County of Marin - News Releases - Communications Awards

For Immediate Release
April 18, 2018

County Captures State Awards for Communications

Viral video, annual report and teen-focused poster win accolades

San Rafael, CA – The County of Marin has earned three prestigious statewide awards for outreach initiatives as it continues to emphasize the value of trusted public information.

Five members of the RxSafe Marin coalition pose with their CAPIO award.Members of the RxSafe Marin coalition pose with their CAPIO award.
The California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO) honored Marin with two first-place EPIC Awards at the group’s statewide conference April 12 in Santa Rosa. One award recognized the 2016 Marin At A Glance Annual Report and another honored Marin Health and Human Services Department’s RxSafe Marin “Know the Facts” infographic poster campaign aimed at educating teens about opioid abuse.

In addition, the County received an Award of Distinction for Marin County Fire’s “Wall Fire: Voicemail From A Thankful Resident” video.

The 2016 Marin At A Glance Report was designed for the curious but impatient resident. The report capsulized what the County accomplished for its residents during the fiscal year between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016. Wary of yawn-inducing, hard-copy reports, it included a two-minute video, a 10-page annual report that featured easy-to-understand infographics, and a letter to the community from County Administrator Matthew Hymel. The annual report was fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The “Know the Facts” infographic poster was a visual queue and conversation starter for youths to approach their parents about prescription drugs rather than previous efforts directed toward doctors and other adults. The outreach effort is considered a local emergency because prescription opioids kill more people in Marin than vehicle collisions.  The RxSafe Marin coalition, which is led by the County of Marin, wanted to use the poster to increase teen awareness of opioid use and misuse and increase youth participation in the coalition.

The “Wall Fire: Voicemail from a Thankful Resident” was a short video clip created from an emotion-tinged voicemail left by a woman whose home was saved by Marin County Fire Department personnel. The voicemail, left for Fire Chief Jason Weber, was illustrated with still photos from the firefighters and the caller’s words transcribed and superimposed on the screen. It became one of the County’s most viewed and shared videos.

CAPIO’s EPIC (Excellence in Public Information and Communications) Awards are presented annually to honor outstanding public agency information and communications programs. Entries are judged on overall quality, effectiveness of message with measurable results, creativity, and appropriate use of budget. Of the nearly 200 entries considered in this year’s contest, only 49 entries were selected as award finalists.

This is the third consecutive year the County of Marin has received public outreach excellence recognition from CAPIO. Last year, the County received honors for its State of the County 2016 video and the bilingual Viva Marin guide. In 2016, Marin County Parks took first place for a photo essay by Ranger Craig Solin.

The County has expanded its public outreach staff in recent years after a 2009 public survey showed that residents wanted to hear more about its departments, programs and initiatives. The County’s 5 Year Business Plan, adopted in 2015, included commitments to be a more responsive government and to encourage engagement at all levels. One of the plan’s focus areas was to strengthen communications both internally and externally to improve service and enhance public trust.

“The County has created a strong foundation in the past couple of years, and we have a lot to build on,” said Damon Connolly, President of the Marin County Board of Supervisors. “Our dedicated and hardworking staff members are pushing the envelope in creating safe, healthy, sustainable communities. It’s imperative that the work we’re doing is shared with the County we represent, and that those we represent are engaged in the process and heard in the decision-making. We are really proud of this recognition from CAPIO and the fact that the County’s outreach efforts are recognized among the best in the state.”


Laine Hendricks
Public Information Officer
County Administrator's Office

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite #325
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-7496
Email: Laine Hendricks
County Administrator website