The City of Lakewood has been nationally recognized for its #IamLakewood social media/community pride campaign.
On June 3 at the National Association of Government Communicators conference in Memphis, the City was one of the winners in the organization’s 2015 Blue Pencil and Golden Screen Awards, which recognize superior government communication products and those who produce them. Categories cover everything from printed materials to broadcast and online material to public education campaigns.
The City of Lakewood won second place in the “Shoestring Budget” category – a new category this year that recognizes the best communication efforts with limited funds – for its #IamLakewood social media/community pride campaign. According to the City of Lakewood’s entry:
At the beginning of 2014, one of the Lakewood City Council’s goals was to better promote the positive aspects of its community. However, the City had little to no funding to engage in a traditional, far-reaching promotional campaign. Instead, Communications Manager Brent Champaco decided to leverage two resources available to the City: social media and community pride. He coined the Twitter hashtag: #IamLakewood. The meaning and power behind the hashtag is simple: Lakewood residents are proud to live and work in the community, and they want to let others know about it. The hashtag served as a free, yet far-reaching, method of spreading this message.
At that point, #IamLakewood became a regular feature of the City’s social media posts. The Original House of Donuts, an iconic Lakewood business, began printing the hashtag on some of its bags and stickers. The Lakewood Boys & Girls Club began using the hashtag in its posts and photos.
One of the judges in the NAGC competition wrote about #IamLakewood: “Very creative on minimal budget. YouTube engagement extends hashtag value. This campaign has additional value in reaching out to younger Lakewood families through social media activities.”
This is the first year that the City of Lakewood has entered the prestigious national government communications competition. City, county, state and federal governments from across the U.S., as well as private companies that work with local governments, submitted more than 250 entries for 43 categories. NAGC awarded first, second and Awards of Excellence prizes for each category.
The City of Lakewood was the only government –local, state or federal – from Washington to receive a NAGC award this year.
Mayor Don Anderson said the Blue Pencil and Gold Screen Award speaks to the City of Lakewood’s commitment to transparency and engaging its residents: “Our citizens deserve more than 20th Century newsletters. We needed to embrace new technologies to not only inform our residents but allow them to interact and feel that they are part of a team moving the community forward.”
“This national honor is just another sign that we’re moving in the right direction,” Anderson added.
NAGC has posted the full brochure from the 2015 Blue Pencil and Gold Screen Awards competition online. The City also created a web page for those who want to learn more about #IamLakewood.