Home Contra Costa County Episode 056: Angela Lowrey Talks Communication

Episode 056: Angela Lowrey Talks Communication

by ECT

On this episode, I chat with Angela Lowrey who is the Public Information Manager for Delta Diablo where she was just named the states Communicator of the Year for 2019 from the California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO). We talk about why it is so hard to communicate these days, especially from local governments or agencies. We get into a lot of philosophical stuff from whether government should use identifiers on social media or not. Should news be paid or free and how to improve ones communication.

Episode Overview:

  • 03:04 – What is a Public Information Officer and what do they do?
  • 05:50 – What is the one question you always get at Delta Diablo?
  • 06:40 – On the recycled water stations, is that going to continue without the drought?
  • 09:10 – We chat about communication, why can’t people better get out their message? Is there just to much noise and information overload out there? Are the new cycles too short? Focus more on soundbites and opinions?
  • 14:32 – Why is it so hard for government agencies to communicate? Why can’t government put out their information quickly and something meaningful?
  • 16:05 – We get into why government doesn’t answer the question and give around-about answers in circles.
  • 18:00 – Why can’t government be transparent ahead of city council votes? It almost seems like a “show”.
  • 19:30 – Should government respond on agency social media by ending using their name/badge number/identifier vs. just the government name with no identifier. Could using an identifier change the tone of a conversation vs. anonymous response from government?
  • 26:34 – when to respond to people on social media and when not to give it much time?
  • 30:30 – Is passion important when communicating?
  • 33:11 – Why is it so hard to do the right thing?
  • 35:16 – What are some of Angela’s best practices? What are the Do Nots?
  • 37:14 – Should people remember the Grandma Rule when posting on social media?
  • 40:41 – How did Angela work to bring 5-agencies together on a single message for a campaign? Angela believes east county is a region and encourages people to begin working together.
  • 46:25 – On PIO’s sometimes being the devils advocate because they put themselves in the customers seat because they have to figure out how to message. Social Media may not be the best place for your audience. She says it comes down to great customer service and being accessible.
  • 55:27 – How long does it take for one to understand their audience or customer?
  • 1:01:30 – why I’ve moved into podcasting and more YouTube video… its to provide context.
  • 1:02:30 – Lowrey gives a shout out to the education being provided by East Contra Costa Fire Protection District on social media.
  • 1:04:30 – Fact vs. opinion and need for more news and ability to do more trusted sources. We get into should news be free or paid?
  • 1:09:16 – With lack of communication, I think many people want the same thing, but egos are in the way of solution and how communication could fix a lot of our problems right now.
  • 1:14:06 – if you take away one thing from this interview, learn to know your audience.


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