Posts in Category: NACIO

Another feather in NACIO's cap 

Thursday, November 15, 2012 11:50:00 AM Categories: NACIO NACo

Twice a year, the National Association of Counties (NACo) solicits ideas for workshops for its annual Legislative Conference in March and the Annual Conference in July. The sessions must be relevant to county elected officials. As an affiliate of NACo, we are offered the opportunity to submit proposals.

For as long as I have been active with NACIO (almost a decade now!), our organization has almost always had at least one workshop - and sometimes two, or even three - at every NACo conference. As it turns out, county elected officials are very interested in all aspects of media relations, from the rise of social media to basic tips on how to handle tricky situations. Past NACIO sessions have included outside presenters on how to read body language, how to improve listening skills and Media Relations 101.

I am proud to report that NACIO's workshops are almost always among the highest-rated at the NACo conference. These sessions are a great way for NACIO members to share their expertise with county officials from across the nation. Equally important, they are a testament to the value that a Public Information Officer can bring to a county government.

This year, NACo just announced its workshop selections for the 2013 Legislative Conference, which will be held March 2-6, 2013, at the Washington, D.C., Hilton Hotel (the infamous hotel where John Hinkley attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan). Once again, NACIO's submission has been accepted.

This year we are going to offer a training session on how to deal with public records requests and the value of transparency. How a local government responds to public records requests shows a lot about that jurisdiction's committee to transparency, and this session will help local officials understand how transparency can build trust within the community.

Panelists for the session include Wendy Manita-Holmes, the Director of Public Affairs for Douglas County, Colo., and newly elected NACIO Second Vice President Lori Hudson of Hillsborough County, Fla. Participating in a workshop is a great way for NACIO members to get more involved with the organization and also to share your professional expertise, and I am very excited to have two such great panelists lined up for the session.

NACo will soon be soliciting ideas for their annual conference, which will be held July 19-222 in Fort Worth (Tarrant County), Texas. When the announcement is made, I will share the information on the NACIO listserv. In the meantime, be thinking of ideas you might have for a workshop,and if you can make it to Texas for the conference, we would love to have you as a presenter.

Use the listserv to solicit, contribute ideas 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 3:03:00 PM Categories: NACIO

One of the best advantages of membership in the National Association of County Information Officers is the listserv. It is a great way to get almost instant feedback from fellow Public Information Officers from across the nation on any topic related to being a PIO.

I was asked to give a presentation on media relations to the N.C. Solid Waste Enforcement Officers Association at their annual conference last week. Like most of us, I have ideas and thoughts on the issue of media relations, such as never going off-the-record, always stressing the positive and boiling down your message to no more than three key points - and then repeating those points throughout the interview.

As I was working on my presentation a few weeks ago, I decided to solicit input from my fellow NACIO members and posed a query to the listserv about best tips for media relations practices. I received numerous good ideas and incorporated all of them into my presentation. Of particular value were the thoughts of PIOs who are former media members and who could provide some specific insight as to how newspapers and television stations decide what goes on the news.

I encourage each of you to use the listserv, especially if you are faced with a particularly thorny issue at work or if you have been assigned a new task and you are looking for advice from those who have gone before you. Using the listserv is simple: simply send an email to, and the email will be automatically forwarded to all NACIO members. OF course, you must be a member in good standing to access the listserv.

I also encourage you to share your thoughts and experiences when others seek input through the listserv. It is a great way to share your knowledge and to bolster the professionalism and capacities of all of our members.


We can't get enough campaigns 

Thursday, October 18, 2012 8:55:00 AM Categories: NACIO

It is campaign season, with the Presidential campaign in the final sprint. Early voting has opened up around the nation, and election night promises to be entertaining.

NACIO is also getting into the campaign swing of things. As members are aware, Larry Liddell had to resign his position as NACIO President earlier this month when his county eliminated his position due to budget cuts. That has created another vacancy in our leadership team.

As the NACIO bylaws state, when there is a vacancy in an officer position, all the other officers move up to fill the vacancy for the remainder of that term. That means we now have a temporary vacancy in the office of Second Vice President. NACIO will hold a special election to fill this position through July 2013. Whomever wins the special election will have to run for Second Vice President again in July 2013. He/she will not automatically remain on as Second Vice President.

Interested parties who have met the requirements for the position must submit a letter announcing their candidacy, qualifications and how they will contribute to the NACIO leadership by Monday, Oct. 29. Please email the letter to me. I will post the letters on the NACIO website on Thursday, Nov. 1. Voting will commence that day and run through 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 12.

Voting is limited to NACIO members who have paid their dues for either 2012 or 2013.

The following requirements must be met to serve as a NACIO officer:

  • Must have been a member for three years
  • Must have been active in NACIO, which is determined as either: A) participating in a NACIO-sponsored workshop at a NACo conference; B) serving as chair of the NACIO Awards of Excellence Competition; C) serving as a member of the NACIO Board of Directors.


Resignation statement from President Liddell 

Monday, October 8, 2012 12:39:00 PM Categories: NACIO

It is with sincere regret that I must announce my resignation as President of the National Association of County Information Officers, effective immediately.

The Board of Supervisors for Tunica County eliminated my position due to budget cuts for the 2012-13 fiscal year. I have enjoyed my time in NACIO, during which I have had the pleasure and  privilege of serving as a Regional Director, Awards of Excellence Chairman, 2nd Vice President, 1st Vice President and President.

I leave knowing that NACIO is in fine hands. First Vice President Todd McGee will make a great President, and our newly elected Second Vice President Jessie Beyer will make a great 1st Vice President. Terri Graham will continue to be a great Secretary.

Todd will post information about how NACIO will proceed with appointing a replacement for the remainder of my term on the website shortly. Our bylaws state that, when an absence occurs in the office of President, the First Vice President will move up to fill the remainder of the term as President and then serve his/her two-year term as scheduled. All other officers will also move up, which will create a vacancy in our Second Vice President position for the remainder of 2012-13.

I take pride in believing that I am leaving NACIO in better shape than when I joined in 2004. Please know that I have enjoyed meeting many of you and hopefully we will meet again down the road.



Beyer unanimously chosen as NACIO 2nd VP 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 1:05:00 PM Categories: NACIO News

NACIO President Larry Liddell of Tunica County, Miss., announced Sept. 11 that Jessica Beyer of Blue Earth County, Minn., had won the election for the vacant NACIO Second Vice President position. Beyer will serve as NACIO Second VP for the remainder of2012-13, and then ascend into the First Vice President position in July 2013.

"I am very pleased to announce that Jessica Beyer of Blue Earth County, Minnesota, has been elected by her peers as Second Vice President of the National Association of County Information Officers,” said Liddell. “I am not only excited for her, but I am excited for NACIO as she exemplifies the quality of person we need to lead NACIO."

As Second VP, Beyer will work closely with Liddell and First Vice President Todd McGee of the N.C. Association of County Commissioners as the NACIO Executive Team. NACIO officers serve two-year terms. Liddell’s tenure as President will end in July 2013, when McGee will then become President and Beyer will move into the First Vice President position. At that time, NACIO members will elect a new Second Vice President.

“Jessica’s experience in county government and her previous involvement with NACIO as a Board member and as chair of the Awards of Excellence Competition in 2011 make her extremely qualified to serve as a NACIO officer,” said McGee.

The Second Vice President position became open in July when Diana Buckley of Ellis County, Texas, announced that she had accepted a job in the private sector. NACIO bylaws state that members must work for a county government or state association of counties.

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