The President's Blog

Hudson wins Second VP election 

Thursday, November 15, 2012 12:14:00 PM Categories: NACIO News

Lori Hudson of Hillsborough County, Fla., emerged victorious in the race for the open NACIO Second Vice President seat with a narrow win over Dave Rose of El Paso County, Colo.

Hudson will serve as NACIO Second Vice President through July 2013 to complete the remainder of the term. Former NACIO President Larry Liddell of Tunica County, Miss., resigned in October after his position was eliminated by the county.

Hudson is the Communications Director and has 17 years of experience in government communications and public affairs.

Todd McGee, the Communications Director for the N.C. Association of County Commissioners, will complete Liddell's term as President through July 2013, then serve his scheduled two-year term as President beginning in July 2013.

Jessica Beyer, Business Analyst and Communications Manager for Blue Earth County, Minn., is NACIO's First Vice President.

Another feather in NACIO's cap 

Thursday, November 15, 2012 11:50:00 AM Categories: NACIO NACo

Twice a year, the National Association of Counties (NACo) solicits ideas for workshops for its annual Legislative Conference in March and the Annual Conference in July. The sessions must be relevant to county elected officials. As an affiliate of NACo, we are offered the opportunity to submit proposals.

For as long as I have been active with NACIO (almost a decade now!), our organization has almost always had at least one workshop - and sometimes two, or even three - at every NACo conference. As it turns out, county elected officials are very interested in all aspects of media relations, from the rise of social media to basic tips on how to handle tricky situations. Past NACIO sessions have included outside presenters on how to read body language, how to improve listening skills and Media Relations 101.

I am proud to report that NACIO's workshops are almost always among the highest-rated at the NACo conference. These sessions are a great way for NACIO members to share their expertise with county officials from across the nation. Equally important, they are a testament to the value that a Public Information Officer can bring to a county government.

This year, NACo just announced its workshop selections for the 2013 Legislative Conference, which will be held March 2-6, 2013, at the Washington, D.C., Hilton Hotel (the infamous hotel where John Hinkley attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan). Once again, NACIO's submission has been accepted.

This year we are going to offer a training session on how to deal with public records requests and the value of transparency. How a local government responds to public records requests shows a lot about that jurisdiction's committee to transparency, and this session will help local officials understand how transparency can build trust within the community.

Panelists for the session include Wendy Manita-Holmes, the Director of Public Affairs for Douglas County, Colo., and newly elected NACIO Second Vice President Lori Hudson of Hillsborough County, Fla. Participating in a workshop is a great way for NACIO members to get more involved with the organization and also to share your professional expertise, and I am very excited to have two such great panelists lined up for the session.

NACo will soon be soliciting ideas for their annual conference, which will be held July 19-222 in Fort Worth (Tarrant County), Texas. When the announcement is made, I will share the information on the NACIO listserv. In the meantime, be thinking of ideas you might have for a workshop,and if you can make it to Texas for the conference, we would love to have you as a presenter.

Use the listserv to solicit, contribute ideas 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 3:03:00 PM Categories: NACIO

One of the best advantages of membership in the National Association of County Information Officers is the listserv. It is a great way to get almost instant feedback from fellow Public Information Officers from across the nation on any topic related to being a PIO.

I was asked to give a presentation on media relations to the N.C. Solid Waste Enforcement Officers Association at their annual conference last week. Like most of us, I have ideas and thoughts on the issue of media relations, such as never going off-the-record, always stressing the positive and boiling down your message to no more than three key points - and then repeating those points throughout the interview.

As I was working on my presentation a few weeks ago, I decided to solicit input from my fellow NACIO members and posed a query to the listserv about best tips for media relations practices. I received numerous good ideas and incorporated all of them into my presentation. Of particular value were the thoughts of PIOs who are former media members and who could provide some specific insight as to how newspapers and television stations decide what goes on the news.

I encourage each of you to use the listserv, especially if you are faced with a particularly thorny issue at work or if you have been assigned a new task and you are looking for advice from those who have gone before you. Using the listserv is simple: simply send an email to nacio@lists.naco.org, and the email will be automatically forwarded to all NACIO members. OF course, you must be a member in good standing to access the listserv.

I also encourage you to share your thoughts and experiences when others seek input through the listserv. It is a great way to share your knowledge and to bolster the professionalism and capacities of all of our members.

 

We can't get enough campaigns 

Thursday, October 18, 2012 8:55:00 AM Categories: NACIO

It is campaign season, with the Presidential campaign in the final sprint. Early voting has opened up around the nation, and election night promises to be entertaining.

NACIO is also getting into the campaign swing of things. As members are aware, Larry Liddell had to resign his position as NACIO President earlier this month when his county eliminated his position due to budget cuts. That has created another vacancy in our leadership team.

As the NACIO bylaws state, when there is a vacancy in an officer position, all the other officers move up to fill the vacancy for the remainder of that term. That means we now have a temporary vacancy in the office of Second Vice President. NACIO will hold a special election to fill this position through July 2013. Whomever wins the special election will have to run for Second Vice President again in July 2013. He/she will not automatically remain on as Second Vice President.

Interested parties who have met the requirements for the position must submit a letter announcing their candidacy, qualifications and how they will contribute to the NACIO leadership by Monday, Oct. 29. Please email the letter to me. I will post the letters on the NACIO website on Thursday, Nov. 1. Voting will commence that day and run through 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 12.

Voting is limited to NACIO members who have paid their dues for either 2012 or 2013.

The following requirements must be met to serve as a NACIO officer:

  • Must have been a member for three years
  • Must have been active in NACIO, which is determined as either: A) participating in a NACIO-sponsored workshop at a NACo conference; B) serving as chair of the NACIO Awards of Excellence Competition; C) serving as a member of the NACIO Board of Directors.

 

Resignation statement from President Liddell 

Monday, October 8, 2012 12:39:00 PM Categories: NACIO

It is with sincere regret that I must announce my resignation as President of the National Association of County Information Officers, effective immediately.

The Board of Supervisors for Tunica County eliminated my position due to budget cuts for the 2012-13 fiscal year. I have enjoyed my time in NACIO, during which I have had the pleasure and  privilege of serving as a Regional Director, Awards of Excellence Chairman, 2nd Vice President, 1st Vice President and President.

I leave knowing that NACIO is in fine hands. First Vice President Todd McGee will make a great President, and our newly elected Second Vice President Jessie Beyer will make a great 1st Vice President. Terri Graham will continue to be a great Secretary.

Todd will post information about how NACIO will proceed with appointing a replacement for the remainder of my term on the website shortly. Our bylaws state that, when an absence occurs in the office of President, the First Vice President will move up to fill the remainder of the term as President and then serve his/her two-year term as scheduled. All other officers will also move up, which will create a vacancy in our Second Vice President position for the remainder of 2012-13.

I take pride in believing that I am leaving NACIO in better shape than when I joined in 2004. Please know that I have enjoyed meeting many of you and hopefully we will meet again down the road.

Adios.

 

Citizens Academies are excellent educational tools 

Friday, September 21, 2012 4:21:00 PM Categories: News

Does your county have a Citizens’ Academy?

Should you?

This is a question being tossed about in a lot of counties across the nation today, and many are deciding they should. People are looking for the county to help them in some manner, and how can they get help if they don’t know what or who to look for? Citizens’ Academies are an excellent means of education for a public that is hungry for information about what counties can do for its people.

It begins with county leadership participating in the process. Every county administrator should be available to lead the discussion in the first class, and every department head taking the instructional lead in classes.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) has a board game called “Counties Work” that is instrumental in teaching the county story. The National Association of County Information Officers (NACIO) wholeheartedly endorses this fun educational game and, in fact, helped develop it with NACo.

New NACO priorities to advance NACO’s Executive Director Matt Chase is already working to align organizational resources and federal policy goals, improve research on county innovations and solutions and enhance communications with the membership and partners. Furthermore, he is going to examine NACo’s relationship building and partnership efforts with state associations, affiliates, corporations, foundations and other stakeholders.

Your constituents need to know that NACO assists counties in many ways, including cost-saving, efficiency and innovative solutions (including partnerships with state associations, affiliates and others), evaluating the financial, intellectual and human resources necessary to successfully implement the board’s vision and objectives.

All of this can be included in a Citizens’ Academy program in your county. Check out Helpful Links on the NACIO website and contact one of the counties listed that sponsors a Citizens’ Academy. You will be taking the first step to educating your citizens as to what your county does for them and how they can take advantage of the benefits of county government!

 

Beyer unanimously chosen as NACIO 2nd VP 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 1:05:00 PM Categories: NACIO News

NACIO President Larry Liddell of Tunica County, Miss., announced Sept. 11 that Jessica Beyer of Blue Earth County, Minn., had won the election for the vacant NACIO Second Vice President position. Beyer will serve as NACIO Second VP for the remainder of2012-13, and then ascend into the First Vice President position in July 2013.

"I am very pleased to announce that Jessica Beyer of Blue Earth County, Minnesota, has been elected by her peers as Second Vice President of the National Association of County Information Officers,” said Liddell. “I am not only excited for her, but I am excited for NACIO as she exemplifies the quality of person we need to lead NACIO."

As Second VP, Beyer will work closely with Liddell and First Vice President Todd McGee of the N.C. Association of County Commissioners as the NACIO Executive Team. NACIO officers serve two-year terms. Liddell’s tenure as President will end in July 2013, when McGee will then become President and Beyer will move into the First Vice President position. At that time, NACIO members will elect a new Second Vice President.

“Jessica’s experience in county government and her previous involvement with NACIO as a Board member and as chair of the Awards of Excellence Competition in 2011 make her extremely qualified to serve as a NACIO officer,” said McGee.

The Second Vice President position became open in July when Diana Buckley of Ellis County, Texas, announced that she had accepted a job in the private sector. NACIO bylaws state that members must work for a county government or state association of counties.

Beyer files for NACIO 2nd VP 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:47:00 PM

Jessica Beyer of Blue Earth County, Minn., was the only person who filed a letter of intent seeking the vacant office of NACIO Second Vice President prior to the Aug. 10 deadline. Jessica BeyerAs such, she will be the only candidate who will appear on the ballot when we conduct the online election at the end of August.

The office became vacant in July. Jessica will serve as Second Vice President until July 2013, when she will automatically become First Vice President and Todd McGee will automatically become President. In July 2013, we will have another election for a Second Vice President. Information about how to file for that office will be posted on the NACIO listserv next spring.

Officers in NACIO serve two-year terms. If you are interested in becoming more involved in this organization, please contact any member of the NACIO Board of Directors to express your interest.

The 2012 Awards of Excellence Competition 

Monday, July 9, 2012 3:02:00 PM Categories: Awards of Excellence

Each year, the National Association of County Information Officers (NACIO) stages its Awards of Excellence competition, giving its members and non-members the opportunity to have its work through the year judged by industry professionals.

This year, nearly 350 entries were received in nine categories from large and small counties and state associations of counties. Ranging from annual reports to events for children, county communications projects demonstrated the breadth of county government services as well as counties’ commitment to inform and engage their citizens.

Dave Rose, Public Information Officer for El Paso County, Colo., coordinated the event for NACIO.

“The judges told me that in reviewing the entries they were surprised to see how many things counties do for citizens,” Rose said. “They were impressed by the highly effective messaging they saw in entries from both small and large counties and found it very difficult to single out a 'Best of Class' winner in several categories where there were several truly outstanding entries.”

I want to thank everyone who participated in this year’s competition, and I congratulate all the winners. Especially I want to congratulate all of the best of class winners and, of course, the Best of Show winner, the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, for its publication commemorating its 125th anniversary.

Finally, I want to send my deepest appreciation to Dave, who coordinated the event while handling the media during one of the worst wildfires in Colorado history. The Awards of Excellence competition is tough enough to coordinate without the additional burden of coordinating media during a natural disaster!

Dave Rose did a yeoman’s job in handling both.

Welcome to the New NACIO.org 

Monday, July 9, 2012 8:13:00 AM Categories: News

Welcome to the new website of the National Association of County Information Officers (NACIO).

Six months in the making, this website is for NACIO members to explore and utilize on a daily basis. It is designed to serve members, individually and collectively.

We sincerely want each member to benefit by visiting the website as often as necessary. We have worked hard to make the website as user-friendly as possible and something of which to be proud.

I personally want to thank NACIO First Vice President Todd McGee, 2nd Vice President Diana Buckley, retired Texas Association of Counties Communications Director Jim Lewis, and the professionals at VC3 for helping put this website together.

We look forward to serving you for any years to come.

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