Reaching residents primary goal of Truro's communications officer

Staff ~ The Truro Daily News
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New column one of many initiatives

COLUMN BY AMANDA SMEES – INSIDE TRURO

Amanda Smees

 

 

Growing up, I always wanted to live in Truro.

I was raised in rural Pictou County and came to Truro often to visit my grandparents. I loved the feel of the town. It had the hustle and bustle of a small city on one side, and bordered fields and farms on the other side. I grew up on a farm, so I thought Truro was the best of both worlds.

I also remember thinking that Truro had better local shopping too, and its proximity to Halifax and New Brunswick was a bonus. ‘The Hub of Nova Scotia’ is quite the appropriate title.

 

So here I am. I graduated from high school, attended college and then worked for two years at a law firm in New Glasgow before making the move to Truro.

I took a job at a local law firm, and stayed there for another two years before I accepted the executive assistant to the CAO position for the Town of Truro.

Now, in my mother’s hometown, I own a home and I am raising my three-year-old daughter.

Until recently, I was in a ‘behind the scenes’ position, the person in the back of that meeting quietly taking minutes. Then, this summer, my job description and title were both changed with the introduction of a communications policy.

I had no idea the hype that would ensue. I had calls, interviews and emails from across the province and beyond. Suddenly, I wasn’t so ‘behind the scenes’ anymore.

People saw ‘Communications Policy’ and ‘Communications Officer’ and assumed the worst – what are the Town of Truro and those politicians trying to hide from us now?

The answer is nothing. The goal, and my intent in my new role, is to get MORE information, and the correct information, out to the citizens of Truro.

Your councillors will still take your calls, respond to your emails and give their opinions. I am here to provide information and improve communication not only externally to residents, but internally to all of our employees as well.

We are working on new initiatives to provide the citizens of Truro with factual and up-to-date information.

One of these initiatives is our recently launched Facebook page and Twitter account with daily posts such as which streets our Public Works Department are working on, links to news releases (another new initiative) and other notices we think citizens want to see or hear about.

It’s also a great way for us to interact with the public in a less formal manner. I’ve had a variety of tweets and Facebook comments and messages and I think it’s great that the community can get in touch with the town via social media now.

Another initiative is this monthly column with the Truro Daily News. Ever wonder if there is a rhyme or reason for how we do things? Such as plowing and salting the streets and sidewalks? Maybe you’re wondering about the best way to get involved and volunteer on one of our committees, or what time of year we do our citizen selection. Or why those dang potholes aren’t patched during the winter? I’m hoping to answer those questions and more.

I am always looking for feedback from the community on how we can improve our communication with residents, so feel free to contact me at 893-6076, asmees@truro.ca or through the Town Facebook (Town of Truro) or Twitter (@TownofTruro) accounts.

 

Amanda Smees is the executive assistant & communications officer for the Town of Truro. Her column will appear monthly in the Truro Daily News and can be found at trurodaily.com.

 

 

 

 

Organizations: Communications Policy, Truro Daily News, Public Works Department

Geographic location: Truro, Pictou County, Halifax New Brunswick Nova Scotia New Glasgow

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