Past Webinars

8/19/2020 - Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste: The Fierce Urgency of Now

Uncertainty, upheaval, resentment. COVID-19, protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, impacts of shutdowns on local economies and local government budgets – all in the shadow of a showdown national election. In this crisis, will local government communications specialists be spectators, victims, or leaders? Where do we find the personal resilience to withstand the stress? Can we seize new opportunities in these dark times?

One of America’s most visionary local government practitioners takes on these questions in a provocative 3CMA webinar that addresses strategies for today while taking a look at what we can expect in the years to come.

Rick Cole, former Mayor of Pasadena, City Manager in three other California cities, Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation in Los Angeles and one of Governing Magazine’s “Public Officials of the Year,” will talk about new opportunities to communicate inside our organizations, to communicate with our communities, and to sustain and amplify our passion for public service. Cole, one of the first presidents of 3CMA, will focus on transforming the way we operate to create 21st Century governments -- “to design a government that looks more like the iPhone than the rotary phone.”

6/10/2020 - What and Who Are You Listening To? Using the Right Input for Important Decisions

What are the biggest COVID-19 risks in your community - and for who? Are lockdown protesters the tip of the iceberg or the outliers? What are the needs and concerns that you aren’t hearing about?

You need public input to answer questions like these. But you also need to know which data you need for which decisions, what channels are good for what data, and what makes data unrepresentative or even dangerous. Now you can. 

This presentation will teach you powerful insights through current events, including eye-opening COVID-19 data and community survey data that you haven’t seen before. You’ll see how:

  • Self-selection ruins COVID testing data… and public input data
  • Data aggregation creates confusion about COVID risks… and about community needs
  • Focusing on the wrong data leads to COVID missteps… and mistaken agency decisions

If you’ve ever wanted your agency to use data the right way, especially public input, this will be the easiest and most entertaining way to learn what you need to know.  You’ll leave with simple tools you can use and share with colleagues. You’ll help everyone avoid bad guesses and big mistakes as you adjust services and budgets going forward. Don’t miss this one!

5/14/2020 - Planning for the Future When No One is Listening!

As a government communicator managing the local response to COVID-19, you’ve barely found time to remember to brush your teeth every day, much less think about what’s next. Plus, some of your residents are restless and ready for a new normal while others want continued stay at home orders.  We want to help by bringing together a panel from across the US – from New York, to Georgia, to California – to help you prepare for what’s to come. These three communication pros will touch on how their communities have responded, and what the future is starting to look like. They will share stories on everything from canceling events and getting negative feedback, to decisions about reopening city/county hall to a new normal, to thinking about what services will continue on line. They will not only leave you with new ideas and inspirations but also share stories of challenges you are certain to relate to.

Experiences they’ll touch on include installing the nation’s first shelter-in-place order, which was promptly ignored by people swarming Pacific beaches, to responding to resident concerns when the Governor of Georgia opened up businesses including gyms, barbershops, tattoo parlors, and bowling alleys, to changing from a New York State coronavirus hotspot to the model of flattening the curve.

4/30/2020 - Being Heard in a World that Keeps Getting Crazier

It was already hard to be heard by an audience with a 2.7-second attention span. Now add in the insanity of the last two months, and how can we possibly expect to be heard, let alone have our information retained by residents and key audiences? The answer might surprise you.

3CMA hosted Peter Shankman to share that answer on a Zoom Webinar.  We posted it on the 3CMA website in case you missed it live.

The New York Times has called Peter Shankman “a rockstar who knows everything about social media and then some.” He is a five-time best selling author, entrepreneur, and corporate keynote speaker, focusing on the customer experience and the new and emerging customer. He’s tailored this presentation directly to local government communicators who working to keep community members informed and engaged. He touchs on dealing with impossible situations and will have you laughing and relating to his real-world ideas and practices.

3/9/2020 - Just in Time - Are You Ready for the 2020 Census Count Starting This Month?

It’s Here! Starting this month, as early as March 12, letters will begin arriving in the mailboxes of your residents asking them to be counted in the 2020 US Census. Whether you’re in charge of an entire communications campaign or just passing along messages from your Complete Count Committee, what happens in the next ten months can have a major impact on funding for your city or county for the next decade. Join us for this just in time webinar to see what two stellar communities in different parts of the country are doing to help ensure they get an accurate count. 

We’ll hear from experts in the cities of Weston, Florida, and Arlington, Texas, on everything from messaging to tools, from special branding to how to reach undercounted communities. They’re using video, social media, events and outreach efforts beyond mainstream media. It’s an opportunity to see if some of their tactics and lessons learned can help make your outreach even more effective in your community.

1/22/2020 - To Pod or Not to Pod, That Is the Question

Podcasts are big. More than 32 percent of Americans over the age of 12 now listen to podcasts on a monthly basis. Whether you are a one-person shop or part of a large local government communications team, podcasts can be an effective way to reach audiences on the go. As podcast listenership continues to rise, it’s time to ask if podcasting is right for your city’s communications strategy.  Jay Socol and Shannah Hayley will give you the clarity and tools you need to evaluate the medium, including strategy, resources, and techniques.

11/12/2019 - Best of the Best: Cooks, Critters, and Cybernauts

There is no end to the variety of engagement and campaigns local government communicators undertake. That is perfectly illustrated in the three Diamond Award Winners in 3CMA’s 2019 Savvy competition. From a cookbook that can tell the story of a neighborhood, to a clean water program that channels the humor of everyone’s inner five-year-old, to launching a campaign to determine resident interest a community-owned broadband utility. This webinar will be led by the leaders of all three of these programs as they provide information that allows you to see what it takes to be named the best of the best, and also includes everything from idea inspiration, to detailed engagement plans, to amazing outcomes, and a lot of creativity. You will hear a boatload of information you can apply to your next outreach campaign.

10/23/2019 - Social Media Management Essentials

Social media managers and content creators face many challenges as part of their daily (and nightly) workload. This webinar tackles those challenges through policies, editorial calendaring, and the energy provided through creative strategy. This three-pronged approach ensures that your workload not only is sustainable, but also is fun (at least some of the time). It will be taught by two veteran communication pros from the Certified Public Communicator Program at TCU in Ft. Worth, Texas. Their sessions at 3CMA conferences and previous webinars are among the highest-rated by members and always provide strategies and tools you can implement in your work.

8/20/2019 - Be a Data Storyteller

Your organization has tons of data, in fact, you’re probably drowning in it. And many of you are scrambling to find effective ways to use and share it. One way jurisdictions deal with this is to create open data portals, but unless it’s done in context, the raw data has no intrinsic meaning and puts you at risk for others framing narratives around it.

7/16/2019 - Engaging Residents on "Unengaging" Topics

Finding ways to actively engage your community can always be a challenge. It becomes even more difficult if the topic is sensitive or complex. The city of Olympia, Washington, wanted to engage its residents in tackling the difficult issue of homelessness. And the city of Arvada, Colorado, wanted to enhance its visioning process and garner feedback directly related to affordable housing, short-term rentals, and transportation.

The challenge is how to engage people on issues that they don’t see as immediate concerns or ones that are not "in their backyard." For residents focused on their own daily lives, how do you help them see the importance of sharing their ideas on addressing homelessness or a city’s long-term goals and plans?

In this 3CMA webinar, representatives from both cities will walk us through their engagement processes on these challenging issues. They will share how they integrated face-to-face events with online dialogue, share successes and challenges, and highlight how they were able to be inclusive and respectful in bringing more voices into the conversation. They’ll also share their experience in refocusing many disjointed streams of public questions and comments (in social media, email, etc.) into one centralized location.

6/25/2019 - Everything You Want (and Need) to Know on Using Drones in Local Government

You’ve seen the power of using drones in local government for capturing that perfect shot for a communications project or for helping your police and utility departments enhance operations and safety. You’ve also likely received complaints from people using drones in parks and neighborhoods. What is the future for drone use and how can you be sure you’re in compliance with the Federal Aviation Administration’s rules on the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)?

Sign up today for this webinar to hear from an expert with the Federal Aviation Administration on their definition of a UAS, the requirements for both commercial operators and hobbyists, and best safety practices. Brett Hoben’s presentation on drones was highly rated at a 2018 3CMA Regional Conference and we’re now able to share his insights with all members through this webinar. He’ll review registration requirements and the FAA DroneZone portal, and share how to apply for waivers and airspace authorizations.

Brett will also talk about public use and law enforcement’s use of UAS and highlight how some communities have created Drone Parks for use by their residents. He will give an update on the UAS integration Pilot Program that is working with local governments and others on finding ways to balance local and national interests in using drones and also addressing security and privacy risks. And most importantly, you’ll be able to ask questions of an FAA pro. Whether you love to "geek out" on drone info or just want to make sure you’re doing it right, this webinar is for you!

6/20/2019 - Savvy Judges’ Webinar 2019

This special webinar is for all individuals  who will serve as Savvy Award competition judges for 2019. Whether you’re a veteran Savvy judge or a first timer, we are asking all judges to join the live webinar or watch the recorded version online (available starting June 21 at We’ll highlight how the new online system works, including the opportunity to stop at any time and pick up where you left off. We’ll explain the new feature where you provide helpful feedback on each entry, and we’ll review deadlines and process tips. The webinar is expected to last no more than 30 minutes. The system will be able to document your participation via the live or recorded version.

5/30/2019 - Your Role in Ensuring Your Community is Counted in the 2020 Census

It’s T-minus one-year until the 2020 Census, and now’s the time to learn the important role you have as a local government communicator in ensuring your community is ready. Local leaders have a critical relationship with every census, both as users of the invaluable data it produces and as partners in helping to ensure their communities are accurately counted. The census of population and housing, required by the U.S. Constitution, is conducted every 10 years. Data collected from the census are vital to communities and are used to help determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds are spent across the country annually. In addition to the significance of funding, results from the 2020 Census also determine Congressional representation, and states use the results to draw state legislative boundaries.

Join this 3CMA webinar where you’ll hear how this 24th census will be different from every past census. An online response option, innovations in technology and the broad use of social media are some of the innovations that will be in use for 2020. You’ll also learn about the Census’ integrated communications and marketing plan designed to reach the entire nation and how to tap into it to get the best results for your community.

The goal of the Census is to count everyone once, only once and in the right place. It is a huge undertaking requiring a multiplatform integrated communications and marketing plan that will reach the entire Nation.

Sign up now so you’re in the know on where federal preparations stand and to learn what measures you can take today to increase the accuracy of your community’s count next year.

Please note, the slide presentation contains names, email, and phone information for the regional census offices, which will be the primary contact. If you have questions specifically related to communication / outreach, you can email our presenter Maria Olmedo Malagon.

About the Presenter: Maria Olmedo-Malagon is the Program Manager of the 2020 Census Communications Campaign for the U.S. Census Bureau. Maria oversees a $415 million communications campaign that encompasses paid advertising, public relations and events, social media, development of digital platforms and national and local partnerships.

3/6/2019 - Getting Savvy – Meet the New, Easy Online Entry Process & Hear Tips from a Dynamic Duo

Achieving the greatest level of personal and team pride is within your reach as the Savvy Award Competition takes off for 2019. For professional communicators, a Savvy declares you are the best of the best from across the nation. It’s reaching the summit of communications excellence. And now, submitting Savvy entries is easier and more customer focused than ever before as the entire process moves online!

Join us for this webinar where we’ll share an overview of the new system – how it works, and new benefits that eliminate the need for creating notebooks, producing copies and making that last-minute rush to meet the mailing deadline.

Plus, we’ve recruited a dynamic duo of presenters who know the ins and outs of submitting an award-winning Savvy, as witnessed by their frequent return to the winners’ circle. They’ll share insider tips on how to measure those seemingly unmeasurable projects, how humor and creativity can be effectively deployed, and how to strike the right balance between sharing facts and painting the picture of your successful work. They’ll give examples of what has worked, as well as what hasn’t made it to the finals, and lessons learned from both experiences.

Whether you’re entering the Savvy competition for the first time or are a seasoned submitter, you’ll find tips to make your entry even stronger and a few steps closer to the awards summit!

2/19/2019 - Why Social Media Advertising Belongs in Your Toolkit

Communication and marketing professionals across the country use social media advertising every day to not only boost their reach but to target their audiences for specific results. Many local governments have discovered the same value to more effectively engage residents and address the needs of their organization.

Join us for this engaging session as we kick off 3CMA’s 2019 Webinar Series. We’ll touch on every aspect of social advertising we can possibly fit into a jam-packed hour of information. For those of you just starting out, you’ll learn about the value of social media (and content) in promoting a brand. Our social pro from Moore, Inc., will share which channels are best to get started, based on content type and business type, and she’ll share examples of successful social media campaigns. For those already engaged in social advertising, you’ll hear from two professionals from the city of Las Vegas who are using paid social advertising for everything from economic development, to planning, to filling up parks and rec classes. They’ll share tips on how social fits into their marketing mix and how they built internal support. They’ll also present strong case studies with measurable results that helped lead to an investment of more than $25,000 annually in social media advertising. You’ll also walk away with a boatload of tips on how to launch or enhance your social media advertising.

11/16/2018 - Learning from the Best: Cats, Cars and Community

What does a cat adoption event in Minnesota, traffic challenges in Texas and branding in Florida have in common? They are the top three Diamond Award winners from across the nation in the 2018 3CMA Savvy Awards Competition. And now you have the opportunity to hear how each of these challenges became "best in the nation" examples of strategic communication and marketing that produced results and met the desired outcomes. If you’re looking for ways to make your next project a Vieccess, you’ll walk away from this webinar with new ideas, strategies and approaches drawn from these three recognized winners.

In this webinar, our three local government experts will share their research that led to defining their project objectives, how they overcame any negative resident reactions, and how they came up with creative solutions. One thing all three have in common is the ability to engage residents in different, yet tremendously successful ways. Plus, we promise a few laughs as well. This is one you won’t want to miss!

8/14/2018 - Enhancing Your Community Engagement Strategy: Tools, Targets, Trolls & More

We’re all focused on developing and implementing a strong community engagement strategy. This webinar will help you evaluate your current efforts and identify ways to be even more effective. You’ll hear how to use a blend of in-person and online initiatives to create a scenario for better community reach, interaction and outcomes. It will include case studies of governments that have successfully integrated online tools to effectively engage residents.

Key Takeaways Include:

  1. Appreciation of global trends in the adoption of online engagement tools
  2. Understanding which online tools to use and the role of social media
  3. Setting targets, measuring and understanding what your community is saying
  4. How to deal with trolls, outrage and other risk
  5. Creating an accessible and inclusive space
  6. Bringing your online and face to face engagement together

6/14/2018 - Strategies & Tools for Local Government Awesomeness

If you’re looking for creative new solutions to everyday work challenges, this webinar is for you. Josh Hirsch has a toolbox full of solutions from ways to use Facebook advertising to strategically boost results, to an alternative to Hootsuite for scheduling posts, tracking performance and managing accounts in one place, to the best graphics tool for non-graphics people. He’ll share links to great royalty free photo sites, tell how to take advantage of virtual reality and produce a 360-degree video, and share a hack that allows you to take pre-recorded content and share it on Facebook as though it was live.

This webinar will have you taking intense notes and making sure you download the slides so that you don’t miss any tips. Josh is an acclaimed speaker that has spent his career finding ways to produce outstanding results with little to no funds. We promise you’ll leave this webinar with plenty of ideas to increase your own local government awesomeness without having to ask for an increase in your budget!

4/10/2018 - Everything You Need to Know about Nextdoor as a Tool to Engage and Delight Your Residents

Your citizens are using it to share updates about what’s happening in their neighborhoods including discussions on local government projects, safety, and improvements. It’s Nextdoor, the trusted communications platform for neighborhoods that connects neighbors to what matters most to them locally. Nearly 170,000 US neighborhoods (85 percent) are using Nextdoor.

In the webinar you’ll find out how you can use Nextdoor’s free government interface, Nextdoor for Public Agencies, to reach residents with communications across your municipality or into specific service areas and neighborhoods. You’ll hear the latest update from Nextdoor’s Senior City Strategist and "Professional Neighbor" Joseph Porcelli. He’ll explain the two platforms Nextdoor provides, share examples of where it is working well, give suggestions on ways to use it best and highlight the new polling options that allow you to get direct, immediate feedback from residents. You can check out the government interface prior to the webinar at

Your Presenter Joseph Porcelli currently serves a Nextdoor’s Northeast Senior City Strategist. In this role, Joseph focuses on bringing city partners onto the Nextdoor platform to improve relationships and communications among neighbors and city agencies. Some of Joseph’s most notable partnerships successes are with the Baltimore City Police Department, NYC Office of Emergency Management, and the White House on the 21st Century Community Policing Data Initiative.

Before joining Nextdoor, Joseph stood up the Community Engagement consulting practice at GovDelivery, served as the nation’s first Community Engagement Strategist for the Department of Homeland Security, and led online operations and partnerships for the ServiceNation campaign which - passed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009. Joseph received a BA in marketing, business management at Saint Michael’s College.

3/8/2018 - Five Ways to Boost Digital Engagement with Your Community

Vision Internet recently surveyed more than 350 city and county leaders to better understand what’s next in digital communications for local government.

Be among the first to hear the results from Vision Internet’s Alyssa Trenkamp and learn how your city’s engagement efforts stack up. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to drop in on a candid conversation with two progressive local government communication practitioners as they weigh in on the survey results and share examples of how they are embracing the latest trends in digital communication.

Hear from Marcie Graham, Marketing and Communications Supervisor for the City of La Quinta, California, and Mike Ekey, Communications Director for the City of Raymore, Missouri, as they share:

  • How they meet the demands of a diverse population
  • The communication channels they find most effective
  • The importance of their website as a central communications hub
  • How they think about analytics and continuous improvement
  • New communication channels that they are consider
  • View Presentation
  • Slide Show (PDF)

1/11/2018 - Crafting Your City’s Reputation: Making an Emotional Connection

Finding ways to stand out among the competition is part of every government communicator’s job. The recent push among communities to garner the attention of Amazon is a great case study. Join us for this webinar with a incredible media veteran to learn more how to effectively promote your community and apply that Amazon-type mindset inside your organization.

From building respect and trust, to delivering an understandable message, you’ll hear examples of how making an emotional connection is key. We’ll focus on how people connect with people and ways to help your city leaders become even better communicators who can build relationships with their audience. We’ll take a page from Amazon and other rising stars in business, who sought a better harmony to their own organization that, in turn, helped craft their global image.

Maya Angelou said it best: "People will forget what you said and did, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

11/15/2017 - It’s Time to Get Trendy - The Hottest Web Design and Communication Trends Expected to Impact Local Government in 2018

The ways that local governments are connecting with citizens have changed. From visually dynamic, and personally engaging digital content, to on-demand citizen request management and enterprise mobility, we’ve compiled the latest trends that successful communities are using to keep citizens informed, engaged, and active in their communities. You’ll leave this webinar with actionable tips to help ensure your community is blazing a trail of citizen engagement in 2018.

10/17/2017 - Be Seen on Social Media!

You have eight seconds to grab someone’s attention on social media. How do you stand out against competing messages in a cluttered news feed? We will share real examples and strategies of how you can use effective quick-hitting videos, compelling text, and data to drive your social media strategies. We’ll include tips on how to make videos, even if you’re a one-person shop, and we’ll share ways to measure your success with meaningful analytics.

6/29/2017 - Taming the Beast: Advanced Topics in Social Media

We’ll start off with a promise – This social media webinar will be different than most. We’re going to assume your local government is already "doing" social media. Taking it one step further involves finding out what true engagement on social media means for your city or county, knowing how to grow the platform, and being able to show a serious return on your investment. And who among us has not run into that uncomfortable situation when a resident or advocacy group decides your social media channel is the way for them to attack the government?

This webinar will focus on social media tactics, success and failures and how digital engagement can greatly affect public perception of your government, a project or even a hot-button topic. You’ll hear from an outstanding panel of experts on strategies and tactics to improve engagement, measure the value of your program, and effectively deal with potential problems. They’ll also touch on pushing the limits to find how the community responds to different forms of messaging and personality from the government. You’ll walk away with great ideas that have worked in other communities, approaches that can reduce risk, and answers to your questions.

4/27/2017 - Creating Inspiring Communication Campaigns - The Creative Brief Method to Success

You want any communication campaign implemented for your city or county to be dynamic, simple and inspiring. The question is how do you get to those outcomes? This session will provide a format to help you create effective campaigns whether you want to build awareness for a new library or fire station, inform residents about the impact of a future bond referendum, or build involvement in a new roadway or other government service or activity. Strategic communication gathers practices and theories from three disciplines: public relations, advertising, and marketing. To get new perspectives on building campaigns from the ground up, we’ll pull inspiration from the discipline of advertising to address a public relations issue. Advertising has long used the "creative brief" to jump-start nimble thinking and innovative ideas, as well as to solve problems in new ways. Rather than using the creative brief to build an advertising campaign, we’ll adapt it for use for general information and educational campaigns. This webinar will train you to use creative brief protocols for your own campaign-building including learning tips on how to write short, inspiring and effective copy designed for both digital and traditional platforms. The session will end with Q&A, so that your specific ideas and needs may be addressed.

3/8/2017 - It’s Your Year to Win a Savvy: Tips, Examples, and Feedback to Make Your Entry the Best!

It is one of the greatest honors you can receive as a professional government communicator – being recognized at the national level by winning a 3CMA Savvy award. Perhaps you’ve never entered, thinking the task is too daunting. Or maybe you’ve entered but just not made it to one of the top three award spots. Or maybe you’ve won a Savvy but want to sharpen your skills as you prepare for the 2017 deadline of April 7, 2017, for those really on the ball and May 15, 2017, for those of us who need every last minute to get our entries in.

This webinar is designed to give you insights and strategies to help ensure your Savvy entry is the very best it can be. You’ll learn:

  • The criteria used to judge your Savvy entry
  • Tips on what is needed for each section of your Descriptive Letter
  • Suggestions on how to pick the best category or categories for your entry
  • Why that "creative touch" can set your entry apart from the competition
  • Why focusing on measurable outcomes is key
  • What role the size of your budget plays in winning a Savvy? (hint, small budget projects win all the time!)
  • When to start the Savvy Award entry process
  • The #1, top secret tip on how to best prepare to win a Savvy in the future
  • Ideas on how to leverage a Savvy win to support strong communications in your city or county
  • View Presentation

6/7/2016 - Introducing the Ethics Project

Many professional organizations create codes of ethics for their members to use in the working world. What would a code of ethics look like for public-sector communicators and what values would we include? What are ethical challenges facing public-sector employees in general, and communicators specifically? We’ll review the content of existing codes of ethics for public relations, advertising and marketing professionals, and we will begin laying the groundwork for developing a code of ethics to be considered for use by 3CMA members.

6/11/2015 - Noise or Signal: Collecting and Curating Your Communication Assets

Does your city, county or agency need a communication audit? This webinar will focus on the communication assets you have, the new outreach you may need, and ways to analyze tactics and strategy for effectiveness and return on engagement. Collecting and curating assets will help your city or county set the foundation for a stronger communication platform.