Part of NACIO's mission is to help validate the value of PIOs to county elected officials. That is why NACIO has always been so active with the National Association of Counties (NACo).
Since I have been involved with NACIO, beginning way back in 2003, NACIO has always sponsored popular workshops at both NACo annual meetings - the Legislative Conference in March and the Annual Conference in July. Our workshops are always among the highest-rated and generate great discussion among conference attendees.
At the upcoming March Legislative Conference, which is being held March 2-6, NACIO will once again be well represented. On Monday, March 4, at 10:45 a.m., NACIO members will present a workshop on the value of openness. "Using Transparency to Build Trust" will help attendees understand how making your government activities as transparent as possible can help build trust in the community and avoid negative press. NACIO Second Vice President Lori Hudson of Hillsborough County, Fla., and Wendy Holmes, the Director of Public Affairs for Douglas County, Colo., will talk about how counties can be transparent and responsive to requests from citizens and why this is important.
In addition, Alan Blinder, a reporter for The Examiner in Washington, D.C., will talk about his experiences - good and bad - in making public information requests of local governments.
On Tuesday, March 5, at 10:45 a.m., I will be a panelist in another workshop, "Extending Your Communications Outreach: Social Media." This session will look at ways that counties can use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other sites as part of their outreach programs. Social media offers a very cost-effective way to communicate with constituents, but it is not without its perils.
These workshops help establish the value of PIOs and are great PR for NACIO. Another way we help validate the value of PIOs is through our annual Awards of Excellence Program.
The 2013 contest is now open and accepting entries. Unfortunately, we had to switch NACIO Awards Chairs in midstream, but Kiara Jones of Pitt County, N.C., has agreed to step in and lead this year's competition.
Please click on the Awards of Excellence tab to learn more about the contest and how you can bring recognition to your county for the excellent communicaitons work being created by your department.