Posts in Category: Awards of Excellence


Monday, July 23, 2018 4:22:00 PM Categories: Awards of Excellence NACIO NACo News

Click here for the video of the presentation.

Buncombe County wins Best of Show  

Posted by Todd McGee Thursday, July 17, 2014 9:27:00 PM Categories: Awards of Excellence NACIO

"Forever Free," a 15-minute video made by Buncombe County, N.C., Government, earned the Best of Show honors in the National Association of County Information Officers 2014 Awards of Excellence Contest.


The video was made by the Buncombe County Public Information Office in conjunction with the Buncombe County Register of Deeds Office as part of an exhibit to commemorate the 150-year anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

In every county in North Carolina, the Register of Deeds played a role in cataloging the transactions of slavery in handwritten books. Contained in these handwritten files from the early 1800s are deeds documenting the trading of slaves as property.

One of the stories highlighted in the Slave Deed exhibit is of a slave named Sarah Gudger. Ms. Gudger was born into slavery in Old Fort, N.C., but spent the majority of her life in Reems Creek. Her story is one of the only firsthand accounts of slavery in Buncombe County.

Buncombe County displays this documentation for the purpose of historical research, family genealogy, education, and to acknowledge that slavery was a part of our County's history.

For more information please go to

Congratulations to Buncombe County Public Information Officer Kathy Hughes and her staff for the award. Cataldo Perrone served as editor and director for the video.

NACIO Awards of Excellence winners announced 

Posted by Todd McGee Thursday, June 19, 2014 10:20:00 AM Categories: Awards of Excellence

Once again, it is evident that Public Information Officers around the nation are creating some wonderful work. The 2014 NACIO Awards of Excellence Competition wrapped up with the official awards webinar announcement on Wednesday, June 18.

  • Click here for a PPT with the list of winners.

This year's competition featured more than 325 entries (an increase of more than 20 percent from last year). One of the perks of being president is that I get to see a lot of the entries as they come in, and I can attest to the high quality of creative work that is being done out there.

This year's contest features a new twist - we are going to ask our members to vote on the Best of Show winner from among the nine Best of Class winners listed below. Please peruse the award winners and review their applications. To vote, fill out the survey at the bottom of the page. Each NACIO member will be allowed one vote. Voting will close July 3.

Best of Class Winners

Category A (Annual Reports): Montgomery County (Va.) Annual Report | Application – Ruth Richey

Category B (Brochures): Be Prepared Hurricane brochure – Tristan Babin, St. Charles, La.

Category C (Publictions): Greater Fort Lauderdale (Broward) Vacation Planner | Application – Nicki E. Grossman, Broward County, Fla.

Category D (Writing): The Poor Roads of the Oil Boom – Maria Sprow, Texas Association of Counties

Category E (Graphic Design): Lake Sidney Lanier Graphics & Graphics 2 | Application – Heather Sawyer, Gwinnett County, Ga.

Category F (Photography): Animal Shelter Photos Dog 1 | Dog 2Application – Sarah Williamson-Baker, Wake County, N.C.

Category G (Videos): Forever Free | Application – Kathy Hughes, Buncombe County, N.C.

Category H (Special Projects): Bernco Bernie website & Twitter | Application – Tia Bland, Bernalillo County, N.M.

Category I (Electronic Communications):  | Application – Nicki E. Grossman, Broward County, Fla.

Job well done 

More than 300 entries received for contest
Thursday, April 24, 2014 3:46:00 PM Categories: Awards of Excellence NACIO NACo

The April 18 deadline for the NACIO Awards of Excellence contest has passed, but not without a flurry of last-minute activity.

We are still going through all the entries received, but it looks like we will have more than 330 entries in this year's contest, an increase of more than 25 percent from last year. We have received entries from more than 20 states and from many new members.

Contests like our Awards of Excellence program are not just about being recognized for great work. These contests help validate the profession of a Public Information Officer, and they are also a valuable educational experience for all of our members. We will post links to as many winning entries as we can once the winners are announed in early June, so be sure to come back and see what your colleages from around the nation are doing.

I hope you will be able to make it to New Orleans for the National Association of Counties' Annual Conference, which is scheduled for July 11-14. NACIO will hosts its annual business session and media relations roundtables on Saturday, July 12. We are still working on the details for our annual awards presentation ceremony and will post those once we have finalized our plan.



Awards of Excellence Contest Now Open 

Early entry deadline is March 31
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 9:46:00 AM Categories: Awards of Excellence NACIO

To put it into Olympic terms, now is the time to show us your Triple-Flip, Double-Back, Forward somersault on the half-pipe! Yes, it is time for the National Association of County Information Officers 2014 Awards of Excellence competition. In other words, like seemingly all the new Olympic sports these days, this is your opportunity to show off.

This contest recognizes outstanding public relations and public information work being done in counties across the nation. Winners are announced in June.

The 2014 Awards are a comprehensive look at the initiatives and efforts put forth from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2013, and will recognize excellence in nine categories: Annual Reports, Brochures/Multiple-Page Booklets, Publications, Writing, Graphic Design, Photography, Audiovisual Productions, Special Projects, and Electronic Communications. Each category will include several subcategories. Please note that the projects must have been produced during the calendar year, but it does not have to be a new project. It can be an ongoing program or initiative.

The Awards of Excellence are open to county staff whose county is eligible to join the National Association of Counties (NACo), or any staff of an eligible state association of counties.

Judy T. Brownlee of DeKalb County, Ga., will serve as the chair for the 2014 awards competition.

We have added several new subcategories this year to reflect new communications practices. Category G-3 is for podcasts or other audio programming. There are three new subcategories in the Electronic Communications category - I-2 (Best Facebook Page), I-3 (Best Twitter Feed) and I-4 (Email Newsletter to citizens).

So dust off those skis, find that snowboard and send in your entries. It is time for you to show off and be recognized for your efforts.

If you need to check your membership status, please contact Rita McGee, NACIO Membership Coordinator.

Upcoming events at NACIO 

Webinar on Crisis Communications to be offered in the fall
Friday, August 30, 2013 3:53:00 PM Categories: Awards of Excellence NACIO NACo

The National Association of County Information Officers will be hosting another training webinar for members this fall. The date will be announced soon.

The session will focus on crisis communications and will utilize NACIO members who have recently gone through situations that required crisis communications. Please be on the lookout for more information about this exciting training opportunity.

We will also have a representative from the Certified Public Communicator Program being offered by Texas Christian University. The program, developed by strategic communication professors Jacqueline Lambiase and Laura Bright, will offer 95 hours of leadership training and coursework designed for the complexities and challenges of communicating with citizens and stakeholders. It is designed for public information managers and professionals working for cities, counties, school districts, and other public and public-private agencies.

Membership renewals for 2014 will be going out in November, so please be on the lookout for them as well. NACIO will also be solicting for ideas for workshop proposals for the 2014 NACo Legislative Conference, which will be held March 1-5 at the Washington Hilton.


Welcome to new NACIO Board members

Several new at-large members were appointed to the NACIO Board of Directors for 2013-2015 by NACIO President Todd McGee in July. The new members are:

  • Perrin Anderson, Communications/Marketing Coordinator for Sevier County, Tenn.
  • Judy T. Brownlee, Chief of Staff, Office of Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton, DeKalb County, Ga.
  • Kiara Jones, Director of Public Information & Media Relations, Pitt County, N.C.


NACIO Seeking Volunteer to serve as 2014 Awards of Excellence Chair

NACIO is seeking a member who is willing to serve as the chair for the 2014 NACIO Awards of Excellence competition. The chair is responsible for lining up the judges, coordinating the delivery of the applications to the judges, helping promote the contest to members, responding to questions from members, coordinating with the NACIO Membership Coordinator the payment and receipt of entries and presenting the awards at the NACIO Awards Reception, which is held in conjunction with the NACo Annual Conference in July. It is a wonderful way to get more involved with NACIO and a very rewarding opportunity to learn more about many of the exciting communications activities from counties around the nation.

Next year's NACO event is July 11-14, 2014, in New Orleans. The exact date for the Awards Reception has yet to be determined.


2013 Awards of Excellence Winners Announced 

Thursday, June 6, 2013 8:57:00 PM Categories: Awards of Excellence NACIO

The 2013 Awards of Excellence Winners were announced on Thursday, June 6. The competition showcased outstanding communications work from throughout the country. Eighteen entries received Best of Class recognition for being the best in their category or subcategory, while dozens of other entries were judged Superior, Excellence or Meritorious designations from the judges.

"The awards competition continually showcases the best communications and public relations projects from public information professionals throughout the country," said NACIO President Todd McGee, the Public Relations Director for the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners. "I know the judges had a difficult time in selecting the winners, and that is a testament to the great work that is being done to help citizens better understand what county governments do."

Prizes were awarded in nine categories, including video, publications, electronic communications, social media, special projects and others. Kiara Jones, the Director of Media Relations for Pitt County, N.C., served as chair of the awards program for 2013.

The winners will be recognized July 21 during the annual NACIO Awards Reception, held during the NACo Annual Conference. This year's event is in Fort Worth (Tarrant County), Texas. The reception is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the Omni Hotel, Ballroom 1-3.

  • Click here for a list of winners.
  • Click here to view a recording of the Webinar.


NACIO highlights the value of PIOs 

Monday, February 18, 2013 9:06:00 AM Categories: Awards of Excellence NACIO NACo

Part of NACIO's mission is to help validate the value of PIOs to county elected officials. That is why NACIO has always been so active with the National Association of Counties (NACo).

Since I have been involved with NACIO, beginning way back in 2003, NACIO has always sponsored popular workshops at both NACo annual meetings - the Legislative Conference in March and the Annual Conference in July. Our workshops are always among the highest-rated and generate great discussion among conference attendees.

At the upcoming March Legislative Conference, which is being held March 2-6, NACIO will once again be well represented. On Monday, March 4, at 10:45 a.m., NACIO members will present a workshop on the value of openness. "Using Transparency to Build Trust" will help attendees understand how making your government activities as transparent as possible can help build trust in the community and avoid negative press. NACIO Second Vice President Lori Hudson of Hillsborough County, Fla., and Wendy Holmes, the Director of Public Affairs for Douglas County, Colo., will talk about how counties can be transparent and responsive to requests from citizens and why this is important.

In addition, Alan Blinder, a reporter for The Examiner in Washington, D.C., will talk about his experiences - good and bad - in making public information requests of local governments.

On Tuesday, March 5, at 10:45 a.m., I will be a panelist in another workshop, "Extending Your Communications Outreach: Social Media." This session will look at ways that counties can use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other sites as part of their outreach programs. Social media offers a very cost-effective way to communicate with constituents, but it is not without its perils.

These workshops help establish the value of PIOs and are great PR for NACIO. Another way we help validate the value of PIOs is through our annual Awards of Excellence Program.

The 2013 contest is now open and accepting entries. Unfortunately, we had to switch NACIO Awards Chairs in midstream, but Kiara Jones of Pitt County, N.C., has agreed to step in and lead this year's competition.

Please click on the Awards of Excellence tab to learn more about the contest and how you can bring recognition to your county for the excellent communicaitons work being created by your department.

The 2012 Awards of Excellence Competition 

Monday, July 9, 2012 3:02:00 PM Categories: Awards of Excellence

Each year, the National Association of County Information Officers (NACIO) stages its Awards of Excellence competition, giving its members and non-members the opportunity to have its work through the year judged by industry professionals.

This year, nearly 350 entries were received in nine categories from large and small counties and state associations of counties. Ranging from annual reports to events for children, county communications projects demonstrated the breadth of county government services as well as counties’ commitment to inform and engage their citizens.

Dave Rose, Public Information Officer for El Paso County, Colo., coordinated the event for NACIO.

“The judges told me that in reviewing the entries they were surprised to see how many things counties do for citizens,” Rose said. “They were impressed by the highly effective messaging they saw in entries from both small and large counties and found it very difficult to single out a 'Best of Class' winner in several categories where there were several truly outstanding entries.”

I want to thank everyone who participated in this year’s competition, and I congratulate all the winners. Especially I want to congratulate all of the best of class winners and, of course, the Best of Show winner, the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, for its publication commemorating its 125th anniversary.

Finally, I want to send my deepest appreciation to Dave, who coordinated the event while handling the media during one of the worst wildfires in Colorado history. The Awards of Excellence competition is tough enough to coordinate without the additional burden of coordinating media during a natural disaster!

Dave Rose did a yeoman’s job in handling both.