TAMIO Thoughts

Is Accurate Coverage About Your Proposed Budget Even Possible? (It is.)

Budget, Media Relations, Organization
By Jay Socol Communications Director, City of College Station Tell me if this sounds familiar. You’ve developed a thorough plan to educate citizens about your city’s or county’s draft budget. The plan is so good, in fact, that it just might be a TAMI Award contender next year! But wait — your killer efforts were just scuttled by local newsrooms that didn’t get the story right. Stories so mangled that Nextdoor groups and social media comments are beyond repair. City management is under fire, and your elected officials are being criticized before they’ve even discussed or voted on the proposed budget and tax rate. In one reckless news cycle, your TAMI dreams are dashed and you’re now the meme-worthy hat-wearing dog surrounded by fire saying, “This is fine.” I wish this…
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TAMIO Board Elections

TAMIO, Uncategorized
The nomination period for regional director positions on the TAMIO Board is upon us, and I want to encourage anyone attracted by this opportunity to throw their hat into the ring and be part of the process. Yes, You Can If you have any apprehensions or hurdles of self-doubt preventing you from submitting a self-nomination, then let me build you up and let you know that this is an opportunity for you. Whether you work for a large city or you’re a one-person shop for a small or medium-sized town, you have something that you can contribute for the good of our organization. Serving on the Board is also a little self-serving. For me, it has been one of the most personally and professionally rewarding experiences that I’ve had. I…
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Learning to Juggle: How to Get Organized

Raise your hand if you find it difficult to juggle all your tasks and projects? Without a doubt, communicators are being asked to do more with less every day. While writing this blog, my team and I (which is limited to me and my multimedia producer), have approximately 100 tasks and projects on our to-do list and it seems like every time we complete one task at least five new ones are added. Plus every project has multiple moving parts that have to be taken into consideration. For example, when writing a newsletter you have to brainstorm ideas, gather content, write copy, fact check, take photographs, optimize photos, design graphics, format assets, edit copy, check links, review content and copy with staff, correct copy, run tests, schedule, publish, cross post…
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A Farewell to Tom Bryson

Tuesday night, the TAMIO Board of Directors honored Tom Bryson with the organization’s prestigious Cheryl A. Soward Communicator of Distinction Award for his more than 30 years of service and leadership to government communication. The Board originally planned to present this at TAMIO’s 2020 conference in Arlington, but coronavirus had a different plan. So, instead, the award was presented at Tom’s last city council meeting. The change was fortuitous, as the entire Farmers Branch City Council and many of his colleagues were able to see the impact Tom has had on government communication that has reached far beyond the city limits.  Like so many of us, Tom started his career in journalism covering local news and city government in northeast Louisiana, east Texas, and the Dallas-Fort Worth area. After six…
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Going Through a Website Upgrade and Migration

Working through a website upgrade and migrating to a new vendor can be quite a challenge, but it can also be a rewarding endeavor and benefit to the citizens of your community. First, you will review presentations with different vendors to see what they have to offer and view demonstrations of their product. You should also go through a consultation with your current vendor to see what new features they may have to offer. It’s much easier work through redesign with your current vendor than to contract with a new vendor. Once you have chosen the vendor you want to work with, you should negotiate the services and charges. It’s always good to negotiate and not accept the first quote they give you. Many times, you can negotiate a lower…
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