Standing for our Ethics, Advocating for Our Profession and Our Members Amid a Turbulent Transition

February 6, 2017

An open letter to our members:

Dear colleagues,

As you probably know by now, the NAGC issued a news release last week reiterating the Code of Ethics for professional government communicators. The NAGC motto of “Good Communication … Good Government,” is more than just a tagline for members of our association. The motto speaks to the core of what our association stands for, what we as members and professionals stand for. Last year, the NAGC updated its bylaws and adopted a new mission statement, which is:

The National Association of Government Communicators is dedicated to advocating, promoting and recognizing excellence in government communication. NAGC is dedicated to providing opportunities for individual professional development and career advancement, enhancing effective communication with constituents, and advancing the profession of government communication.

Our news release is not a political statement, but rather a means to promote the expertise and assistance our NAGC members can provide the new administration’s transition teams in reprioritizing their messages and creating effective communication strategies. The release also served as a means by which the association could advocate for our members, who may be having difficulty navigating the transition.

Our release was not the first time the association spoke out on the topic of transition. Our president-elect penned a blog post on the topic of transition in all levels of government and NAGC recently hosted a Webinar Wednesday session on “The Essential Role of Career Government Communicators During Transition.” It and our other webinars, which are free to our members, are posted on our website at nagc.com. In addition, the NAGC board of directors is available to assist members with specific issues, if necessary.

Finally, the news release reiterates to the media that as professional government communicators, “we believe the truth is sacred; that providing public information is an essential civil service.” We also believe that the public has the right to know what policies, services, and programs are being implemented by the agencies using their tax dollars, and that need is met by government communicators like you.

Change is always difficult. The orderly transition of power from one administration to the next is no different. However, I believe that when new people coming into an agency reach out to the experts within the agency, the challenges become opportunities, and everyone, especially the public, wins.

  • NAGC President Kathryn Stokes

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