GARDEN CITY – The City of Garden City has won two national awards for videos produced by its IT & Communications Department. The awards were given by the City-County Communications & Marketing Association (3CMA).
3CMA is a national network of local government communicators. Each year during its annual conference, the organization hosts an awards competition called “The Savvy Awards” to recognize outstanding local government achievements in communications, marketing, engagement, and creativity.
Entries are judged in several different population groups so that all sizes and budgets are accommodated for. This year’s conference was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and there were more than 700 entries received in 40 categories. For each category, three awards are given: first place Savvy Award, second place Silver Circle, and third place Award of Excellence.
The City of Garden City received two awards at this year’s event, a Savvy for the video “Infinite Hope” and an Award of Excellence for the “IT Stormwater PSA.”
“Infinite Hope” was submitted in the Video: One -Time Special Programing category. The video features letters of hope sent to the Garden City community by fifth-grade students in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts after the students saw news coverage of a thwarted bomb plot.
City Communication & Project Manager Ashley Freburg and Communications Specialist Lauren Lohfink worked with students at Bernadine Sitts Intermediate Center in Garden City to record the letters. Lohfink then created the video, titled “Infinite Hope” to share the message of love and support.
The judges’ comments on the video were “Excellent Script! Video was very creative, engaging and powerful. The production elements were very well done.”
The video is available on City’s YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/mD5m1Vtuo1g and on the City’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/CityofGardenCityKS/. The letters can be viewed online at www.garden-city.org/infinitehopeletters.
The IT Stormwater PSA video was submitted in the Video: Public Service Announcement category. This video was created to share stormwater information with residents through the City’s public access television channel and online.
Freburg and Lohfink began working on the video around the same time Stephen King’s “It” hit theaters nationwide. A storyboard was developed that incorporated a clown living in stormwater drains with a tagline “Be careful what gets in your storm drain because it could come back to haunt you.”
The video ends with an explanation that stormwater goes into storm drains and flows untreated into local streams and rivers. Pollutants could contaminate drinking water, and clogged storm drains could result in water damage for property owners. Contest judges said they appreciated the idea of taking a typically mundane topic and combining it with a current and historically popular movie.
City Manager Matt Allen congratulated the City’s Communications Staff on the awards.
“Lauren and Ashley are a two-person communications team. Many of the local government who participate in 3CMA have larger communications budgets and staffs. Receiving two awards from the premier national organization for their profession, and the fact that the two videos were very different in style and purpose, is a testament to their creativity and overall talent,” he said. “We are fortunate to have them creating new and exciting ways to share public information and building a two-way communications bridge with the citizens the City serves.”