Chapel Hill recognized for excellence in public communications

Post Date:03/22/2013
NC3C Awards 2013The Town of Chapel Hill earned recognition for excellence in public communications and outreach from the NC City & County Communicators Association (NC3C), winning a first place award in the Community Visioning category and a second place award for Most Creative Activity with Least Dollars Spent.

Judges for the NC3C Excellence in Communications Awards Program are local government communication professionals from the national organization City-County Communications and Marketing Association (3CMA). The awards were received by Sabrina Oliver, director of the Communications and Public Affairs Department, and Catherine Lazorko, public information officer, at a presentation made in Greensboro, NC, at the Sheraton Greensboro Hotel/Koury Convention Center on March 21.

The Community Visioning Award recognized innovation in public participation efforts for the Chapel Hill 2020 visioning process, which achieved a historic level of civic engagement in the community. Staff members from many departments, including former community outreach coordinator Faith Thompson, met the people where they are, holding meetings in taverns, at the shopping mall, in churches, and at farmers markets. They reached out to Burmese and Hispanic immigrants, soccer moms, local bloggers, and the business community. Town leaders called the process transformative. Communications was a critical element of its success. A video that tells the story is at Citizens continue to be involved in the implementation phase of the plan, titled DESIGN 2020.

The Most Creative Activity with Least Dollars Spent Award recognized a fun way to engage people at fairs and special events. Photos are taken with a life-size photo cutout of Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, holding a sign that says "We (heart) Chapel Hill." Many of the photos have been posted on the Town's Facebook page at 

NC3C enhances professional development and networking among local governmental communications professionals. More information may be found at
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