For Immediate Release: July 17, 2010
CONTACT: Casey Fields
803.933.1256 (w) or 803.800.7225 (c) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Municipal Association of South Carolina honors Rock Hill with Achievement Award
The City of Rock Hill received a Municipal Achievement Award for RH19, the city’s government television channel. Officials were presented with the award during the Municipal Association of South Carolina’s 70th Annual Meeting on July 17. The City won in the communications category. Thirty-two cities and towns submitted their projects and initiatives.
Rock Hill’s government access channel was struggling. With no upgrades since the 1980s, the station lacked automation and a signal that met current broadcast specifications. Cameras were malfunctioning, lighting was non-existent and the audio was inadequate. The result was an ineffectual broadcast not up to the quality that viewers expect from a credible information source.
When council added the new goal of open and effective communication to the city’s strategic plan, it assigned the public affairs division to the task. Staff first looked at the city’s existing avenues of communication. They determined their biggest challenge was modernizing the public access station.
With a modest budget and the rebate from a terminated franchise agreement with the local cable provider, staff went to work. The goals were to improve the technical quality of the broadcast signal, enhance the quality and quantity of video messages to the public, maximize manpower for production and increase exposure.
Staff first worked on the existing equipment and purchasing new software and equipment to replace outdated materials. They developed a branded look for the channel and established production schedules. Staff members opted to produce short, well-executed messages to ensure the most current information would be aired. They developed a standardized broadcast schedule so that meetings and events would air in a predictable format. They recruited students from local colleges and universities to work as interns. With the equipment updated, the city began airing programs to address public concerns and issues.
The proposed smoking ban, stimulus funds, comprehensive plan and youth forums have all been the topics of recent productions. To get the most exposure for these programs, staff began placing them on YouTube to be viewed at the public’s leisure. Some videos have attracted more than 2,000 views.
Residents are beginning to voice their approval of the new station and are requesting issues for the channel to cover.
“The City of Rock Hill is using its local television channel to communicate important issues with residents while achieving their goal of open and effective communication,” said Miriam Hair, executive director for the Municipal Association.
These winning entries represent innovative projects undertaken by Municipal Association member cities and towns. More information and a video about the project are available on the Association’s website (www.masc.sc).
The Municipal Association of South Carolina initiated the Achievement Awards in 1987 to recognize and encourage innovations and excellence in local government.
The Municipal Association of South Carolina is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit Association of incorporated cities and towns dedicated to raising the standards of municipal government through a broad range of services.