On Tuesday, March 8, PR News announced the winners of its annual Nonprofit Awards, and Macon-Bibb County’s Office of Communications was named the winner in two categories and earned Honorable Mention in two other categories, putting them in the top five in the country for those two.
“Strong communication is part of everything we do because we need to reach the people we’re trying to help and serve, and people deserve to know what we’re doing every day and week to improve our community,” says Macon-Bibb County Mayor Lester Miller. “I’m very proud of our Communications Team, and now everyone knows we have one of the best in the country.”
The Communications Plan for the Brookdale Resource Center was named the winner in the Crisis Campaign category and earned an Honorable Mention in the Advocacy Campaign & Lobbying Efforts. The communications for Brookdale began in the planning phase for its opening and has continued for more than a year, letting people know how they can donate time or supplies, highlighting groups that made donations or lent their time, and, most importantly, telling the stories of people that had earned jobs, found housing, or received other help through the Center.
The entire office earned an Honorable Mention as the Nonprofit Team of the Year – making them one of the top five in the entire country – for their work to plan communication efforts that directly support efforts like the Brookdale Resource Center, Clean Streets Matter, Blight Fight, Macon Violence Prevention, and more. Additionally, Chief Communications Officer Chris Floore was named this year’s Government Communicator of the Year. This is the second time PR News has awarded him this top national recognition.
“We would not have been able to help as many people without their support. With them handling our communication needs, no matter how big or small, we were able to focus on meeting people’s needs,” says Brookdale Resource Center Director Alison Bender.
“Chris and his team were with us as an integral part of this massive humanitarian effort from day one, and they never left our side, always making great suggestions on how to better reach the people,” says Emergency Management Agency Director Spencer Hawkins, who led the overall effort for the first year. “Their caring and proactive storytelling is one of the major reasons we successfully helped so many people and engaged our larger community.”
The Office of Communications includes Chris Floore, Edna Ruiz, Rachel Gambill, and Olivia Walter. Their charge is to find the best ways to let people know what the government and its partners are doing to improve the community through strategic communications, media relations, video & photography services, a weekly e-newsletter, event planning, message development, social media, online content, crisis communications, and more.
These recognitions follow several others earned by the Office of Communications in the past several years, including:
- The Brookdale Resource Center Communications Plan earning Honorable Mention from PR Daily in two categories: Cause-Related Marketing Campaign & Crisis Communication Campaign;
- Chris being named Government Communicator of the Year by PRNews in 2019, PR Daily in 2019 and 2018, and the City-County Communications & Marketing Association (3CMA) in 2015, and being named part of PRSA Georgia’s inaugural 40 Under 40 Inductees in 2019;
- Chris being a finalist for the top communication award by PRNews in 2018 and by the National Association of Government Communicators two years in a row;
- four awards from the National Association of County Information Officers (NACIO) for the Solid Waste Services Change Infographic, the Public Affairs Annual Report, Tropical Storm Irma Debris Collection Infographic, and for departmental logos;
- two from PR Daily for the Women of Macon-Bibb Instagram Campaign and Public Affairs Annual Report;
- A national award from 3CMA for Macon-Bibb County’s Forward Together Strategic Plan.