Parish PIO receives national honors for communications work

The St. Charles Parish Office of Public Information recently received two meritorious awards for audiovisual productions and graphic design from the National Association of County Information Officers (NACIO) as part of its 2014 Awards of Excellence.

“As an office we are always seeking to improve and better target our communications to effectively reach residents where they are — whether that’s on social media, television or traditional media outlets,” said Public Information Officer Renee Simpson. “The largest improvement we’ve made over the last couple of months has been the redesign of the parish website, which is customer service oriented and helps residents get the information or help they need quickly.”

Simpson said next year’s planned projects include adding closed captioning on video content, as well as a media room in the emergency operations center for press conferences during emergencies.

As for this year’s achievements, the audiovisual production category winner was the on-scene segment of the parish’s local monthly talk show, “St. Charles Parish Today,” which first aired in 2010. The investigative-style segment features Public Information Aide Tristan Babin going behind the scenes of parish government’s departments and initiatives. Babin scripts and videographer Heather Keller produces the segment, which airs daily on SCP-TV and is available online at

The booklet category winner was last year’s program for the West Bank Hurricane Protection Levee groundbreaking ceremony.

Simpson designed the multi-page color booklet as a keepsake for attendees.

“It is great to be honored by our peers for original pieces of work like these,” she said. “We constantly utilize our diverse skill set to design, write, shoot, script and edit each piece that leaves the Public Information Office, saving taxpayer money.”

The parish office of Public Information is made up of two full-time employees and a contract videographer. The group is responsible for nearly all communications coming from parish government including the website, government access channel (SCP-TV) and social media pages.


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