National County Government Month

National County Government Month (NCGM), held each April, is an annual celebration of county government. Since 1991, the National Association of Counties (NACo) has encouraged counties to actively promote the services and programs they offer.  Counties can schedule activities any time during the month. NCGM is an excellent opportunity for your county to highlight effective county programs and raise public awareness and understanding about the various services provided to the community.

MAC is proud to partner with NACo and other county associations around the U.S. to honor public servants in county government and highlight the work they do to make our communities great places to live.

The coronavirus pandemic highlights the importance of county government. Counties are on the front lines protecting our communities from coronavirus and other illnesses that have the potential to become a pandemic. Counties support over 900 hospitals and operate over 1,900 public health departments, which are the ground troops in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak. Local health departments are working to protect public health by communicating with transportation officials, educating health care providers and communicating to the public best practices to reduce the spread of infectious diseases.

NCGM is an excellent opportunity for your county to highlight effective county programs and raise public awareness and understanding about the various services provided to the community.
 
Here are a few ideas on how to get started:

ASSEMBLE THE PLANNING TEAM!

The committee will plan, organize and coordinate all activities related to NCGM. The committee should reflect input from the county board, countywide electeds, county administration and key county departments.

DO WHAT YOU CAN DO

In the ongoing pandemic, it’s advisable to focus on the art of the possible. Smaller, well-executed ideas are far superior to “super” projects that can be planned but not realized.
 
One quick idea: Can you use your new technology to give residents a virtual “walking tour” of your courthouse or county operations. Show them that even in the pandemic, the work of county government goes on.

THE MEDIA CAN BE YOUR ALLY

It’s true: Your local newspaper, radio station or TV station wants to share “good news.” Partner with them to show what’s happening every day in your offices and communities. If you do not have a public information officer, designate a “point person” to connect with the media on NCGM. It could be the board chair, the administrator or a senior staffer with wide knowledge of your operations. It needs to be someone who, preferably, knows the media covering your county (if any) and is reachable for questions during normal business hours.
 
NACo provides a huge amount of best practices and ideas for engaging with the media. Click here to see them.

DON’T REINVENT THE WHEEL

Make use of the resources NACo has provided:

KNOW YOURSELF

One of the keys to conveying all the work being done by your county is to have the numbers – the data that reflect your efforts.
 
Click here to access a list of suggested questions to drive your data collection. You may already have many of these facts and figures, but don’t hesitate to keep building – and to share with your local media.

MAC IS HERE TO HELP

Have a question? Need a suggestion. We are here to help. Just contact MAC Communications Director Derek Melot at melot@micounties.org.
 
Also, as you form your plans, please share them with us so we can promote across the state. Again, just send details to Derek Melot at melot@micounties.org.

NCGM 2021 Resources

MI County Matters

Launched in 2016, the “MI County Matters” site – www.micountymatters.org – is designed to inform both the public and policy-makers about the central role county services play in daily life.

The site pairs quick, easily accessible summaries of county responsibilities with large databases on county activities to give the public a complete picture of what county leaders do on their behalf.

MI County Matters was conceived as a response to an ongoing challenge for MAC and our members: How to quickly and clearly explain the importance of county government to Michigan residents’ daily lives. From the site, any county official, state lawmaker or interested citizen can zoom in on a particular county and see a visual representation of county investments by service area.

  • 2021 Annual Conference Sponsors
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