

Annual Conference

NC3C Annual Conference is April 10-12 in Durham
While we're planning the annual conference you should start planning your stay! The speakers and topics will be unveiled soon. As always, you can expect great networking opportunities, idea sharing, peer recognition, and informative sessions. We can't wait to see you in Durham!

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. April 12 is the start of Duke Reunions weekend and area hotels are likely to fill up quickly. Reserve your rooms today!

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 

Calendar of Events

Mooresville Regional Meeting on February 20

Meet and network with other government communication professionals to discuss ways to navigate the social media maze. Register today for this regional meeting at the Mooresville Golf Club, it's free and lunch will be provided!

  • 10-10:30 Welcome & Opening
  • 10:30 - 11:15 Professional Networking on Social Media - LinkedIn
  • 11:15-12:15 Track & Report Social Media Engagement - Lunch & Discussion
  • 12:15 - 1:00 Neighborhood Engagement with Nextdoor
  • 1:00 - 2:00 Social Media Touchdowns & Fumbles - Moderated Discussion

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 ([email protected]) and Mark Andrews ([email protected]).  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