Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Northern Lights Award-Winning Cities Talk 'MAGC' Ingredients

There may not be a magic ingredient for top-notch communication in government, but some common elements include teamwork and creative thinking, according to city staff present at the Minnesota Association of Government Communicators (MAGC) awards held May 15.

MAGC’s Northern Lights Awards recognize the best in government communications, ranging from enticing ice arena brochures to comprehensive public comment outreach campaigns. The work of Minnesota cities was well-represented, with a number of city communication departments accepting awards. 

“It takes a team,” said RaeAnn Gardner, who accepted an Award of Merit on behalf of Elk River’s website overhaul. The project faced a tight deadline, but by working together the
project’s team was able to improve the site’s navigation and community engagement tools on time, said Gardner.

Top to bottom: St. Louis Park, Shoreview, & St. Paul staff
receive awards from MAGC's Janine Hill.
Photo credit: Yvonne Klinnert
“Being in a group is so beneficial,” said designer Lindsey Fabrizio, who worked on the logo for Golden Valley’s new volunteer campaign. Fabrizio said being able to ask others, “What do you see? What would you change?” made all the difference in perfecting the final product.

For writer Ben Sandell of Golden Valley, thinking creatively resulted in a first-person narrative about an upcoming playground installation that took home an Award of Excellence and a nomination for Best in Show. Rather than writing yet another construction project update, Sandell connected the installation to the important childhood memories that playgrounds help to create.

Thinking creatively for one St. Paul team meant not just thinking outside the box, but thinking outside entirely—shooting video in costume—in January. The project team for “Dig Me Out” was given an Award of Excellence for their depiction of a talking fire hydrant (played by video producer Nick Nelson).

Congratulations to all the winners, and a special shout-out to these LMC member cities who received awards:

Brooklyn Park
Elk River
Golden Valley
St. Louis Park
St. Paul

Learn more about MAGC and see a full list of the winners from the ceremony on the Minnesota Association of Government Communicators website. Thanks to Yvonne Klinnert for providing photos of the ceremony.

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