Government Communications and Marketing

Government Communications and Marketing

Unless you’ve worked in government, you may have never thought about the marketing skills crossover in public information and government communications.  Government communicators are part many federal, state and local government offices, and their job is to inform a variety of audiences: press, public, private industry and more. Similar to marketing, they must identify their audience, craft messaging, plan the best methods of communicating the message through media, channels and distribution.

Tabitha Clark is  the Senior Communication Administrator for the City of Perry located in central Georgia. She is also the president of the NAGC, the National Association of Government Communicators. We talk about the demand on communicators in different areas of government and how instrumental they are. Tabitha brings a local view of a government communicator and how her work informs, educates, entertains, and builds a community.


[00:00:00] Tabitha Clark: And that’s where the marketing part comes in. You know, we are super, you know, we do everything from, of course, our social media, our website. We do a lot of digital marketing, too, using ads, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, things like that to push out there. So, this is the first job I’ve actually had where they actually encourage digital ads, you know, to make sure that we get out the message that we need to or let people know about what’s going on. So, that has been super successful for us.

[00:00:36] Bumper Intro-Outro: Welcome to Endless Coffee Cup, a regular discussion of marketing news, culture, and media for our complex digital lifestyle. Join Matt Bailey as he engages in conversation to find insights beyond the latest headlines and deeper understanding for those involved in marketing. Grab a cup of coffee, have a seat, and thanks for joining.

[00:00:58] Matt Bailey: Well, hello, dear listener, and welcome to another edition of the Endless Coffee Cup podcast. And again, I’m just, I’m just amazed at the people that I meet throughout the year and throughout different events. And I, I tell you, if you’re not looking to meet people, you won’t.

And I, I have to say that to, today’s guest is just a, a super special guest. We, we met at the National Association of Government Communicators. Little did I know that Tabitha was the incoming president of the National Association of Government Communicators, but I would like to introduce you to Tabitha Clark. And Tabitha, how are you doing today?

[00:01:36] Tabitha Clark: Hi, I’m doing great. It’s sunny in Georgia and not hot yet. It probably will be in about five minutes but doing great. I appreciate you having me on, Matt.

[00:01:45] Matt Bailey: Well, I appreciate you coming on. And so, not just the, you know, with the National Association of Government Communicators, we’ll talk about that, but you are also, you are the Senior Communications Manager for Perry, Georgia.

[00:01:58] Tabitha Clark: That’s right.

[00:01:59] Matt Bailey: Alright. Tell me…

[00:01:59] Tabitha Clark: Yeah.

[00:01:59] Matt Bailey: …tell me a little bit about yourself, your history, and what led you into this line of work.

[00:02:07] Tabitha Clark: Sure. Absolutely. So, my journey into government communication began right after I got out of high school. I went into college for media, mass media. Back then Facebook was still for college students so that makes me feel a little bit old saying that, but I thought I wanted to be a television reporter because that’s pretty much how I grew up.

[00:02:32] Matt Bailey: Right.

[00:02:32] Tabitha Clark: Well, it’s about, was in that field for about a month and then figured out that was not for me, so, definitely God bless those people. But one thing led to another, and then I became Public Information Officer for the Warner Robins Police Department, which is a police department agency that’s local here to the Perry area. Learned a lot. My dad was actually a Lieutenant at the police department in criminal investigations, so I kind of grew up in the culture and really honed my skills and was there for about five years and it, it was amazing experience.

Went into K12 education after that, uh, just to try something new. And we, it was great. I learned a completely different set of skills for communication back then, but really missed the actual government, local government part of it. So, I was very fortunate that the city of Perry was hiring and, for their communications manager, and I have been here for about three years and absolutely love it.

[00:03:34] Matt Bailey: Wow, that sounds amazing. And, and I think we’re, we’re a little mirrored here because I got out of university with a journalism degree, but I knew after my internship in my senior year that this is not what I want to do.

[00:03:47] Tabitha Clark: Oh no. I, I just, it just wasn’t set for me and I, I just, you know, but like I said, God bless those people ’cause they work so hard in such gory conditions.

[00:03:58] Matt Bailey: Oh yeah. Well, and I think that that’s the important, I think of, of internships, of…

[00:04:03] Tabitha Clark: Yes.

[00:04:03] Matt Bailey: …getting some of that, that, that job experience, maybe even before, you know, as you’re selecting the major or something.

[00:04:11] Tabitha Clark: Yes, before it’s too late because you don’t want to do something and put all your time and energy and then years later think, “Oh my gosh, I shouldn’t have done this. You know, this was…”

[00:04:21] Matt Bailey: Right.

[00:04:21] Tabitha Clark: “…you know, I don’t want to do this anymore.” So, I’m a big proponent, uh, like you said, of internships, going and shadowing somebody, you can really save you a lot of time and, and money in the future.

[00:04:31] Matt Bailey: Well, absolutely. But you also, with your background, I, I mean, it’s a great display of the many things you can do with communication skills.

[00:04:41] Tabitha Clark: Yeah.

[00:04:41] Matt Bailey: You know, you went public service, you went back to, you went to education, now you’re back in public service and I think communication and, you know, usually I’m talking about marketing, but you’re still doing marketing. You’re still doing…

[00:04:55] Tabitha Clark: Yes.

[00:04:55] Matt Bailey: …you know, all of this is kind of wrapped up in the same ball.

[00:04:59] Tabitha Clark: Yeah. Marketing is an essential part of communication, whether you’re doing it for local government, schools, public sector, I mean, you have to make sure that your message is reaching the correct audience at the correct time. And the thing about it is your audience is vast and you have to make, and there’s so many different sectors of your audience, that you have to make sure that that message is getting to the correct person, or the message is getting sent to the same, you know, to the people, but in different ways.

[00:05:34] Matt Bailey: Right, right. Absolutely. Yeah. It’s the same exact thing. I think, I think just we’re, we’re maybe measuring results differently. I think with public communications, you know, please correct me, you know, it, it, it’s more, I need, well, it’s the same in that we want to create an action. We, we…

[00:05:53] Tabitha Clark: That’s correct.

[00:05:53] Matt Bailey: …want to create, we want action to be taken. So, there’s always a call to action, and so, I think more in the commercial side we’re, we’re counting that with dollar signs. With public, it may be counting heads. It may be how many people came or something like that, or how many people participated or clicked. You know, you’re still a lot of the same things and it, is that you’re trying to change someone’s behavior.

[00:06:15] Tabitha Clark: Right. And it’s also not only just behavior, which is a huge part of it, but also informing and educating. You know, in my line of work with government communication, we have to constantly educate, you know, our citizens and our visitors about, you know, what’s happening with their government. But even in the public sector, you know, you want to educate somebody about what you’re trying to portray, whether it’s, you know, a product, whether it’s a service, you want to educate them, which will then lead to, you know, more engagement and calls to action.

[00:06:47] Matt Bailey: Absolutely. Absolutely. So, one of the things that has consistently come up when I talk to people, especially in journalism or we talk about journalism, is the effect over the past few decades where everything has gone national or international.

[00:07:03] Tabitha Clark: Yes.

[00:07:03] Matt Bailey: And most of the news that we take in on a daily basis is national or international. And yet the, what we take in locally now is nothing compared to 40, 50 years ago when the primary news that someone would take in would be local and you had local reporters and…

[00:07:21] Tabitha Clark: Yes.

[00:07:21] Matt Bailey: …local sources of news. So, you’re fulfilling that role now. How does that look now in a, in a digital age?

[00:07:31] Tabitha Clark: Well, what we definitely see here in Perry, you know, in local government, is like you said, everything’s national international. So, if we really want to get our audience to understand something, we try to, we try to make it relevant to the national international news of the day. So, they’ve already got this information, so how is that affecting us locally? So, with that, you know, and that’s just the news part, so, you know, that’s just the happenings.

Digitally, we have to make sure that we are up to date on, you know, what the trending topics, making sure that not only do we know what’s going on outside of our little bubble here in Perry, Georgia, but we have to make sure that we’re not accidentally going to cause controversy or crisis because there’s something going on, you know, nationally that we’re like, “Oh yeah, it’s great,” you know? And then it’s like, something offensive or, you know, that’s happened many times before. So, getting that digital landscape and actually looking outside of the local government is super important to make sure that we are staying relevant and cognizant of what’s happening.

[00:08:41] Matt Bailey: Wow. Wow. I did not think of it that point, but yeah, you…

[00:08:44] Tabitha Clark: Yeah.

[00:08:45] Matt Bailey: …you kind of have to keep your pulse on what’s going on and then how do we almost interpret that locally. How are we…

[00:08:51] Tabitha Clark: That’s right.

[00:08:51] Matt Bailey: …supporting? How are we reacting or something like that. That is fascinating. I, because part of this, too, is now, you know, you didn’t, you don’t have the journalism aspect that you have where, you know, I keep saying 50 years ago, but that’s, you, you know, really, that’s where you had local reporters.

[00:09:09] Tabitha Clark: Right.

[00:09:09] Matt Bailey: So, you’re now going direct to people rather than going, I’m sure you are working with media. How much of your job is…

[00:09:15] Tabitha Clark: Yeah.

[00:09:15] Matt Bailey: …direct, how much is working with media?

[00:09:17] Tabitha Clark: Well, just I, whenever I started in 2009, I think, as the PIO for the police department, I was working with media constantly. Reporters, you had beat reporters, I had a crime and courts reporter that would talk to me multiple times daily.

[00:10:00] Now it’s complete opposite because of the short handedness in our, especially our local media outlets. I don’t know who I’m going to talk to. And normally what I’ve noticed, too, is because they are so stretched thin and they kind of send whoever they have available to me, they don’t have the time to research what they’re covering. So, I actually have to be prepared to educate them on what they’re coming to, to do the story because a lot of times if you don’t do that, and it’s not necessarily the reporter’s fault because they’re, like I said…

[00:10:12] Matt Bailey: Right.

[00:10:12] Tabitha Clark: …they’re stretched thin, and I understand the situation. But if you do not give them a small education on what they’re covering, especially in local government, that story could be completely different than what the reality is. And they’re giving that story out to thousands of viewers and listeners, and that can create a big crisis if the message gets miscommunicated between me and the reporter.

[00:10:36] Matt Bailey: Wow. Wow. Yeah, that I, that is an interesting aspect of it, of this, so the reporter is actually your audience as well, that you’ve got to…

[00:10:45] Tabitha Clark: Yes.

[00:10:45] Matt Bailey: …give them the background of, “Here’s what’s going on,” as well as, you know, not just the press release…

[00:10:50] Tabitha Clark: Yes.

[00:10:50] Matt Bailey: …of, of, of republishing it. There’s a story that goes along with it.

[00:10:53] Tabitha Clark: That is correct. And you have to make sure that the details are there because talking about, especially local government, talking about like water, sewer infrastructure in two minutes or less, you can’t do that.

Can you just, you know, I mean, anything like that, and that’s kind of what we have to remember, especially whenever we’re in our talking points and preparing for this interview, what is some, you know, what are the talking points that people actually need to know? A, the attention span, of course, but B, that you also know the reporter timeline on how long they can have their story. So, making sure you nail those talking points is super important to making sure that that message gets across.

[00:11:34] Matt Bailey: Wow. Wow. Fantastic. So, how much of this, I, I, I’ve got to ask, you know, you, you, you joked about the water and sewer reports, but…

[00:11:42] Tabitha Clark: Right.

[00:11:42] Matt Bailey: …I mean, what’s the range of things that you have to communicate about for the city?

[00:11:47] Tabitha Clark: Well, you know, I mean, we’re everything from, you know, dog adoptions to, we have great events here in Perry, Food Truck Friday, we have the Buzzard Drop, which is our New Year’s Eve celebration. So, I talk about everything from buzzards to the East Perry extension area that’s going to give water to, you know, the growing population. So, buzzards are a lot more fun to talk about than, than the water, but, you know, but that, that’s a big, that’s a big scope.

[00:12:20] Matt Bailey: I’m sure it covers a wide range. I mean, that’s, that, there is a lot going on, I think, within a city and it all has got to funnel through you. Um, so how do, how do the officials work with you to ensure that, you, you know, their message is getting out? How, how does that process kind of work through you? Do you give them feedback as to how they should speak or how, just kind of give me an overview of that.

[00:12:45] Tabitha Clark: Yeah, sure. Here in Perry, I’m super fortunate to have a great mayor, city managers, and council that are super supportive of communication. So, to give you an example of that, this year we got, I got with the mayor, and we put down the five priorities in 2022. I’m a huge advocate for short, succinct messages that the public will understand and putting in it kind of in a bite size. So, whenever we communicate what our priorities are, they’re short and sweet and we work with the mayor and the city council to say, “Okay, communication. What are your top priorities in that?” And then what I do is kind of help, you know, like I said, package that up into, you know, consumable bites for the viewer or the user.

So, if there’s a interview that comes along, such as a water main break happens in an area and a reporter wants to talk to the mayor about it, what I’ll do, talk to the reporter, make sure I know exactly what they want to do and exactly what information that they need. So, I’ll do that research right quick, and then I’ll write down, based on conversations and observations I’ll write down, you know, the talking points. We’ll talk about that back and forth with the mayor and then we’ll do it and I’ll be in there and usually the mayor will just nail those talking points. So, it’s basically looking at the big situation, the big picture, and then pushing that down into consumable bites for the reporter.

[00:14:21] Matt Bailey: Absolutely. Wow. That is great. And I could tell by listening to you that you have, like, great practice doing this because every question I, I’ve an, asked you, you, you, you, you bring it down and you state it. And, and you, this is, so, yeah, this is like a, a, a podcast host kind of a dream because you answer it, you give it off, but yet you don’t just keep going on and, so you are…

[00:14:44] Tabitha Clark: Yeah, so everything…

[00:14:44] Matt Bailey: I could, I could tell, like you have this PR training of say what just needs to be said.

[00:14:49] Tabitha Clark: Well, thank you. Thank you. And it, that is, the, what I tell people, that is years of experience and mistakes and trial and error. So, you know, I don’t want to hear my voice too long, so I’m like, “We’re going to get it to the point and then we’re going to be done,” so.

[00:15:04] Matt Bailey: Well, and, and so, I, I recently sat through a, a friend of mine, she led a course on crisis communications, and that was one of the big thing that I took out of that was just say what needs to be said.

[00:15:16] Tabitha Clark: That’s right.

[00:15:17] Matt Bailey: That’s it. And so…

[00:15:18] Tabitha Clark: And that’s it.

[00:15:18] Matt Bailey: …I’m sure, like, you’ve dealt with crisis comms, as well, that, and, and that’s what, you know, a crisis, like you said, it’s a water main break, it’s losing power, it’s not always something huge.

[00:15:28] Tabitha Clark: Right, right. But to that person, especially in local government, it is huge. So, you have to make sure you also have the empathy and compassion in that message, as well.

[00:15:37] Matt Bailey: Wow. So, being the public information officer for the police department, that I got to ask it, like, wow, what does that entail? How does, how is that different? You said you were dealing with media consistently. What are some other ways…

[00:15:50] Tabitha Clark: Yeah.

[00:15:50] Matt Bailey: …that, I, this is what I love about marketing communications is that there’s a million different things you can do with it.

[00:15:58] Tabitha Clark: Oh yes.

[00:15:59] Matt Bailey: It, it’s a…

[00:15:59] Tabitha Clark: It was definitely, it was a new thing every single day, which was awesome because I love to, to be on my toes and not be kind of stagnant in an office. But being a police public information officer is, that was a very big trial by fire, especially for a brand new communications professional like I was, because not only were you talking about, you know, unfortunate events many a times, whether it be, you know, a shooting or, or somebody, you know, was involved in a homicide or something like that, you also had legal implications on that.

So, talking about you say what needs to be said and be done with it, I had to be very careful in what I told the media, just because it could in, you know, it could impact the investigation. So, having that constantly in your mind really helped me go, you know, the most, always said the most dangerous question was, “Do you have anything else to add?” because, you know, normally you’re like, “Oh yeah, I want to, you know, talk about this,” or, “I feel like I have to, you know, add something to it.” No, I learned very quickly you say, “No, thank you. I think we’re good. If you have any other questions, please let me know.”

So, that was, that big thing with reporters, ’cause they’re, you know, obviously trying to get the information, but having to constantly be aware of A, what you could release and B, what you wanted to make sure stayed with the detectives was very important.

[00:17:25] Matt Bailey: Wow. Wow, yeah. What a difference.

[00:17:28] Tabitha Clark: Oh yes.

[00:17:28] Matt Bailey: Yeah, especially with more media, more…

[00:17:30] Tabitha Clark: Yeah.

[00:17:31] Matt Bailey: Well, much more…

[00:17:31] Tabitha Clark: And it happened quick.

[00:17:33] Matt Bailey: Oh yeah.

[00:17:33] Tabitha Clark: So, yeah. So, like now, normally I have time to research and, you know, prepare, you know, in the police world, you don’t. It’s very rare when you have time to prepare. So, kind of making sure that you could really do it on the fast track and, and that’s a skill that it has to be made within you to be professional and be successful in that job.

[00:17:57] Matt Bailey: Wow. That is amazing. I, yeah, like I said, I’m like, there’s a million things you could do with this. And I, I love how you, you, you’ve had two completely different roles in government communications and experience, you know, what a, a vast difference there is between them, but yet it tests, it grows your skills.

[00:18:17] Tabitha Clark: Yes, doing completely different things is, is I would recommend it, especially for younger professionals, whether it be in marketing, whether you be in communications, because I learned a completely different skill set in public education than I did in the police force. You know, I mean, obviously two totally different things, but there was different types of communication. Um, you know, and how to portray that effectively has really helped, you know, grow me as a professional. So, I feel like the more diversity that you can have in your career, especially early on, the better you are.

[00:18:53] Matt Bailey: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, it, it goes back to that internship. The more you’re exposed to it…

[00:18:58] Tabitha Clark: Yeah.

[00:18:58] Matt Bailey: …the more you see, because part of it’s your personality. Part of it’s maybe how you’re just wired for challenge. What, what appeals to you? So, I got to ask you, you started a podcast for the city of Perry.

[00:19:10] Tabitha Clark: I, I did. I did. It, it was a crazy little dream of mine. You know, it goes back to, you know, we talked about the priorities in Perry for this year and communication was a big one of them. So, we did a texting service that was very popular. But I wanted to complete, continue to expand out with our audience. We, in Perry, here in Perry, are very interested in attracting the younger adult, younger family type demographic and kind of being in that demographic myself, I’m rapidly getting out of that, is, is making sure, they love podcasts. So, I love podcasts still, whether it’s true crime, whether it’s drunk history, which I think is amazing. I wanted to do that because the informality of it.

[00:20:00] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:20:04] Tabitha Clark: Local government, I will, I’ll be the first to admit it. It can be boring and dry, and nobody cares about local government. As long as your toilet flushes, you know, and your trash gets picked up, we’re good.

[00:20:14] Matt Bailey: Yes. Yes.

[00:20:15] Tabitha Clark: You know? I mean, who cares? So, my goal for doing Inside Perry was to do an informal, fun podcast that, you know, we laugh a lot and just try to get people to see the other side of local government. What happens behind the scenes?

[00:20:32] Matt Bailey: That’s cool. How has that experience been so far?

[00:20:36] Tabitha Clark: It’s been amazing. It’s, I love it so much more than video ’cause it’s…

[00:20:40] Matt Bailey: Yes.

[00:20:40] Tabitha Clark: …so much more laid back, you know?

[00:20:42] Matt Bailey: Yes.

[00:20:42] Tabitha Clark: And normally my guest that I have on there, you can tell, you know, video they’re all stiff and everything, and then once they get behind the microphone and you kind of start talking to them, it really, the personality and then the, just the relaxed feeling comes through.

So, it, it’s been amazing and kudos to you because I will tell everybody that I can come in contact with you helped so much, you know, thanks to our connection with NAGC, you know, you, you have been awesome. And it does, it, I hate to say the cliche, but it does take a village, especially in the marketing and communications field. You know, we need to learn from each other and share those skills that we have. And I’m so thankful for that.

[00:21:27] Matt Bailey: Oh, I appreciate that. No, no. You put out a call, “What do we need for a podcast?” And it was just look out, let me tell you.

[00:21:33] Tabitha Clark: Look, I have no idea what, yeah. I have no idea what I’m doing, so please, somebody help me.

[00:21:38] Matt Bailey: Well, and that’s the thing. I joke with people, you know, it started out with a Yeti mic on a table and, you know, then, then it, it becomes an addiction. You just start buying more microphones and…

[00:21:49] Tabitha Clark: Yes. Oh my gosh. It’s like, you know, it’s like, “Oh yeah, that’s cool.” And then you do research and you’re like, “I could really use that, too. That would be nice.” So, you have to be careful.

[00:22:01] Matt Bailey: I think my wife was complaining at one point. She’s like, “How many cables do you need?” And, and, and…

[00:22:06] Tabitha Clark: A lot.

[00:22:06] Matt Bailey: Yeah. And like more than you think. I…

[00:22:09] Tabitha Clark: Exactly. Like, you want to do a good product, put out a good product so, you know.

[00:22:14] Matt Bailey: Well, and, and then I find like every, probably about every six months I’m rewiring things. I’m moving things around, I’m rewiring, maybe find a better setup or I got new speakers or something like that. So, it’s…

[00:22:24] Tabitha Clark: Yeah.

[00:22:25] Matt Bailey: You, you just never let it…

[00:22:26] Tabitha Clark: Yeah, it’s a process.

[00:22:27] Matt Bailey: Yeah. You never let it sit.

[00:22:28] Tabitha Clark: No. No.

[00:22:29] Matt Bailey: Now, as you can tell, I’m, I’m moving, at one point I wanted to do video with the podcast and then it was just a matter of, I don’t have time to edit. What, what…

[00:22:38] Tabitha Clark: Oh yeah.

[00:22:38] Matt Bailey: When am I going to have time to edit this and get this out? And…

[00:22:41] Tabitha Clark: Oh my gosh, the editing is insane.

[00:22:44] Matt Bailey: Oh…

[00:22:44] Tabitha Clark: I, it’s…

[00:22:46] Matt Bailey: And…

[00:22:46] Tabitha Clark: …it’s not my favorite part. Let’s just put it that way.

[00:22:48] Matt Bailey: Yeah. And of course, other marketers are like, “Why aren’t you doing video? You need to do video.” I’m like, “Well, come do it for me. I…”

[00:22:54] Tabitha Clark: Exactly. Like, “This sounds like a great opportunity for you to help me.”

[00:22:57] Matt Bailey: Yeah, absolutely. So, someday, someday, whether…

[00:23:01] Tabitha Clark: That’s right.

[00:23:02] Matt Bailey: …I either have the time or the money to pay someone to do it, we’ll, we’ll move into video.

[00:23:06] Tabitha Clark: Hey, there’s always room for improvement and we’ll just keep going toward it.

[00:23:10] Matt Bailey: Oh, that’s great. So, how have the, have you gotten any feedback from the citizens, have, on the podcast? Have, have you, have you heard anything back from them on that?

[00:23:20] Tabitha Clark: Yeah, actually, shockingly, whenever the media, I know, right? Community engagement is very hard in local media, but they did, when the, the news story, the, whenever the media did their news stories about the, about the podcast…

[00:23:36] Matt Bailey: Ah.

[00:23:36] Tabitha Clark: …she asked, “Is there anybody that you know listens?” I’m like, “Well, you know, my mother-in-law does.” I was like, “But I don’t think you want to do that.” Anyway, she found somebody, and I was like, “Okay, here we,” you know, ’cause I didn’t know about it until the story aired and I, I was watching it and I was like, I was like, “Okay…”

[00:23:53] Matt Bailey: Oh no.

[00:23:53] Tabitha Clark: …you know, “Let’s, let’s figure,” you know, ’cause you never know what’s going to go on. And he said, and normally, um, he’s very, this person is very vocal about local government, likes to give opinions. So, I was equally and terrified, and he said something along to the fact of, “It’s very upbeat and I really like to listen to it.” And you could not tell me anything after that. I was on…

[00:24:21] Matt Bailey: Wow.

[00:24:21] Tabitha Clark: …cloud nine because this person that normally, you know, has opinions about how the government is ran, you know, unsolicited said how great it was and, and upbeat, you know? And the fact that it wasn’t boring, and he liked to listen to it. It, that part, I was like, you know, mission accomplished there.

[00:24:41] Matt Bailey: Right.

[00:24:41] Tabitha Clark: If I can at least get people to listen, you know, then the message gets out even more. So, so yeah, that was, that was a big win for me. Like I said, you couldn’t ruin my day that day ’cause I, it was awesome.

[00:24:53] Matt Bailey: That is amazing. Well, and like you said, so much of government communication is formal.

[00:24:59] Tabitha Clark: Yes.

[00:25:00] Matt Bailey: And so, to have an informal outlet that is more like a public forum…

[00:25:05] Tabitha Clark: Right.

[00:25:05] Matt Bailey: …but without the public.

[00:25:06] Tabitha Clark: Well, without the public, but, you know.

[00:25:09] Matt Bailey: I, I…

[00:25:09] Tabitha Clark: I guess, you know, we do after every, in the show notes, you know, on our post and all that kind of stuff, we say, “Hey, if there’s something that you want us to talk about, let us know, and we’ll do something about it.” You know, whether it’s about a pothole, whether it’s about, you know, water service or whatever. So, you know, we do encourage people to come and, you know, or to put stuff in, you know, for topics wise. So…

[00:25:32] Matt Bailey: Good.

[00:25:32] Tabitha Clark: …you know, we just want people to know that, you know, the government, at least in Perry, Georgia is very open and transparent and, you know, we’re not stuffy. We love to have fun. Like I said, we have buzzards as our New Year’s Eve drop. So, I mean, how cool is that, you know?

[00:25:50] Matt Bailey: Are you literally dropping buzzards? I mean…

[00:25:52] Tabitha Clark: Okay. So…

[00:25:53] Matt Bailey: …I have to tell you, so like the first thing I’m thinking of, and, and…

[00:25:56] Tabitha Clark: But we wouldn’t do…

[00:25:56] Matt Bailey: …honestly, I, I did not think, when you were talking about your age, I’m like, honestly, I didn’t think you were that old, but what I’m thinking of is the Turkey Drop on WKRP in Cincinnati.

[00:26:06] Tabitha Clark: Yes.

[00:26:07] Matt Bailey: So, what are you…

[00:26:08] Tabitha Clark: Okay.

[00:26:08] Matt Bailey: …what exactly…

[00:26:09] Tabitha Clark: Okay.

[00:26:09] Matt Bailey: …is the Buzzard Drop?

[00:26:10] Tabitha Clark: Okay. So, I guess I should really, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll do some sound bites here for you. So, so, here in Perry, Georgia, we are in the direct line of buzzards migrating to the south.

[00:26:22] Matt Bailey: Ah.

[00:26:22] Tabitha Clark: Okay? So, yeah, it was weird. But so, but they like to take breaks in Perry on our water towers. So, it’s a hangout spot apparently, it’s on Google Maps, I don’t know, but they love to hang out on our towers. Well, you know, when they hang out and, of course they go to the bathroom, so they mess up or they used to mess up our water towers really bad. Of course, that costs money, time, you know. So, anyway, so we were able to figure out a way to, we hang buzzard effigy on our water towers, and that’s kind of a, “You’re not allowed here,” and it works. We have not had buzzards on our thing.

So, to capitalize on that, because we’re kind of quirky, is we created Bob the Buzzard, who is a very distinguished buzzard gentleman. But if you go on our website or if you go on our social media, you’ll see Bob. So, we actually, one of our building maintenance people at, or car maintenance people actually created this Bob the Buzzard with a top hat kind of, I guess, ball type thing, structure. And that’s what we push down. So…

[00:27:31] Matt Bailey: Wow.

[00:27:31] Tabitha Clark: …no buzzards are harmed, you know, during our New Year’s Eve celebration, but, but yeah. So, we have a buzzard costume. Somebody gets up, you know, and dresses up and it’s a lot of fun.

[00:27:41] Matt Bailey: That is great.

[00:27:42] Tabitha Clark: It, it’s like we say, we take government seriously, but we also like to have a lot of fun.

[00:27:47] Matt Bailey: Well, and, and that’s one thing that, you know, even from a, you know, a city here in Ohio, a smaller city and things like that, that seems like every city kind of has those annual things that really gives them an identity and…

[00:28:02] Tabitha Clark: Right.

[00:28:02] Matt Bailey: …it, it amazes me. It, it’s kind of like the same people turn out and I’m amazed that more people don’t just come and see what’s going on in some of these, you know, like your Food Truck Friday, we have a First Friday, um, you, you know, and a couple of these things that there really is some fun stuff going on downtown and things that people are doing that you might never know about unless you show up to one of these events.

[00:28:27] Tabitha Clark: Right. And that’s where the marketing part comes in. You know, we are super, you know, we do everything from, of course, our social media, our website. We do a lot of digital marketing, too, using ads, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, things like that to push out there. So, this is the first job I’ve actually had where they actually encourage digital ads, you know, to make sure that we get out the message that we need to, or let people know about what’s going on. So, that has been super successful for us.

[00:28:59] Sponsor: Hey everyone, this is Matt, and thanks for listening. Just a quick break in the middle of the podcast here to let you know there’s a couple ways that you can connect with us. The first is That’s the learning site where you can see courses on analytics, courses on digital marketing across paid search, SEO, multiple disciplines, and then also you can connect with us on Slack.

Go to Slack if you’re there and look for us at Connect with us. I’d love to hear from you, hear what ails you in the realm of digital marketing. Are there courses you need, information that you’d like to hear, or maybe some past guest that you’d like to hear more from? Thanks again for being a listener of the Endless Coffee Cup and I look forward to hearing from you.

[00:30:00] Matt Bailey: Oh, great. Great. Yeah, that’s, the, the local town events are always, I, I think there’s always a, you, you know, it, it, it’s a perfect combination of really good stuff, slightly cheesy, but yet…

[00:30:07] Tabitha Clark: That’s right.

[00:30:07] Matt Bailey: …that’s what makes that small town life, you, you know, part of, so enjoyable.

[00:30:12] Tabitha Clark: That’s correct. You’ve got to have fun, you know, it, it’s, there’s so many things you can do, you know, kind of halfway and things like that but if you really just kind of embrace it and make sure that the whole family can come to it, and that…

[00:30:28] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:30:28] Tabitha Clark: …that’s one of our big things, all of ours are family friendly. You know, we always have, make sure that even depending on your socioeconomic status that you can come in and at least enjoy the event, even if you don’t spend any money.

[00:30:41] Matt Bailey: Right.

[00:30:41] Tabitha Clark: So, we’re, we’re really cognizant of that.

[00:30:44] Matt Bailey: Good. Oh, that is so cool to hear. That is, that is great. Now, one of the things you had mentioned is you’ve got the local community, but you’re also focused on bringing tourism in, as well. So, you’ve got, you’ve got a voice outside of the local area and, and how, how do you incorporate that into what you’re doing?

[00:31:05] Tabitha Clark: So, we are very big on bringing people. Our, the city of Perry is rapidly growing. We grew from like 10,000 people to 20,000 people in less than 10 years.

[00:31:15] Matt Bailey: Wow.

[00:31:15] Tabitha Clark: So, yes, it is, south Houston County where we’re at in Georgia is just booming with new population, and plus we have Robins Air Force Base right next to us. So, we also have a big military presence, as well, that comes in and helps grow our population.

So, tourism is a big, our hotel motel attacks is what really funds our events and, and things of that nature to try to draw people in. So, we are always making sure that not only are we catering and focusing on our local residents, we want them to have a good time and a sense of place and things like that, but we also want to use Perry and the image and make sure that we are also a destination city. We want to, obviously we can’t compete with Atlanta and things like that, but we want to be the next best thing. We want people to come here, enjoy, have quality of life and not only if you hear and you live here and that’s great, but even if you just want to visit and enjoy the amenities that we have, we want to make sure that people outside of our area know about that, as well.

[00:32:24] Matt Bailey: That’s great. Yeah. That’s, it, it’s an important area to, to understand of, you know, not only that local communications, but then there is that, I, I love how you, you brought in there’s a revenue base…

[00:32:36] Tabitha Clark: Yes.

[00:32:36] Matt Bailey: …there is, you know, quality of life. We’re trying to make this an attractive place. Yeah, you don’t want people just to come visit. Sounds like you…

[00:32:42] Tabitha Clark: No.

[00:32:43] Matt Bailey: … come visit and stay.

[00:32:45] Tabitha Clark: I don’t, we, we want you to stay. We’d love for you to stay, if not…

[00:32:48] Matt Bailey: That is a…

[00:32:48] Tabitha Clark: …visit very often, so.

[00:32:49] Matt Bailey: That is a great message. I love that. I love that. Well, Tabitha, let’s switch gears a little bit here and let’s talk about the National Association of Government Communicators. We talked about you and how you had two very different experiences. You know, one of the things that I was amazed when I was at the conference was how many roles people are in that they are communicators. Uh, talk to me a little bit about the organization itself and, and just some of the things that go on there.

[00:33:22] Tabitha Clark: Sure. Well, the National Association of Government Communicators is unique in the fact that we cover all levels of government, whether it be federal, state, local municipality like myself, tribal, basically any type of government communicator is welcome at the NAGC. And our mission is to advocate, promote, and recognize the government communicator.

Unfortunately, and it’s getting a little bit better, the government communicator is not seen as an essential service in government. And that’s just, that’s been kind of what’s happened in the past. You know, you’re there to write your press releases, maybe give some advice, you know, and then that’s it, you know?

What we are trying to do at NAGC is to educate our government communication professionals to the point where their skillset makes them essential and makes them a person that their bosses cannot live with(out). So, we want to make sure, you know, we have our communication school, like where you and I met, Matt, and we have webinars and things like that. We want to make sure that the government communication professional is recognized for the quality of professionalism and service that is essential in government communication.

It’s completely different, like you said, than it was 50 years ago, 2010, you know, things like that. It is ever evolving and the gov, and the professional, communications professional needs to evolve with that to remain relevant. So, that’s what the NAGC does is to make sure that we continue to allow our profession to be that relevant source of information.

[00:35:10] Matt Bailey: Yeah, I was absolutely, you know, I absolutely love going to these smaller conferences rather than just like a, an industry conference about, you know…

[00:35:17] Tabitha Clark: Right.

[00:35:17] Matt Bailey: …marketing or something. But you really get a sense of what’s really important within a, a niche. And it, it was interesting because it wasn’t, you know, being in communications my, almost my entire life, it’s not something I, that was immediate, you know, it’s not something I really thought of. And then when I saw the school and, and, and we met there, I was really impressed at the, the breadth of information that was being shared. Um, of course, a lot of PR, you know, emphasis…

[00:35:46] Tabitha Clark: Oh yeah.

[00:35:46] Matt Bailey: …on what was going on, but then just the questions being asked, uh, just regardless of level of government, everyone’s kind of asking some of those same questions.

[00:35:56] Tabitha Clark: Right. And, and that’s the thing, even though we’re on different levels of government, we basically have the same core, you know, struggles and challenges that we face throughout all levels of government. And that is making sure that we’re up to date on what we need to do to be, you know, a service to our bosses, but more importantly, a service to those people that we are trying to communicate to. We want to be transparent, we want to be accurate, and we want to be speedy, but we have to make sure that there are plans and skills in place to make sure that that runs smoothly.

[00:36:33] Matt Bailey: Yeah. What are, let me ask you this. What are some of the challenges of a government communicator? You alluded to it, so I’m going to bring it up.

[00:36:42] Tabitha Clark: Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. I walked right into that, right?

[00:36:44] Matt Bailey: You did.

[00:36:44] Tabitha Clark: Um, so, there’s a couple. So, first, like we talked about earlier, making sure that the government communication professional is at the table and with all of those main people that make decisions, whether it be mayor, city council, city managers, administrators, department heads, things like that. If we don’t know what’s going on, it’s almost impossible to get the message across that they want to get. So, a lot of government communicators, especially in one stop shops and things like that, they struggle with that. So, we try to give them the, the skills and the encouragement to advocate for themselves.

Another major, especially in digital marketing, another major thing is keeping up with the trends of social media, and not even just social media, just communication in general. I mean, we’re doing a texting service called Perry Points and it is more popular, it’s gaining popularity than even our Facebook page with chat, it’s over 15,000 people.

People just want to get information in a certain way, and you have to figure out what that certain way is to get it out. Not everybody uses Facebook, not everybody uses, you know, Instagram or LinkedIn. They want it straight to their phones. So, we have to, you know, basically they just want us to show up at the door and say, “Hey, this is what’s going on,” you know, “Look into my eyes and pay attention,” you know? So, trying to keep up with how people want their communication.

And then also just like, whenever you presented back in last year’s com school is all of the data that we have from digital, you know, communication and marketing, how do we use that data? Because it’s so foreign, you know, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing and show it to your bosses, you know, or even use it for your own strategies, you know, what does it all mean? How, how do we use that to actually do something with it? So, those, those three, three or four points are some of the major challenges that we’re facing right now.

[00:38:53] Matt Bailey: Wow. That is great. Yeah, it’s, it’s interesting what you said. Like, people want the information right away, but they want it the way they want it, when they want it.

[00:39:00] Tabitha Clark: That is correct.

[00:39:01] Matt Bailey: And then kind of like a, “Go away. I don’t need you anymore.”

[00:39:03] Tabitha Clark: That’s right.

[00:39:04] Matt Bailey: Even…

[00:39:04] Tabitha Clark: Like I said, your toilet flushes, your trash gets picked up, then we’re good, you know?

[00:39:08] Matt Bailey: Well, yeah. And what you’re describing is these are the essential services that they rely on every moment of every day. You know, in that way, it’s not like you’re marketing something that they, that they need or want down the road. It’s…

[00:39:22] Tabitha Clark: Right.

[00:39:22] Matt Bailey: …it’s something that they enjoy right now, especially if it’s a city…

[00:39:25] Tabitha Clark: That’s right.

[00:39:26] Matt Bailey: …service or something, so, yeah.

[00:39:28] Tabitha Clark: Yeah.

[00:39:28] Matt Bailey: It’s, it’s funny how it’s, it’s, they’ve already bought it. You just need to stay up…

[00:39:32] Tabitha Clark: That’s right.

[00:39:32] Matt Bailey: …with the…

[00:39:33] Tabitha Clark: The…

[00:39:33] Matt Bailey: …communication.

[00:39:33] Tabitha Clark: You just got to make sure you continue on and if something’s wrong with it, we need to, you know, we need to know immediately, you know, five minutes before it happens, you know, with our crystal ball. So, like yeah, but you know, Facebook, it’s just, it’s not the main communication tool and, you know, even social media, it’s not. You know, I have actually more engagement on our Nextdoor page than I ever do in Facebook. And that was kind of eye-opening to me, you know? And it’s, that’s kind of hard ’cause there’s a lot of people out there in the world, so you have to figure out how they want to be communicated with.

[00:40:00] Matt Bailey: Wow. Yeah, absolutely. And, and I’m sure, yeah, locally, like you said, that it’s going to be so diverse how people want to communicate or choose to communicate and also where they expect it.

[00:40:19] Tabitha Clark: Yes.

[00:40:19] Matt Bailey: That is, that is really kind of a, an interesting, I, I love to hear that you’re, you’re meeting them where they are, even being on Nextdoor.

[00:40:26] Tabitha Clark: Yeah.

[00:40:26] Matt Bailey: And…

[00:40:27] Tabitha Clark: Yes.

[00:40:27] Matt Bailey: Oh, is that something…

[00:40:28] Tabitha Clark: Yeah.

[00:40:28] Matt Bailey: …that you knew people were there and you went there or is that something where you did some research and said, “We need to be here?”

[00:40:35] Tabitha Clark: Well, we did some research and because I think the other thing that we struggle with a lot as communication professionals in, and even marketing, is we don’t have to be on every platform, you know? And I think the, kind of the push, the, or the guilt to say, “I need to be on Twitter. I need to be on Facebook. I need to be on Snapchat,” whatever, you know, you really have to be strategic in where, you have to know where your audience is.

And through some research and everything, we’re like, “Well, a lot of people are on Nextdoor, so let’s go there, give it a try,” and turns out that’s where a lot of our people are. Like, Twitter, a lot of people aren’t there, and so we don’t rely as heavily on Twitter. We rely heavily on what works…

[00:41:22] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:41:23] Tabitha Clark: …instead of trying to make something work.

[00:41:25] Matt Bailey: Wow. Very good. Right. So, I, I, I got you on the challenges. Let me ask you, Tabitha, what, what are the rewards of doing what you do?

[00:41:35] Tabitha Clark: The rewards are when people are informed. Whenever they say, “Wow, I didn’t know that,” or, “That’s super interesting.” You know, it, it may not be the most relevant thing in their life, but knowing that the message that you’ve strategically crafted or, you know, worked super hard on to get out or they go, “Yeah, I heard about, you know, the Nasty 9,” which is our code compliance, you know, that’s, uh, like I said, we’re kind of quirky here. But it’s the most common code compliance issues that we face in the city of Perry. Somebody will say, “Oh yeah, I know that, you know, those signs are part of the Nasty 9 or something.”

Just getting your message out in the noise of today is, is a huge win for communications professionals because there’s so much noise. You’ve got social media, you’ve got the radio, I mean, heck, just driving down the road you’ve got these signs and everything. So, battling and getting through that noise to get your message across and for them to actually remember it and retain it, that is the biggest reward that I have.

[00:42:41] Matt Bailey: That’s cool. I, I like that. That, yeah, like you said, the amount of noise we face on a daily basis is absolutely insane. You know, and we keep comparing to 40, 50 years ago…

[00:42:53] Tabitha Clark: Yeah.

[00:42:53] Matt Bailey: …you know, the amount of noise. That is so, so true. So, what, what would be the benefits for someone, you, you know, I, one of the things I saw for NAGC is there is just so many resources available for people. Who can join? Why should they join? How can they, how can they find out more?

[00:43:12] Tabitha Clark: Absolutely. So, we are very big on LinkedIn. So, if you look up National Association of Government Communicators, you’ll see a lot of resources there, of course, So, any type of government communication professional, and it’s like we said earlier, you don’t have to be the PIO or the communications manager. I mean, we’re also looking with the new trends of the DEI and the inclusion and, you know, there’s all types of communication that is going on in governments that aren’t just the strictly PIO.

So, we have a list of those on our website, but basically anybody that’s looking for an, a group of people that knows what you’re going through, you know, because sometimes, especially if you’re just an, you know, a office of one, it can feel like, “I don’t know what I’m doing. Nobody else is having this problem.” Completely opposite is, is the case.

So, NAGC is that group of people that you can rely on if you need to bounce something off. Heck, even if you want to just, you know, vent, do a Zoom meeting and vent, you know, about your situation. But not only that, but it is making sure that you are equipped as a communications professional with the skills and the opportunities that you need to be relevant in this day and age to effectively communicate your agency’s message. So, the promotion, the advocation, the skills in education are some of the main things that you need as a professional to be successful in this field. And that’s what the NAGC can do for you.

So, if you’re interested, you can always contact me, of course, but you can go on and see what we have to offer. Our communications school will be in April of next year in Portland, Oregon so we’re really excited about that. We have a certificate program happening in October about crisis communication and ethics and where they collide and where they can actually crumble so, and try to avoid the pitfalls of that, you know, it’s that, you know, that really fast speed that we were talking about earlier. So, we’re just really excited. We’re a growing organization. And basically, we just want to make sure that our profession is, is prepared and is professional and making sure that we remain relevant in the government communication field.

[00:45:37] Matt Bailey: Great. Wow. What a commercial, Tabitha. That was amazing.

[00:45:40] Tabitha Clark: Thank you. I try.

[00:45:40] Matt Bailey: That was…

[00:45:41] Tabitha Clark: Yeah.

[00:45:41] Matt Bailey: You’ve got that down. Um…

[00:45:43] Tabitha Clark: Got it down. That’s right.

[00:45:45] Matt Bailey: Well, and that was one of the things, so, so yeah, one of the, I, I, it was interesting. So, I was teaching a course on presenting data, and I was amazed that there was a group there from an auditor, one of the state…

[00:45:55] Tabitha Clark: Yes.

[00:45:55] Matt Bailey: …auditors. And so, they’re not really in communications, but…

[00:46:00] Tabitha Clark: Right.

[00:46:00] Matt Bailey: …they have to communicate information. And, and so…

[00:46:04] Tabitha Clark: That’s right.

[00:46:04] Matt Bailey: …how much of government, I mean, the, I’m, I’m retracting here, how much of government is not just communicating to the public, but communicating…

[00:46:11] Tabitha Clark: Right.

[00:46:11] Matt Bailey: …within the structure of government?

[00:46:14] Tabitha Clark: Internal communications is just as important as external communication. And the reason for that is because your biggest advocates and your biggest cheerleaders or your biggest critics is going to be your internal employees, staff. That’s what we always say because we, we make sure that our employees here in Perry, Georgia are equipped with the basic information or at least know where to give, you know, give the information, say, “Hey, you can find this information here.” ‘Cause the worst thing you can do is have an employee that say, “I don’t know,” you know, “I don’t know. That’s not my job,” you know?

[00:46:52] Matt Bailey: Oh yeah. Yeah.

[00:46:53] Tabitha Clark: So, yeah, so, you know, word of mouth is a huge, I mean, not digital, but communication wise, you know, if you have employees that, you know, like their job and want to help and things like that, and they feel like they’re communicated with and heard are going to be some of your best advocates out there in the real world outside of our bubble, or if they don’t feel like they’re heard or communicated with, they can be your biggest critics and that, that is damaging for any type of organization.

[00:47:23] Matt Bailey: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I just did a podcast on employees and internal…

[00:47:27] Tabitha Clark: Yes.

[00:47:27] Matt Bailey: …communication and the culture and how you build that culture in an organization and I’m sure it’s the same thing in local government.

[00:47:35] Tabitha Clark: Absolutely.

[00:47:35] Matt Bailey: There is a culture.

[00:47:37] Tabitha Clark: No difference there.

[00:47:37] Matt Bailey: And…

[00:47:38] Tabitha Clark: And that’s another thing we do with, we do Perry University for our citizens. It’s kind of like Government 101.

[00:47:43] Matt Bailey: Oh, wow.

[00:47:43] Tabitha Clark: Yeah. Once a year, because we believe if we can at least educate a group of citizens, you know, so when they go out to their friends and family, they can tell them, you know, “Hey, no, this is what really happens,” you know, or go out and advocate for the actual government, you know? So, building those ambassadors, like I said, that’s worth its weight in gold, you know, it’s even better than the digital ads and things like that.

[00:48:09] Matt Bailey: Wow. Yeah. Oh, that is a great program. I love that. Um…

[00:48:12] Tabitha Clark: Oh, we have lot of fun.

[00:48:14] Matt Bailey: Yeah. Oh, I imagine so. How many, how many people a year do you get through?

[00:48:17] Tabitha Clark: We normally 25 to 30 people per year. So…

[00:48:20] Matt Bailey: Wow.

[00:48:20] Tabitha Clark: …it’s a play, I say play, they get to go behind the scenes on like fire and police. They get to go up in the big ladder truck, you know, and, and really get to understand the challenges that local government faces in this day and age, you know, inflation, you know, recruitment, things like that. So, they really get an in-depth look at, you know, what it takes to run a local government. So, it’s…

[00:48:45] Matt Bailey: Wow.

[00:48:45] Tabitha Clark: …it’s not cheap and it’s not easy is, is the main, the main points.

[00:48:50] Matt Bailey: How many of those people, I mean, have you seen, so from past groups come through, how many of them get back into public service?

[00:48:57] Tabitha Clark: Several of them. It, a, a vast majority of people who go through Perry University, they want to be more involved, so we have opportunities for boards, advisory boards, we just held a East Perry Park Advisory Board with a ton of citizens who wanted, you know, to give their input on what they, what they wanted to see in a new destination park here in Perry. So, they, they’ll attend city council meetings, and it’s just great. Informed and engaged citizens are what makes a vibrant community. So, that’s what we try to do.

[00:49:30] Matt Bailey: Wonderful. Well, it sounds like, and, and yeah, I was looking at your, listened to a few podcasts, looked at the Facebook page…

[00:49:35] Tabitha Clark: Thank you.

[00:49:36] Matt Bailey: …looked at all that and like, you are a busy, busy woman. You have got a lot going on. Um…

[00:49:42] Tabitha Clark: We’ve got a lot going on, but it’s fun, you know?

[00:49:44] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:49:44] Tabitha Clark: I mean, it’s got to be fun, and you’ve got to be passionate about your subject no matter what. And having the support staff around you, too, I mean, it makes it a lot easier, but, but we are busy here in Perry.

[00:49:57] Matt Bailey: Well, and it looks like you’re having fun. I mean, that…

[00:50:00] Tabitha Clark: Yes.

[00:50:00] Matt Bailey: …is the biggest thing. It looks like you are having the time of your life doing this.

[00:50:05] Tabitha Clark: I am. Me and Bob the Buzzard, we’re having a great time. I get him whenever I can, you know?

[00:50:12] Matt Bailey: That’s awesome. That is great. Well, I, I, man, this has gone so quick. Dear listener, if you are even considering anything in public information or public communications, I would highly recommend looking at the NAGC, even if you just, you know, start following them, maybe sit in on a few webinars, but I will say the, the annual school as well as the, what’s it called? A conference. Conference. I, I forget, conference, I…

[00:50:39] Tabitha Clark: Oh, the certificate program?

[00:50:40] Matt Bailey: Or the certificate program. Oh, geez.

[00:50:42] Tabitha Clark: Yeah.

[00:50:43] Matt Bailey: Yeah. That on, on crisis coms will be incredible.

[00:50:46] Tabitha Clark: Oh yeah.

[00:50:46] Matt Bailey: But even the, the national conference, as you said…

[00:50:49] Tabitha Clark: Yeah.

[00:50:49] Matt Bailey: …in April, well worth, well worth your time. Even if you’re in…

[00:50:54] Tabitha Clark: Right.

[00:50:54] Matt Bailey: …public information or you’re considering it, it would be an amazing time to really understand what’s going on.

[00:51:02] Tabitha Clark: The, I, well, we certainly appreciate that. And, and that’s our goal is to make sure that during that conference we give relevant and up to date information on what the professional government communicator needs to know.

[00:51:14] Matt Bailey: That is great. That is great. Tabatha, I have one last question.

[00:51:17] Tabitha Clark: Sure.

[00:51:18] Matt Bailey: Do you have anything to add?

[00:51:20] Tabitha Clark: Absolutely not. If you have any more questions, please let me know. I see what you did there.

[00:51:27] Matt Bailey: As soon, I was writing that down as soon as you said that.

[00:51:30] Tabitha Clark: That’s right. See, I got you there.

[00:51:33] Matt Bailey: You did. You were ready for it.

[00:51:35] Tabitha Clark: I was ready.

[00:51:37] Matt Bailey: Well, dear listener, thank you so much for tuning in to another episode of the Endless Coffee Cup. And I hope you had a great time in this podcast. Tabitha, it has been a joy having you here. Great conversation as always.

[00:51:51] Tabitha Clark: Well, Matt, I appreciate you very much and I look forward to the next episode.

[00:51:55] Matt Bailey: Absolutely. Well, the next episode will be you, so fantastic.

[00:51:59] Tabitha Clark: Awesome.

[00:52:02] Matt Bailey: Alright. Thanks again, dear listener, and I look forward to seeing you the next time on the Endless Coffee Cup and having a good cup of coffee together. Thanks again.

[00:52:13] Bumper Intro-Outro: This podcast is heard along the Marketing Podcast Network. For more great marketing podcasts visit

Endless Coffee Cup Podcast

Featured Guest:

Tabitha Clark

Tabitha Clark

Tabitha Clark is the Senior Communication Administrator for the City of Perry located in central Georgia. She is accredited in public relations (APR) by the Universal Accreditation Board where she was trained and evaluated in the strategic planning process and best practices in the public relations field.

Her communication experience includes law enforcement, K-12 public education, and local government. Tabitha is the President of the National Association of Government Communicators previously serving as the Membership Director. She is passionate about supporting government communicators and promoting communications as an essential professional resource in all levels of government.



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