San Rafael, CA – The County of Marin has won two statewide honors for its State of the County multimedia package that was a cornerstone of its public messaging campaign for 2018.
The California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO) honored Marin with its top-prize Epic Award in the category of long-form video and an Award of Distinction in internal communications during the group’s statewide conference April 10.
"We're proud of the work done by our communications professionals and appreciate the statewide recognition," said Assistant County Administrator Dan Eilerman. "Keeping our residents better informed is something the residents asked for, and delivering in that request has been an important priority."
This is the fourth consecutive year the County of Marin has received public outreach excellence recognition from CAPIO. Last year, the County received honors for its 2016 Marin At A Glance Annual Report, a viral social media video highlighting Marin County Fire Department’s response to a wildfire, and another for the Department of Health and Human Services’ RxSafe Marin infographic poster campaign aimed at educating teens about opioid abuse.
The 2018 State of the County Message highlighted five focus areas of the Board of Supervisors: fiscal responsibility, road quality, equity, climate change, and the Housing First initiative to address homelessness. A seven-minute video and accompanying website were created to provide a high-level overview of the five key areas while providing links to related resources.
The package was entered into CAPIO’s internal messaging category because County staff recognized that the messaging had dual value of educating both residents and employees. An internal educational campaign was created to accompany the package, including an interactive quiz to measure both employee engagement and message retention.
CAPIO’s EPIC (Excellence in Public Information and Communications) Awards are presented annually to honor outstanding public agency information and communications programs. Entries are judged on overall quality, effectiveness of message with measurable results, creativity, and appropriate use of budget. More than 200 entries were submitted across 28 award categories, with 97 finalists receiving honors. Some categories with a large number of entries were broken into subgroups based on jurisdiction size, increasing the number of honorees over past years. Marin won in the large population category.
The County has expanded its public outreach staff over the past decade as it recognized the value of trusted public information coming directly from County sources. The effort can be traced to a 2009 community survey that showed residents wanted to hear more about County 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.