Entries Open for CAPIO EPIC Awards

CAPIO EPIC Awards - Now Welcoming Entries!

CAPIO Awards are presented annually by the California Association of Public Information Officials to honor outstanding public agency information and communications programs. 

Newly renamed for 2018, the CAPIO EPIC Awards stand for Excellence in Public Information and Communications, or in other words – EPIC!  We're excited about this change along with the additional changes to the program that will allow agencies to more fairly compete with like-agencies (based on population size).  In categories  that receive a large number of entries, the entries will be grouped according to population / service area size prior to being judged.  

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CAPIO Unveils Strategic Plan

CAPIO Strategic Plan

CAPIO has had a long and respected 40+ year history serving California’s government public relations professionals, and has experienced tremendous growth in the last five years.  With 500 members strong, CAPIO is California’s go-to association for government communicators.

Now, the board is asking… What’s next? What can CAPIO do over the next five years to further its mission?  And how can we best serve our members with the training, tools, resources and networking opportunities to develop and advance?

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The Perfect Recipe for a Mentor

The Perfect Recipe for a Mentor


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Inclusive Communication

Communicating Effectively: Think Inclusive, Not Diverse

by Lana Haddad, Director of Government and Public Affairs and Kaylee Weatherly, Public Information Officer, Long Beach Water

Public agencies exist to provide essential services to our communities, and CAPIO professionals serve a critical role for our agencies in communicating about the good work we do. Recognizing diversity in our service areas, however, is not enough to communicate effectively. In order to best serve the public, it is vital that our communications understand, reflect and serve the interests and needs of all of our neighbors.

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CAPIO 2018 Conference - #SonomaCountyStrong

Sonoma County is bouncing back! With determination and motivation, Sonoma County is returning to an area known for its beauty and booming economy, and CAPIO will be right by their side! Our strong support will be present April 9 -12 as hundreds of communications professionals journey to Santa Rosa for the annual CAPIO conference. Whether you are staying at a hotel or simply driving in, the smallest action means you’re contributing to their economic recovery. CAPIO looks forward to being there in person to support the area and the businesses to keep #SonomaCountyStrong!

“While several areas have been impacted by the wildfires, the beauty of Sonoma County has not been lost,” said Adriane Mertens, public information officer for the City of Santa Rosa Recovery Operations Center. “Our community stands strong and remains an incredible place to visit and explore. Conference attendees will find countless educational and leisure opportunities to take advantage of while here.”

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Keeping Up with the Trends: Shifting Reality - Sponsored Article by ETA Agency

A trend is something that is popular at a certain point in time. Fortunately, and unfortunately, there will always be a new trend coming along to replace the old in what seems like a short time span. It can sometimes feel like a full-time job keeping up with the new applications or technologies that claim to revolutionize the world of brand experiences. The ultimate digital communications strategy is to engage with your community in new and innovative ways while also ensuring you aren’t wasting your budget and time resources on a fleeting “trendy” technology or communication tool.

One of the biggest digital trends we know that is not slowing down anytime soon is virtual reality and augmented reality. Though closely related, virtual reality (VR) creates an entirely digital world, usually through a headset, whereas augmented reality (AR) enhances reality with additional digital content. Virtual reality always generates a buzz, but is harder to cultivate long-term adoption, which is a critical aspect in ensuring you are using your resources wisely. On the other hand, AR is an easier experience to adopt since it is a complement to your existing mobile device. Rather than set a barrier between the user and reality, AR experiences add to their own reality, making the overall experience feel more natural. More than 2.5 billion mobile AR apps will be downloaded by the end of this year alone, and AR is expected to generate 1 billion users worldwide by 2020*. Pokemon Go still holds the title of the largest rollout of AR for mass consumption, and the Snapchat filters also bring AR into our everyday lives. Who hasn’t used the popular dog or flower crown Snapchat filter? This is how you can ensure you aren’t wasting time with a passing trend: integrate it into the everyday lives of your community.

Your agency’s services are competing for your customers’ attention with big brands, such as Disney, Nike and Apple. Through a customer’s perspective, those big brands positively contribute to their lifestyle by inspiring, guiding or motivating them and their way of life. The best type of communication speaks to the human experience beyond just the problem your product or service solves. AR can be used as a tool to evoke an emotional connection with your customers. What you need to bring to people is a bigger, better, bolder and more distinct experience. AR provides an interaction enhancement that is in real time in the world your community sees, the world in which they navigate every day. It is a simple, but powerful tool that is contextual, visual and visceral.

So how will this trend affect your community and your outreach efforts? Imagine a world where your community can actually “see” through AR what planned public works projects will actually look like – highways, water and energy facilities, public parks, new transit lines – and then allow them to even interact with the augmented project. That is what ETA Agency did for the Port of Long Beach. We created an AR app that allowed users to see the new Gerald Desmond Bridge project, interacting with areas of the bridge, learn more information and showcase the new development for the Port. Imagine a water department using AR to allow their customers to visualize their water sources while encouraging them to save water. Education is one of the greatest assets that AR can provide. By using augmented models, your customers will be able to gain a better understanding of concepts that may be difficult to explain through text alone. In addition, prototypes, physical models and detailed illustrations are all expensive, but with augment you do not have to invest in any physical materials. You customers can access resources from any device at any time.

One of the most common questions we hear when we are discussing AR with clients is: how can I measure success? Well, just like all digital mediums, you will be able to gather a wealth of data that can be analyzed and clearly show engagement. For example, if you are using your agency’s own mobile application, you can measure the number of downloads and the time users spend interacting with the app, similar to how you measure the success of your website. However, don’t forget to think on a larger scale. If you are using AR to educate your customers, then a benchmark research study before and after your use of the platform can provide clear results of success.

The applications for how AR can be used are limitless as is the creativity of the agencies using them. How can your agency consider using this emerging technology and approach your mission from a fresh perspective? AR is ever-evolving and becoming more prominent in the lives of your customers. The combination of analytics and AR will allow you to tackle new and existing challenges in a more efficient manner, ultimately saving money and time, which is probably the most beneficial reality of all.
Article Provided by  ETA Agency 

We Are CAPIO – now 500 strong and growing!

This week CAPIO celebrated a milestone as our 500th member just rolled in! In just five short years, CAPIO’s membership has tripled in size. This is testimony to an increased demand for well-trained professional government communicators and CAPIO’s relevance in providing an avenue for professionals to learn, grow and thrive in this dynamic field. 

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Managing a National Crisis Communications Response and the Aftermath

This month we interviewed Sarah Macdonald, communications officer for the City of San Marcos and vice president of awards for CAPIO. Read about her first crisis communications experience, best practices she learned and her 10-minute hacks on getting PIOs well-prepared for any crisis situation.

CAPIO: What has been your biggest crisis communications experience?

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APR Webinars Available On Demand

Our APR Webinars are now available on demand.

Interested in taking your communications skills to the next level and becoming an industry leader? Learn more through two webinars presented jointly by CAPIO and PRSA which share more about the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), which exposes you to today’s cutting-edge strategiesand practices, assesses your skills to identify strengths and opportunities for growth and demonstrates your personal and professional commitment to excellence.

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Frank Cowan Honored with Inaugural Crisis Communication Award

Frank Cowan Honored with Inaugural Crisis Communication Award 

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California’s Premier Government Communications Association Names 2017 – 2019 Board

Sacramento, Calif., - The California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO), the state’s premier government communications association, named its 2017 – 2019 Board of Directors.

“I look forward to serving our government communicators throughout the state and will continue to focus on growing CAPIO’s membership along with education and development programs during my term as president,” noted Christine Brainerd, APR and City of Folsom’s communications manager. “Our board has a lot of great programs,  projects and partnerships we are working on this next year and are excited to continue to roll-out these resources to our members.”

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Jenny Windle named the 2017 Paul B. Clark Recipient

Jenny Windle Honored with the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award in Government Communications

SAN DIEGO, Calif., - The California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO) honored seasoned government communications professional Jenny Windle with its 2017 Paul B. Clark lifetime achievement award, recognizing her exceptional leadership in the profession. The award was presented at CAPIO’s annual conference in San Diego on April 5.

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Francie Palmer named 2017 Communicator of the Year

Francie Palmer Recognized as California’s Communicator of the Year

SAN DIEGO, CALIF., -  Francie Palmer, a seasoned government communications professional who serves as the City of Rancho Cucamonga’s communications manager, was recognized by the California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO) as the state’s 2017 Communicator of the Year.

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April was APR Month, but what is the APR?

April was not only the month of our annual CAPIO Conference, but it was also APR month – recognizing that not everyone can do what we do as government communicators.  You may have seen our social media posts or heard the buzz about CAPIO now offering the APR, but what is it?

In the world of communication professionals, the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) is the gold-standard in credentials earned by practitioners who commit to the profession through ethical practices and sound judgement, strategic perspectives, knowledge of best practices and the use of the research-planning-implementation-evaluation (RPIE) process.

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