Helpful Links

Helpful Links For County Officials and PIOs

Charles Caleb Colton, an English cleric and philosopher, once wrote that "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." NACIO is attempting to honor his belief by compiling best practices in many areas that PIOs are involved with. This page contains links to information on various topics of interest to public information officers, such as creating a communications plan, how to plan for a citizens academy and whether or not your county should adopt a social media policy.

If you have a practice or program you would like to share or if you have a subject area for which you would like to see some samples of best practices, please contact any NACIO officer or any member of our Board of Directors.

Creating a Communications Plan

Writing a communication plan that works is one of the most difficult parts of serving as a strategic communication professional. When creating a communiations plan, it is important to include measurable objectives.

  • Click here for more information on how to write a communications plan for your county. 

Citizens Academy programs

A Citizen's Academy is an excellent way to teach citizens about the roles and responsibilities of local governments and also to develop more informed citizens to serve on various public boards and commissions.

  • Click here for more information about creating a Citizens Academy for your county.

Media Relations policies

Many counties have established policies and guidelines for employees when they are approached by a reporter for a news story. Below are some examples submitted by NACIO members.

Social Media policies

As more counties are establishing social media presences on Facebook and Twitter, it is imperative that guidelines be established for what kinds of posts are acceptable, who can post, will public comments be allowed, etc. 

  • Click here for more information and some sample policies.

Use of County Logo policies

Helpful hints for video production

Video content is one of the most engaging forms of communication, but it needs to be done right. Here is a short video that gives some basic tips on how to set up a shot, lighting and audio. Here are his tips to remember:

Tips to Remember

  1. Use a tripod unless camera movement is necessary or adds to the shot.
  2. Use a lavalier microphone. Good audio should be a primary concern when making your video.
  3. Side lighting works best.
  4. Don't be afraid to get in close.
  5. Use the rule of thirds.
  6. Don't place your subject directly in the center of the frame.

County Educational Initiatives

National County Government Month – Each April, counties across the country conduct events that celebrate and explore what counties do for their citizens. Working with NACIO, the National Association of Counties recognizes the best celebrations each each year.

County Government Works is an initiative to make the American public, who are beneficiaries of government services, and officials at other levels of government, who are partners in delivering those services, more knowledgeable and positive about the contributions of county government. This initiative has put in place the tools for county officials and PIOs to use explain county government, including the Counties Work Online Game. NACo, together with iCivics, created "Counties Work" to educate students, grades 6 through 12, about the important role and functions of county government by letting them run their own county. A curriculum and web quest has also been developed to assist teachers with preparing lessons on county government.

State Associations of Public Information Officers