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Dorchester County Wins the J. Mitchell Graham Memorial Award

Post Date:08/07/2019 11:00 AM

Dorchester County’s Online Newsroom has earned Dorchester County the coveted J. Mitchell Graham Memorial Award from the South Carolina Association of Counties (SCAC).

The association announced Dorchester County as the J. Mitchell Graham Memorial Award recipient during the closing ceremony of its Annual Conference on Tuesday, August 6, 2019. The Award recognizes counties that address community challenges, implement operational improvements, or enhance their citizens’ quality of life in a unique way.

Dorchester County’s Online Newsroom successfully competed against high caliber entries from Charleston, Barnwell, Horry and York Counties. Each entry represents the best qualities of local governance: attention to details; service to citizens; efficient use of tax dollars; and improvements in the quality of life.

The competition entailed submitting an application package with supporting documentation as well as a ten-minute presentation that demonstrates how creative problem-solving and collaboration can achieve impressive results while showcasing new ideas for other counties to consider.

The capability to tell the County’s story was identified in the County’s three-year strategic communication plan. The challenge was with just a Public Information staff of one, the office was inundated with data calls and lacked the ability to maintain a central source of information. The decision was made to combat this challenge by establishing a single point of information, an online newsroom. All department heads and subject matter experts funnel their information to this source, and it is prepared for publication by the Public Information Officer (PIO).

During the first (full) year of Dorchester County’s online newsroom, the PIO published 123 articles. The central information hub strategically placed Dorchester County in a position to provide accurate, meaningful content to all audiences, in the quickest most efficient manner possible. The news distribution tool significantly reduced the spread of misinformation and time resources spent by the PIO to respond to data calls, creating a more efficient department and cohesive voice for Dorchester County.

Dorchester County Council Chairman, George Bailey, said “This honor is a testament to the hard work of our Public Information Officer who has elevated the County’s communications management to the highest industry standards while providing an essential service to our citizens, businesses, and visitors.”

Dorchester County Administrator, Jason L. Ward added, “Winning the award is a high honor and I’m thankful to be recognized for our efforts.”

The Dorchester County Delegation accepted the honor on behalf of Dorchester County. This is the first time Dorchester County has won the J. Mitchell Graham Memorial Award.

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