County of Marin - News Releases - Communications Awards

For Immediate Release
September 11, 2018

County Communications Earn National Awards

In-house produced report and social media video best field of 740 entries

San Rafael, CA – Residents should know what their local government is doing on their behalf by way of a steady flow of trusted communication. The County of Marin is committed to sharing public information and, as demonstrated last week, continues to be recognized at a national level for outreach about its services, programs and other news.

A screengrab of the Annual Report cover page, saying Marin At a Glance 2016 with a photo of Mount Tamalpais in the background.The County earned three national awards for this multimedia report, including a first-place trophy.
The City-County Communications & Marketing Association, known as 3CMA, honored the County of Marin with five awards during the group’s national conference September 5 in Milwaukee. It was the most awards the County has won in a single year since it joined 3CMA in 2012. The national organization annually recognizes excellence in municipal informational campaigns, and this time it was for work completed during the 2017 calendar year.

The County’s 2016 Marin At A Glance report won a Savvy award (first place) in the category of printed publications / annual reports, a Silver Circle award (second place) for digital interactive reports and an Award of Excellence (third place) for promotional video. Marin At A Glance brought a multimedia approach to a fiscal year review, including a brief PDF summary with graphics, a host webpage, and an overview video. The entire package was produced by County staff with no outside costs.

A video titled “Wall Fire: A Voicemail from a Thankful Resident” garnered an Award of Excellence for best use of Facebook and an Award of Excellence for most creative activity with the least dollars spent. The video originated with a voicemail left by an emotional Oroville resident for Marin County Fire Department Chief Jason Weber, thanking his crew for saving her home and others in the neighborhood during the July 2017 Wall Fire. The voice message was used with permission and supplemented by photos of the fire and written transcription. The video was seen more than 68,000 times on Facebook and shared more than 1,000 times, and the story was picked up by several media outlets. Again, there were no outside costs associated with creating the video.

“It’s our role as communicators to try to engage with our residents and keep them informed about what their local government is doing on their behalf,” said Public Information Officer Laine Hendricks. “In an age of information overload, it requires us to be willing to try new tactics and take risks to connect with our audience. It’s nice to know when we get it right. These awards are welcomed validation from our peers.”

The 3CMA Savvy awards salute skilled and effective city, county, agency or district communications professionals who have creatively planned and carried out successful public outreach and marketing efforts. Judges from across the country reviewed more than 740 entries in 40 categories this year. Award winners represented jurisdictions in 24 states and one Canadian province.

Since joining and submitting entries for Savvy Awards in 2012, Marin has won six first-place Savvy Awards, two second-place Silver Circle award and six third-place Awards of Excellence.

Public communication has been an emerging priority for the County since 2009 when a community survey identified it as an area for improvement and the Board of Supervisors responded with directive to enhance outreach efforts. The County created its first Public Communication Plan, which encourages meaningful participation in the governance of the County by everyone. The County subsequently created an internal Public Information Team to keep up with trends and share best practices, revamped its website, populated the site with more news from its 22 departments, updated audio-video equipment in the Board of Supervisors chamber, and improved responses to media requests for information.


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