The National Association of Counties provided the following coverage of NACIO's workshop "Staying on Point: It's the Message" in its daily reports from the conference:
Staying on Point: It’s the Message
The popular National Association of County Information Officers (NACIO)–sponsored workshop, which provides the stage for participants to test their media skills, extended its winning streak today as more than 40 participants engaged in mock news conferences with sometimes belligerent fictive reporters.
The workshop offers quick tips from seasoned public information officers on how to craft and deliver messages to the media.
Workshop moderator Todd McGee, communications director, North Carolina Association of County Commissioners and NACIO president briefly discussed how to construct a message, treat the media and prepare for an interview.
Participants then broke into four groups, with each group given a controversial that needed to be communicated to the media. The group was to craft a message and select a leader who would participate in a mock news conference. Several seasoned public information officers acted as reporters, while all audience members were invited to play reporter as well. After the news conference, the groups critiqued their spokespersons and messages.
There was time for questions and answers after the presentations with many participants interested in how to handle the media during major disasters or incidents.
The workshop was recorded and will be available in the Learning Center on NACo’s website.
I would like to thank my group leaders and mock news conference reporters: Judy Brownlee, DeKalb County, Ga.; Kiara Jones, Pitt County, N.C.; Dave Rose, El Paso County, Colo.; Jessie Beyer, Blue Earth County, Minn., and Lori Hudson, Hillsborough County, Fla.