Award Winning Communications Teams
|Commissioners Donald Rosier and Faye Griffin with Parks Department staff.|
In 2012, two of Jefferson County's offices won national awards for communication efforts. The BCC presented these awards to the recipients at its Dec. 11 hearing.
The first award was to the Communications Team from the Parks Department. The team received a 2012 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties for the 2011 Annual Report video. Rather than a traditional printed annual report, last year the Parks Communications Team made its first foray into a video annual report for the department. Jefferson County Parks includes the Boettcher Mansion, Colorado State University Extension, Fairgrounds and Open Space and shares a common thread of enriching life through conservation, recreation and education programming.
Jefferson County's Public Information Office received awards from national organizations as well. Four of the awards were from the National Association of County Information Officers, known as NACIO.
The first NACIO award was for the marketing campaign to draw attention to the county's Sesquicentennial. To highlight the county's 150th anniversary, the Public Information Office, working with the commissioners and the Historical Commission, planned events, organized parade floats, held celebrations, and created educational activities and games to help citizens learn about Jefferson County's rich and colorful history. They began 2011 with a big birthday party for employees hosted by the commissioners in historic costumes. The event included a rare appearance from Thomas Jefferson. The year ended with a gala evening at the Fairgrounds attended by hundreds of people.
The second award was for the county's Social Media Policy. PIO created policies and toolkits to enable departments to manage their own Facebook and Twitter accounts in such a way that citizens have access to timely, accurate and relevant information. As a result Jeffco has a viable multi-department social media presence that has been copied by many other county and city governments across the country. The success of the county's social media policy and program was especially evident during emergency situations, such as the Lower North Fork Fire; and on Election Day when it provided quick updates throughout the day.
Commissioners Faye Griffin and Donald Rosier with staff from PIO, IT and the city of Arvada.
The next three awards from NACIO were for the county's video program. The county not only won the superior award in its class, it also received the "Best of Show" award at the NACIO summer conference held at the National Association of Counties meeting last summer.
Jefferson County, unlike many city governments, has never collected cable franchise fees to support a cable television station. The PIO staff for years wanted to expand communications for citizens with video productions, but lacked the infrastructure, equipment and experience. It was through a partnership with the city of Arvada that has made it possible for the county to create informational videos for citizens. Arvada has an expert staff and high-quality production equipment. By partnering with them, Jeffco's PIO staff has been able to produce more than 30 videos in a series called Jeffco Insights. Topics have includes the Jeffco fairgrounds and the 4-H program, internet safety for kids, South Table Mountain Park, the Inmate Rose Garden at the Sheriff's Office and the animal shelter.
The videos are shown on Arvada's cable channel, Lakewood's cable channel and the county's web site. The videos are produced with existing staff on both sides. Both organizations get the high-quality content they need while the working relationship brings skills and resources for the benefit of all.
The final award was present to the Jeffco PIO from Arvada staff, Rick Assmus. It was from the National Association of Telecommunication Officers and Advisors, known as NATOA. The award was again for the county's video program.