August 2019 Print

Professional Tip of the Month

Translation and Interpretation

The Town of Chapel Hill has been working on offering translation and interpretation* services to non-English-proficient residents and visitors, beginning with emergency preparedness and response messages. This request came to us from refugee support groups in the community, and the Town Council has mentioned it unofficially as a desired goal. Our non-English-proficient residents, when they received messages about storms or other actionable emergencies, were getting them late, with incomplete information, or—through the game of telephone—incorrect information, if anything at all.

While there were many different questions that needed to be answered to get the efforts off the ground (what languages do we offer, how do we deliver them, do we translate/interpret everything, should our website include Google Translate), the biggest hurdle: budget!

So, we’ve taken a step back, and—partnering with our Housing and Community Department as well as the Emergency Management Division of our Fire Department—we 1. Determined the top four non-English languages spoken in Chapel Hill: Spanish, Burmese, Karen, Mandarin Chinese; 2. Developed a list of emergency messages to be interpreted into the four languages; and 3. Scheduled interpreters for one-hour sessions to record as many of the messages we could in that time.

The videos are in the editing studio now. I look forward to sharing the final product with our members soon. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a question I hope we can have a discussion about (let’s take it to Facebook—look for the question on the closed NC3C group!): Are you offering translation/interpretation services for your residents and visitors? If so, what has been your biggest hurdle; have you been able to get over it; and, if so, how?

*Translation is the written word; interpretation is the spoken word. Some people are able to translate; some people are able to interpret; some are able to do both.

3CMA Savvy Award Winners

Hello from 3CMA!

I look forward to seeing many of you at the 3CMA Conference this September and cheering on several of our N.C. friends who will win SAVVY Awards – last year we brought home a record number! If you are attending please fill out the survey from NextDoor which will help us tailor the session for your needs. The conference is sold out at this point but add your name to the waiting list if you would like to attend.

As your board member we are working constantly to make your membership in 3CMA a valuable asset. I hope you have had the opportunity to “attend” the many free webinars we have produced this year, read the monthly blogs and join the 3CMA Facebook page. Just like our NC3C Facebook page we are able to connect quickly with each other and exchange advice and best practices with our peers from around the U.S. Visit for more info.

Please feel free to provide me with any ideas or feedback on what 3CMA can do better or offer to you - [email protected]

Saying Goodbye

Remembrance for NC3C Founding Member Dave Hardin

Dave Hardin, the Catawba County PIO for 23 years, was a founding member of NC3C and an avid birder. Following his unexpected passing June 6, 2016, several NC3C members and County staff contributed donations for a bird feeding station to be enhanced in his memory at Catawba County’s Riverbend Park, a place he frequented for bird watching. To honor and remember Dave, Catawba County is hosting a memorial gathering Saturday, September 14 at 12:00 p.m. at Riverbend Park, located at 6700 NC Hwy 16, Conover, NC 28613.

We will gather near the birdfeeder at the Park Office for a commemoration that will begin around 12:15. During the program, everyone in attendance will be invited to share a fond memory of Dave, if desired. All NC3C members are invited. Questions? Contact Amy McCauley at (828) 465-8464 or [email protected]

President's Report

Dear NC3C members,

The Board just returned from our annual planning retreat, and to say that I’m excited and energized by all of the things we have coming up for this organization is an understatement!

Here are just a few things we’re working on and dates to write down:

You may remember Dana Kaminske (Past President, City of Hickory) talking about working towards getting our 501(c)(6) designation. We are getting our financial and governing documents organized and working with an attorney to move through that process. Having the 501(c)(6) designation will allow us to have a tax-exempt status which we can use save money on the annual conference expenses among other things.

You’ll see something a little bit different in this newsletter than ones in the past – we’ve started a blog! It’s right on our website and the first post from Ran Northam (Executive Committee Member for Membership and Marketing, Town of Chapel Hill). Utilizing the blog will help us to catalogue all of the information that’s shared via newsletters so you can refer back to it instead of having to shuffle back through emails.

We also spent A LOT of time talking with folks from the City of Greenville – they’re amazing – and planning for the annual conference. There are so many BIG ideas and plans already underway. We’ll share more of them as we get closer to conference time, but trust me, you don’t want to miss NC3C Annual Conference 2020.

Last but not least, we are working on coordinating regional workshops for this Fall. We’ll share more detail soon, but here’s what we know so far so you can start planning:

October 25 – Mecklenburg County/Region IV Health and Human Services PIOs Joint Regional Workshop – Health Communication topic focus
Early November – City of Hickory/Lenoir, topic TBD
Late November – Town of Hickory, topic TBD

Please feel free to reach out to me ([email protected] or 704-301-7618) or any of our Board members directly. (All of our contact information is available on Another way to continue to be involved in NC3C throughout the year is to join one of our committees. If you didn’t sign up at the conference, it’s not too late! Just send me an email and I’ll get you connected.


Rebecca Carter
NC3C President 2019-2020