A primary undertaking for today’s local government leader is to play a role in facilitating community building. Being part of a community provides a sense of identity, belonging and pride for sharing in something important and bigger than oneself. As community builders, fostering these connections for our citizens is the right thing to do because it promotes democracy and expands support for achieving goals that government cannot achieve on its own.
At the 18th Annual FCCMA 2012 Winter Institute, participants explored how to build rich connections in the communities we serve. Attendees were provoked in an interactive conversation facilitated by Dr. John Nalbandian, well-known author and Professor at Kansas University. The institute followed a similar format to last year which will include panel presentations as well as small and large group discussion and report out.
• Successful Storytelling– The Relevancy of Local Government in the Lives of its Stakeholders – Andy Fletcher, Vice President of Public Relations, University of Florida
Being an effective storyteller is something that eludes many in local government. Good stories take time and patience to develop; but more importantly, they are relatable to the audience. This segment will look at how local government can connect to the public through the art of storytelling.
• Effective Neighborhood Communications—Neighborliness and the Trust it Takes – Lee Feldman, City Manager, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Communicate! Communicate! Communicate! As local government leaders we hear this admonition time and again. Our challenge is to create a two-way dialogue with our residents and their neighborhoods. Join Lee Feldman, City Manager of Fort Lauderdale in exploring methods to reach one or a thousand residents. Winter Institute participants will collectively craft strategies to get individual neighbors off the couch and engaged in the public discussion of how neighbors can improve their lives and the quality of life for their community.
• Emerging Technology and Communication Practices – Bill Greeves, Director of IT and Communications, Roanoke County, VA; and Tracy Miller, Florida Regional Director/Technology Director, Alliance for Innovation
Communicating effectively in a world that is connected in new and dramatic ways provides both opportunity and challenge to local governments. Techniques like the public hearing and citizen newsletter serve a purpose, but do they truly establish a conversation among community stakeholders? Today’s times call for meaningful interchanges that can help inform while creating a guide to future actions. This segment will focus on the emerging practices to use communications and technology to reach community stakeholders.
• Employees as Ambassadors – Joe Durkin, Senior Director of Corporate Communications, Bright House Networks
Ever wish that your employees would provide services in a manner which wows the customer and generates positive letters to the editor only to wake up and have to answer another complaint from a citizen expressing dissatisfaction with their interaction with the City or County? Bright House Networks has implemented a program for frontline employees which empowers employees to go beyond their job description to assist customers in meeting their needs and generating a positive emotional attachment to Bright House and the company’s services. Learn about the “Bright Eyes” program and discuss how managers can empower employees to implement best practices for their cities and counties and better serve our citizens.
Please contact Carol Russell at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lynn Lovallo at email@example.com or call (850) 222-9684 with any questions.