Government communications is often a thankless profession in today’s world of government’s mistrust of media and media’s mistrust of government. Standing in front of an agency to communicate a message in an informative and transparent way can feel like you have a target on your chest. Who’s aiming to “getcha” next?
But if you are a member of the National Association of Government Communicators, you have organization behind you shining a light on the excellent work you do and you’re part of an amazing group of people who look at government communications as a service that must be ethical and transparent. You are a direct beneficiary of NAGC’s primary goals –“…advocating, promoting, and recognizing excellence in government communication.”
Because I am a member of the NAGC board of directors, people often ask me why they should join NAGC? There are a lot of reasons, and I’d like to remind you of one of the most important. NAGC has a strict Code of Ethics and as an organization, we expect our members to know and adopt these ethics in their daily jobs. When NAGC promotes our profession, we are also promoting the Code of Ethics that our members abide by in their roles as government communicators. As a member of NAGC, you’re demonstrating that you comply with that code.
Another way NAGC promotes our profession — and our members — is through the annual Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Awards. The Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Awards have been recognized as one of the most prestigious awards in the field of government communications, nationally and internationally. Winning one of these awards offers our members the opportunity to pat themselves on the back and say, “I did a great job and was recognized and rewarded for it.” We love promoting the winners in each category!
Our volunteer board members are all professional government communicators, either as government employees or contractors. I have loved my eight-plus years on the board, but it is a lot of work. In addition to managing the awards competition, our annual Communications School is developed by the board including the call for speakers, choosing from the submissions, marketing the school, choosing the Communicator of the Year, etc.
Important note here — We cannot do this alone. We rely on volunteers from our organization to fill out the committees that manage all the activities associated with these programs. Volunteering for one of the board committees offers another great way to promote yourself and to add a little something extra to your resume. Our president, Chris O’Neil, recently published a heartfelt note about our need for more member help. You can read it here, and I hope you’ll jump in with both feet after you do.
But back to that shining light. In the past few years, and hopefully more so going forward, we have asked members to share their experience and expertise with other members. It allows members to highlight their knowledge in support of members who need assistance. You, the members, essentially become the candles that make this organization burn bright.
So when I am asked why should you be a member of NAGC, I am proud to say “Because NAGC promotes the government communication profession and provides opportunities for its members to promote
themselves.” So, shine the light of ethics and transparency on your job by proudly declaring your association with an organization that is “dedicated to advocating, promoting, and recognizing excellence in government communication.”