The Mount Dora Citizen recently interviewed the City of Mount Dora’s newly hired Public Information Officer (PIO). She will begin her new job with Mount Dora on November 2.
MDC: Tell us about yourself, your education, and background. Have you been a PIO before, if so where?
MG: I’m originally from Lake County – a Tavares High School graduate. After going to college at Auburn University and majoring in Political Science then earning my Master’s Degree in Journalism from University of Miami, my husband and I moved back to Lake County to put down our roots and raise a family. We love it here! My passion has always been marketing and communications – I was lucky enough to land in communication agency work at the beginning of my career where I worked on several government accounts – acting as their advisor for public communications. I soon climbed the ranks and went in to healthcare marketing and communications. I see a lot of similarities in government and healthcare communications.
MDC: One of the major topics that has come up during this election season is communication between the city and residents. What ideas do you bring to the table in terms of ways to increase the amount of information between Mount Dora and its residents?
MG: As I mentioned – I love the field of communications and feel a responsibility to make sure the message is getting to the correct people in the right time. I have so many ideas and can’t wait to get work. The City of Mount Dora has a great leader in Vincent Pastue – and I know he’ll help guide me in making sure we are communicating to our residents in the best and most effective ways.
MDC: We currently audio tape the council meetings and make them available online. The concept of web streaming the meetings to YouTube has been brought up before but wasn’t accomplished. As PIO, what do you think about making the council meetings available in that format?
MG: This has already come up and I think transparency and ease of access to information is important. This subject will be coming up for further discussion by the city council.
MDC: The economic impact of our last PIO was considerable during the streetscapes when much of downtown was under construction. How can you continue with that momentum to draw more business to Mount Dora.
MG: With my background and experience in marketing and communications – I’m confident I will be able to draw from the momentum already created and also come up with some new ideas and flavor. This is what I love to do and I’m very excited to use my passion to promote the City. I think being a Mount Dora resident myself will further aid in helping me make good communications choices – this is my home!
MDC: Mount Dora is an events driven town, with over 30 per year. What are some ways you can communicate with potential visitors and advise them of parking opportunities and routes around closed streets.
MG: My communications style – if you will – is a mix of both grassroots efforts and digital communications like social media and websites.
Social media seems to be the way most people get their information these days. Do you intend to expand on the city’s presence in those forums?
Being a Millennial – I love the mediums we have available to communicate. Be it social media, websites, or digital marketing we can communicate in real time and that’s definitely something I will put into our marketing and communications plans.
Joe Runnels, Writer (firstname.lastname@example.org)