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The Town of Mount Pleasant received a Municipal Achievement Award for its employee public service announcement campaign. Officials were presented with the award during the Municipal Association of South Carolina's 73rd Annual Meeting on July 20. The town won in the communications category. Thirty-three cities and towns submitted their projects and initiatives.
The Mount Pleasant Employees Public Service Announcement campaign originally began as an internal communications strategy. Seeking to improve employee morale and promote public safety internally, communications staff invited Mount Pleasant employees to act in low-cost, light-hearted videos about various safety practices. After they were placed online, however, the videos became a hit around town.
When communications staff sent out a casting call for the first anti-texting video, 40 employees answered the call and four PSAs were shot. Recognizing that the videos had become a point of pride for the employee-actors, communications staff created an awards program as part of the new initiative. More than 120 employees voted for their favorite video. The winners were honored at a town committee meeting.
As an added benefit, the public embraced the PSAs. The videos received almost 20,000 views on the Mount Pleasant website. Communications staff began posting the videos to the town's Facebook page, where each one averaged 500 views. Staff also reached an estimated 27,000 households via advertisements in various print media.
Town employees and communications staff immediately got to work on producing more videos featuring more of Mount Pleasant's finest. Video titles include "Lock It or Lose It," and "Don't Let Scrooge Burn Your Christmas Tree!" Currently, 30 employees are on the waiting list to act in a future PSA.
"This inexpensive project spread awareness about various public safety issues and allowed Mount Pleasant employees an opportunity to be town ambassadors while enjoying their moment in the spotlight," said Miriam Hair, executive director for the Municipal Association.
Achievement Award 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.
The Municipal Association of South Carolina initiated the Achievement Awards in 1987 to recognize and encourage innovations and excellence in local government.