Local Government Communication – Far from Boring

Awards, keepsakes and experiences of a local government communicatorHave you considered a career in local government communication? Think it might be too boring for you? Well, think again. A single week offers a laundry list of diversity. You’ll work on everything from promoting new trash routes to a new park opening. Here’s a few myth-busting insights that might make you reconsider the profession.

Myth 1: You can’t be creative in local government communication

Quite the contrary. Now, more than ever, local government communicators must be creative storytellers. They no longer just issue news releases on Animal Shelter operations or the purchase of a new fire truck. Instead, you’ll find them producing a brand of info-entertainment as a way to engage with the public. They go onsite and behind-the-scenes to craft compelling stories. Check out some of these examples from the City of Allen:
#KidDubs: Pet Adoption is the Best Option
On The Go Show: Allen Senior Recreation Center
#AllenHashTagAlong Talks Trash

Myth 2: There’s no innovation in local government communication

While new technology often deploys at a slower pace, local government is always exploring innovation and technology. Local government communicators lead and assist with deployment of citizen engagement apps, public-facing GIS applications, content management systems and much more. And, cities launch new websites, subsites, and intranets every three to four years.

With citizen demand for information increasing, local government communicators have become more innovative than ever in using all types of tools and channels to engage. See a few examples of new ideas deployed by cities around the nation:
Digital Roadmap and SPARKApp League – Gilbert, AZ
News Center – San Diego County, CA
PocketGov – Denver, CO

Myth 3: Opportunities are limited in local government communication

The size of a city or county will dictate development opportunities and the types of positions available. Even so, marketing and communication positions can be found in various layers of local government. Departments, facilities, and auxiliary operations like tourism and economic development may all have communication or marketing related positions. Parks and recreation, library services, public safety, and environmental services are all good places to look for positions. City or county owned facilities like convention and event centers, arenas, and stadiums often require marketing staff.

Specialized development and training opportunities exist at both state and national levels. Degrees and certifications in public communication are becoming easier to find. A few national development organizations for local government communicators include:
City-County Communications and Marketing Association – 3CMA.org
Government Social Media Organization – GSMO.org
Alliance for Innovation – TransformGov.org

Do you have what it takes to be a local government communicator?

Set aside all the myths and consider if this profession might be right for you. Local government communicators must have a passion to serve the public. They must understand the important role communication plays in the delivery of both essential and quality of life services. And, most importantly, that public trust, transparency, and reputation must be maintained at every turn. Expectations are high. But, the experiences are unlimited. Is a position in local government communication for you?
Explore open positions, at GovernmentJobs.com.

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