Citizens have significant input and power in shaping their local government and the sentiment which surrounds the services local government provides. The onset of technology, social media, smartphones, etc. has truly changed the way we, at the City of Nacogdoches, interact with citizens, each other, and those outside of our community.
Studies show the average citizen is acutely aware of government shortcomings, but far less conscious of the benefits it provides. It is our hope at the City of Nacogdoches that you, as citizens, not only become acutely aware of our positive attributes but also take it upon yourself to share your story about our community and help us articulate both sides of local issues to those who may not be aware.
In 2012 the City of Nacogdoches realized the importance of engaging with its citizens by enabling staff to keep transparency and communication efforts at the forefront. Although important prior to 2012, we are continuously finding we need new tools to help foster a two-way conversation between local government and the citizens we serve.
In the last 30 days, the City of Nacogdoches reached over 54,000 people via social media. This is just one of the means we utilize to tell the unique story of our city. So, it is without question these platforms are valuable and imperative to our two-way communication efforts.
However, posting to social media is not a magic pill for success and can quickly become a double-edged sword. That’s why the City of Nacogdoches in conjunction with Hancock Advertising is working to continue a long-running community pride campaign. This is a continuation of a campaign produced by these two entities called “NacWise” which began in 2014. In 2017 and 2018 you may have seen billboards, physical branding in municipal buildings, and friendly faces on the sides of our sanitation vehicles.
Like previous campaigns, those featured will be telling their actual stories. However, new to this series of “characters” are business owners who have chosen Nacogdoches as home for their families and businesses. Not only will we include city employees and citizens, but this campaign will continue to help us celebrate real people who have experienced how sincere we are when we say Nacogdoches is truly a great place which features a wonderful quality of life for people in many walks of life.
These campaign messages also reiterate how the city provides unnoticed services to our public such as public safety, inspections, parks beautification, and customer relations. And of course, the messages serve to shed light on the fact that Nacogdoches is “open for business” and the perfect place to do just that for anyone wanting to try their hand at entrepreneurship. Since those in our community live busy lives, these messages will serve as an opportunity to stop and take pause about what is great about the city—from the perspective of employees providing services and those receiving them.
In the coming weeks, we seek to display more of this campaign in order to continue and expand the aforementioned efforts. This campaign brings together logic with the powerful emotion of pride —pride in the community, pride in tradition, pride in ourselves. We are proud to serve you at the City of Nacogdoches and we hope you’re proud to live here too. But don’t just tell us, tell everyone you know. After all, good news travels fast.
About the Author
Amy Mehaffey began her work with the City of Nacogdoches in July 2015. Prior to this, she worked as a 4-H Specialist for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. In this role she did marketing and promotion for the Texas 4-H Youth Development Program and served as the event coordinator for Texas 4-H Roundup, the agency’s largest event. Amy in May 2015 with her PhD in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Sciences with an emphasis in youth development. During the pursuit of this degree she also received a certificate in Prevention Science and a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from the Bush School of Government and Public Service. Previously, she completed a Master’s of Science in Agricultural Communications at Texas A&M University and a Bachelor’s of Science in the same field at Texas Tech University. Amy is also a freelance photographer and enjoys Texas A&M football in the fall. She is married to John Michael Mehaffey who is a professor of Animal Science at Stephen F. Austin State University. They are proud parents to Hattie Mae Mehaffey, born September 1, 2016 and Hunter Leigh Mehaffey born July 2018.