A hat tip to our friends at The Liberal OC for a great story about Tustin’s Public Information Officer, Lisa Woolery.Lisa was recently named Public Information Officer of the Year by PublicCEO. It should be noted, she was the only Orange County winner of an “of the year” award by the organization.
If you are on Facebook or Twitter and have “friended” the City of Tustin, you have seen Lisa’s handiwork. She also manages the front page of the website, press releases and other publicity for the city and city officials. In fact, the majority of information released to the public in most any form probably has her handiwork in it. She has arranged interviews for this blog that would probably not have happened otherwise, convincing some, I am sure, that Our Town Tustin just “wants the facts”. And, Lisa knows how to package those facts and put the best face on, sometimes, sticky situations.
From Public CEO:
In the City of Tustin, 2011 was a dynamic year. Challenges cropped up as the City dealt with lawsuits with the local school district, and a recall effort was waged against the Mayor. However, the City also restarted a massive redevelopment project for the Tustin Air Base and opened a new facility at the Tustin Metro stop. Helping with each challenge, success, or program there was the Public Information Officer, Lisa Woolery.
“I was really proud that our council let me break into social media,” said Woolery in an interview with PublicCEO. “It was at a time when our budgets were being cut and mine was cut in half and then cut in half again. I was stuck in a position on how to get my message out to Tustin when I didn’t have the budget to do it.”
Lisa says she relies on social media like Facebook and Twitter to help get he message across. She is tech-savvy and knows her way around social media sites. She likes the social aspect as it lets her immediately connect with folks and “answer questions directly”. We couldn’t agree more. Lisa pays attention to the feeds and, if you put a question to her on Facebook, she is likely to get back to you in a few minutes. Of course, complex answers may take a little longer, but she will make sure she gets an answer for you. “I don’t know” is not a phrase she uses. “Let me find out for you.” is a common phrase for her.
We won’t go into all the details that Dan Chmielewski did at the Lib but we do agree that, at times, Lisa deserves combat pay for having to work for former Mayor Jerry Amante and the Gang of Five. She has (sometimes rightfully) defended the council for certain actions and, even when I think something they did is indefensible, she at least explains it and shows me a different point of view. She certainly has my respect and I appreciate the professional courtesy and friendship.
So, we certainly join Dan and The Liberal OC in saying, congratulations for your professional achievement and a great honor. Hopefully, she and the Lib can build those bridges Dan speaks of.