3CMA - City-County Communications & Marketing Association

3CMA - City-County Communications & Marketing Association If people are the heart of a community, communication is the lifeblood. Without it, there is no conversation, no engagement, no relationship. Effective public communicators are vital to local government success, linking citizens to the essential information they need to access services and be part of the democratic process, cultivating a shared vision for the community. For 27 years, 3CMA has championed the role of the public communicator and has delivered innovative education and programming to help communicators and their communities be successful. 3CMA members are part of a dynamic network of more than 700 professional public communicators from all over the nation. Through national conferences, regional meetings and seminars, webinars, online networking opportunities, and inspiring award programs, 3CMA members are able to tap into the best local government marketing and public relations has to offer. And perhaps most importantly, they establish meaningful connections with those who are faced with similar opportunities and challenges every day.

Coming Full CircleBy Linda HarrisCity of Decatur, GAIn September 1995 I attended my first 3CMA conference. It was held i...
07/12/2019

Coming Full Circle
By Linda Harris
City of Decatur, GA

In September 1995 I attended my first 3CMA conference. It was held in Denver and immediately preceded the ICMA conference that year.

I knew nothing about the organization. In early 1995, the city manager handed me a brochure describing the SAVVY awards and their categories. We had what I considered an innovative newsletter. Started in 1990, we had three collaborative partners and ad revenue to offset the cost but had recently “upgraded” it to include one color on the front and back pages. So I entered.

It was my first SAVVY, and I treasure that win because it validated not only the publication but also the contribution of communications within city government. The entire conference was held in one room and each one of the 25-30 attendees stood up to introduce themselves, give their title and describe their role within the organization. What struck me then, and still holds true today, is that while we all had different titles we were all doing basically the same work. I realized I found my tribe.

This year as I come up on my 24th and last 3CMA conference, ironically also held in Denver, I paused to reflect on why I keep coming back year after year. And I want to share my top five takeaways with you:

• You have to love an organization that started in a bar on a cocktail napkin.
• One preconference presentation gave me confidence, as well as tips, on how to start a city website which I introduced as a “pilot” during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games held in Atlanta. I did this even though I am not now and never will be a “techie.” And at the time there were only a handful of cities had taken the website plunge.
• There is always at least one person who gives you the perfect idea to steal – and that is expected in this tribe.
• I am grateful for those who share the stories and lessons learned after facing unexpected emergencies and tragedies. You offer invaluable information that I use when refining our emergency communications plan.
• As a communications professional working in local government, I always felt like an odd square peg trying to fit in the round hole of local government. At 3CMA I feel like I am surrounded by other square pegs who are talking, laughing and committed to learning how to be better communicators. I come home energized.

Names and faces have changed over these past 24 years; new faces become familiar and familiar faces move on. But I know that there will always be an underlying tie that binds us in our emphasis on the power of communication and our roles in making local government transparent, accessible, and committed to engaging the entire community.

See you in Denver!

#3CMABlog #3CMAMemberBlog #WeGetGov

A job posting for Director of Communications has been posted to the Member Services area of the 3CMA Website: http://www...
07/03/2019

A job posting for Director of Communications has been posted to the Member Services area of the 3CMA Website: http://www.3cma.org/index.aspx?NID=2765 … … #WeGetGov #3CMAJobPosting

Breakout Sessions for the Annual Conference are being posted!  Additional sessions are being added as they are confirmed...
07/01/2019

Breakout Sessions for the Annual Conference are being posted! Additional sessions are being added as they are confirmed. http://3cma.org/index.aspx?NID=380 #3CMAAnnual #WeGetGov

3CMA is excited to welcome back Eva Guidarini | U.S. Politics & Government Outreach from Facebook as one of our Innovati...
07/01/2019

3CMA is excited to welcome back Eva Guidarini | U.S. Politics & Government Outreach from Facebook as one of our Innovation Forum Keynote Presenters.

Facebook for Local Government: Tools, Best Practices, and Q&A
Come learn about the latest tools, tips and best practices that can help you better reach and connect with members of your community on Facebook, and ask us your questions about the platform.

http://3cma.org/index.aspx?NID=627 #3CMAAnnual #WeGetGov

A job posting for an Communications and Marketing Analyst/Associate Analyst has been posted to the Member Services area ...
06/28/2019

A job posting for an Communications and Marketing Analyst/Associate Analyst has been posted to the Member Services area of the 3CMA Website: http://www.3cma.org/index.aspx?NID=2763 … #WeGetGov #3CMAJobPosting

3CMA is excited to announce Sarah Moss | Civic Dreamer and Doer, as one of our Innovation Forum Keynote Presenters. Fear...
06/28/2019

3CMA is excited to announce Sarah Moss | Civic Dreamer and Doer, as one of our Innovation Forum Keynote Presenters.

Fear and Loathing on the Innovation Trail
Congratulations, you committed to innovation and process improvement! You know it won’t always be sunshine and rainbows but aren’t quite sure what to expect. Your colleagues are going to have some thoughts and feelings, so now is a good time to start thinking about change management before the change manages you. Sarah Moss has served two stints in local government communications and community engagement, lived to tell the tales, and distilled them into practical amateur psychology lessons to apply in your work.

http://3cma.org/index.aspx?NID=627 #3CMAAnnual #WeGetGov

Tuesday, July 16, at 2 p.m. Eastern / 11 a.m. PacificHashtag: #3CMAWebinarSign-Up Now as Space is Limited: Webinar Regis...
06/24/2019
3CMA - Official Website - Webinars

Tuesday, July 16, at 2 p.m. Eastern / 11 a.m. Pacific
Hashtag: #3CMAWebinar
Sign-Up Now as Space is Limited: Webinar Registration

Finding ways to actively engage your community can always be a challenge. It becomes even more difficult if the topic is sensitive or complex. The city of Olympia, WA, wanted to engage its residents in tackling the difficult issue of homelessness. And the city of Arvada, CO, wanted to enhance its visioning process and garner feedback directly related to affordable housing, short-term rentals, and transportation.

The challenge is how to engage people on issues that they don’t see as immediate concerns or ones that are not “in their backyard.” For residents focused on their own daily lives, how do you help them see the importance of sharing their ideas on addressing homelessness or a city’s long-term goals and plans?

Join us for this 3CMA webinar where representatives from both cities will walk us through their engagement processes on these challenging issues. They will share how they integrated face-to-face events with online dialogue, share successes and challenges, and highlight how they were able to be inclusive and respectful in bringing more voices into the conversation. They’ll also share their experience in refocusing many disjointed streams of public questions and comments (in social media, email, etc.) into one centralized location.

#WeGetGov #3CMAWebinar
http://3cma.org/index.aspx?NID=958

3CMA Webinar - Engaging Residents on Unengaging Topics

Opening Session Keynote Just Announced Rowena Alegría | Chief Storyteller - City and County of Denver, CO I AM DENVER - ...
06/21/2019
3CMA - Official Website - Keynote Speakers

Opening Session Keynote Just Announced

Rowena Alegría | Chief Storyteller - City and County of Denver, CO

I AM DENVER - Storytelling Project

What Denver’s Chief Storyteller Is Learning About Listening
In local government, communications is often about getting out City Hall’s message—using the media, social channels, speeches, and other means to reach residents and talk to them. Denver’s Rowena Alegría believes City Hall communications is missing the opportunities that come with listening?—?especially when it comes to the city’s underrepresented peoples. As the city’s recently appointed Chief Storyteller, her role is to find those people, engage them, give them voice, and, in the process, capture Denver’s yesterday today and tomorrow. Bloomberg Cities says that I Am Denver, the resulting multimedia community storytelling project, is as much an experiment in resident engagement as it is a pipeline of digital content. Come get a peek at what the stories look like, how they’re helping to frame a new model for how the city engages with community and maybe even explore your own I Am Denver story.

http://3cma.org/index.aspx?NID=627

2019 Keynote Conference Speakers

Two NEW Pre-Conference sessions have just been added to the Annual Conference line-up!Lean Production Strategies for Tar...
06/17/2019

Two NEW Pre-Conference sessions have just been added to the Annual Conference line-up!
Lean Production Strategies for Targeted Communications
This how-to workshop focuses on essential steps in achieving lean production for print, web and social media. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the writing and design principles and techniques used to drive messaging in clear, concise terms. Learn how to organize and manage digital assets in ways that will streamline both in-house and vendor production, target messaging to a variety of audiences, and optimize brand.
Design your writing for consistent, concise messaging and brand consistency
Communicate effectively with vendors for better budget control
Manage digital assets for faster, more effective production
Understand usability concerns for more compliant content
Presenter: Robyn Lingen - Creative Director - Designwrite Studios

Navigating Every Day and Extraordinary Events
The most important tool in the communicator’s kit isn’t a new technology or the latest gadget, it’s our ability to relate to people and communicate clearly and efficiently to a variety of audiences. As spokespeople and organizational representatives, we are counted on to be engaged with our communities, the media and colleagues in uncomfortable and unexpected situations. This skill set doesn’t come naturally to most of us, but it can be the key to successfully working through day-to-day situations and major crises. We will discuss how to navigate difficult, complex situations that may sometimes affect you personally, what to do when you doubt your own expertise, and how to set appropriate professional boundaries. This discussion will offer attendees the opportunity to work through any current challenges they're facing, ask questions, and learn from the experiences of the presenter and each other. Communication challenges can happen anytime, anywhere. Make sure you're prepared to represent both your organization and yourself in the best possible manner.
Presenter: Miriam Dickler - Consultant/Trainer - Rebel Tree, LLC - Charlottesville, VA

http://www.3cma.org/index.aspx?NID=379

Annual Conference Pre-Conference Sessions Announced!Fast, Free, and Fabulous: Filling your Toolbox with New, Effective S...
06/11/2019

Annual Conference Pre-Conference Sessions Announced!

Fast, Free, and Fabulous: Filling your Toolbox with New, Effective Strategies
If you’re looking for cheap, fast, and good marketing strategies that won’t take over your life, this rapid-fire session is for you! Presenter Josh Hirsch received rave reviews when he presented a 3CMA webinar in 2018 and we’ve lured him to Denver for an in-depth, highly interactive session. You’ll want to bring your laptop or tablet to experience the tools and tips first hand. Josh will share some favorite free and cheap marketing strategies, cut through the clutter of the tools available, and help you focus on the best options for your local government. This one pre-conference will leave you with so many new tools and approaches to consider implementing, it will justify every penny of your registration.
Presenter: Josh Hirsch - Director of Mission and Communication - Susan G. Komen Florida

Listening, Dialogue and Time: Critical Components of Effective Resident Engagement and Participation
"Sticky wickets" challenge every community, from landfill locations and road expansion, to higher taxes and other hot-button issues. Emerging issues may be the hardest to address, because your citizens may not recognize that a problem even exists. Hot-button issues involve emotion, which sometimes makes it more difficult for government solutions to be heard. During these discussions, it is important for local government to show that it has listened and is still listening, and that it cares. This session will focus on strategies and practices that work to promote dialogue and understanding between local government and citizens when the stakes are high.
Presenters: Will Hampton - City of Round Rock, TX; Jacqueline Lambiase, Ph.D. - Texas Christian University

Visibility is Power: Media secrets uncovered Session
Building your visibility through the media is much like building a sandwich. One slice of bread represents new media such as live video and the other traditional media like television news. Learn new ways to successfully meet your biggest media relations challenges, including secrets to camera confidence on air and online. Discover the best practices in establishing and maintaining relationships with the media and getting journalists to open and read your email pitches. Participant will have a chance at hands-on training.
Presenter: Roshanda Pratt - The Rosho Live

Additional Session Coming Soon!

http://www.3cma.org/index.aspx?NID=64

3CMA would like to extend a huge Thank You to Maria Olmedo-Malagon, U.S. Census Bureau for the great webinar today! (You...
05/30/2019

3CMA would like to extend a huge Thank You to Maria Olmedo-Malagon, U.S. Census Bureau for the great webinar today! (Your Role in Ensuring Your Community is Counted in the 2020 Census) Missed the webinar? View it here: http://3cma.org/index.aspx?NID=2753 #3CMAWebinar

Don't forget, the Savvy Entry Deadline is fast approaching!  Entries must be submitted by end-of-day on Monday - June 3r...
05/30/2019

Don't forget, the Savvy Entry Deadline is fast approaching! Entries must be submitted by end-of-day on Monday - June 3rd. Please don't hesitate to contact 3CMA with any questions you may have. www.3cma.org/savvy #3CMASavvy #WeGetGov

3CMA - City-County Communications & Marketing Association's cover photo
05/29/2019

3CMA - City-County Communications & Marketing Association's cover photo

A job posting for a Communications and Marketing Manager has been posted to the Member Services area of the 3CMA Website...
05/28/2019

A job posting for a Communications and Marketing Manager has been posted to the Member Services area of the 3CMA Website: http://www.3cma.org/index.aspx?nid=2756 … #WeGetGov #3CMAJobPosting

Plan a Regional Conference Using This Simple TemplateLinda Harris City of Decatur, GAIt is a given that Regional Confere...
05/24/2019

Plan a Regional Conference Using This Simple Template
Linda Harris
City of Decatur, GA

It is a given that Regional Conferences give 3CMA members a chance to connect on a local level and feature targeted topics related to each particular region. They offer a way to experience the value of sharing ideas and networking with colleagues without having to justify spending a big chunk of an already limited budget. Plus, they are fun.

But how about hosting/planning a Regional Conference? What does that give you and how can it possibly be fun? I can tell you from personal experience that:

- 3CMA has a template and a supportive staff available to deal with the not so fun but critical logistics like registration, sending out announcements, creating a conference brochure and social media posts, generating attendee name-tags, talking to and securing potential sponsors, and offering ideas during planning committee conference calls. And they can design a logo if you don’t want or have the capacity to do so. They stand ready and willing to lend a hand and their constant support.
- All you need to do is pull together a 3-4 member planning committee, secure a location, arrange a light breakfast, lunch, and fun snacks, brainstorm a theme, create sessions and secure speakers around that theme, and you’re off.

I guarantee it is an excellent way to showcase your community, highlight your unique food options, and let other 3CMA colleagues experience the amazing communication professionals in your region both as speakers and attendees. Simple, right?

If you need a little more down and dirty, nitty gritty details, here you go…

At the Annual Conference find three or four like-minded colleagues in your area. Relax over a happy hour beverage or dinner while you weigh the pros and cons. Do you have an accessible location; access to a comfortable or cool facility that will hold 30-40 people; time for two or three planning committee conference calls; and a group commitment to secure the speakers related to your theme (brainstormed during one of the conference calls)? If so, you are halfway there.

When you return from the Annual Conference, set up a conference call with Scott to decide on the best date and ask any questions you may have about best practices related to past Regionals.

Four months before the proposed date, schedule a conference call that includes your planning committee and Scott using the 3CMA conference call-in number. Spell out your Agreements (ours were Be present; Be engaged; Value every voice; Listen; Use “What I like about that is…AND”) before brainstorming possible session topics and/or speakers. Before delving into the theme and topics, define the takeaways you want attendees to walk away with, your goals and your “must-haves” (ours were interactive, relevant, fun, something they can use when they get back, concrete things they can implement, and the southeast region is innovative, cutting edge, and we work well together – collaborative). And you’re off.

When your theme emerges, your sessions will follow. From there it is just a matter of assigning committee members to write up the details of each session and letting them contact one proposed speaker and/or panel members. Then create the logo using the 3CMA graphic contact or your own.

The rest is easy. There is one more follow-up conference call to confirm details and slot in any missing speakers. Order a light breakfast from a local vendor and lunch from a restaurant that is unique to your town – that way attendees get to experience the local vibe. We used Chick-fil-A (fast food franchise that originated in Atlanta), Farm Burger (grassfed beef, chicken and veggie sliders, a big salad, and homemade potato chips), and Steel City Pops (gourmet popsicles made from all natural and local ingredients). The good news is 3CMA pays for the food.

Our biggest takeaways were getting to know colleagues from the surrounding area, discovering new social media tips to use when navigating through a crisis, and learning ways to reach those who are missing from the table – and we got to show off our city.

If you are considering planning a Regional and still have questions, feel free to reach out to me or my Decatur colleague Renae Madison. Or, if you know the folks from Roswell including Julie Brechbill, Darnisha Green, and Karen Zitomer or Suzanne Forte from DeKalb County, contact them for another perspective.

Use this simple template to showcase your region with a 3CMA Regional Conference and have some fun along the way. See you in Denver in September – we can talk about how to plan an Annual Conference next!

#3CMABlog #3CMAMemberBlog #WeGetGov-

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