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For Immediate Release
April 18, 2017

County Captures State Awards for Communications

State of the County 2016, Viva Marin publication earn recognition

San Rafael, CA – As it emphasizes the value of trusted public information, the County of Marin has earned two prestigious awards for outreach initiatives.

Dr. Rocio Hernandez (left) holds the award for the Viva Marin report and Public Information Officer Laine Hendricks hold the award for the State of the County 2016 report.Dr. Rocio Hernandez (left) of the Department of Health and Human Services holds the award for the Viva Marin report and Public Information Officer Laine Hendricks hold the award for the State of the County 2016 report at the CAPIO conference on April 6 in San Diego.
The California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO) honored Marin for its bilingual Viva Marin guide and its State of the County 2016 video during the group’s statewide conference earlier this month in San Diego. Viva Marin took second place in its category and the State of the County 2016 captured third place. They were among the 218 entries submitted for excellence awards.

Viva Marin was officially titled ¡Viva Marin! Latino Health in Marin: A Data, Policy & Action Guide. The Latino Health Policy Partnership of Marin, of which the County of Marin is a member, compiled the document to present a snapshot of Latino health and well-being in Marin, with specific action steps for improved outcomes. It was released in English and Spanish online and 4,000 copies were distributed to key community agencies and nonprofits.

“The overall goal was to change stereotypes and build community,” said project co-lead Dr. Rocio “Cio” Hernandez of the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services. “The stereotypical Marin resident is not Latino but rather a well-off white person. With ¡Viva Marin!, we’re really hoping that non-Latinos would gain a new understanding about the Latino population here.”

The State of the County 2016 video took third place in the category of Internal and Employee-Focused Messaging, acknowledging the importance of keeping a 2,300-person workforce informed and engaged with an organization’s mission. The 6-minute, 28-second clip, shot and edited by contracted vendor Friday’s Films of San Francisco, described the key focus areas for the current fiscal year: affordable housing, homelessness, equity, roads and traffic, and climate change. In the video, the use of third-party spokespeople outside of the County workforce helped reinforce the importance and neighborhood-level impact of the work being done by County staff, illustrated collaborative efforts in place, and acted as a visible reminder that the County’s work directly affects the larger community.     

Although the primary audience was the County workforce, the State of the County project was crafted to be equally relatable to residents. It was shared online at marincounty.org/stateofthecounty and provides additional information resources pertaining to each key focus area.

These were the County’s second CAPIO awards since the County began submitting contest entries two years ago; Marin County Parks took first place in 2016 for a photo essay by Ranger Craig Solin.

Since recovering from the economic downturn, the County has expanded its public outreach staff in recent years after a 2009 public survey showed that residents wanted to hear more about its departments, programs and initiatives. The County’s 5 year Business Plan, adopted in 2015, included commitments to be a more responsive government and to encourage engagement at all levels. One of the plan’s focus areas was to strengthen communications both internally and externally to improve service and enhance public trust.

“When the public told us we needed to do a better job with outreach, we took it seriously and responded with renewed transparency and a more robust flow of information,” Board President Judy Arnold said. “I think it’s really paid off with more trust and engagement from our residents. We’re really proud of this recognition from CAPIO and the fact that we have an award-winning outreach team.”

Contact:

Laine Hendricks
Public Information Officer
County Administrator's Office

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite #325
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-7496
Email: Laine Hendricks
County Administrator website