Thursday, September 25, 2008

Greetings from Long Beach!

Yesterday was the first day of the League of California Cities conference at the Long Beach Convention Center.

Along with several other PIOs from throughout the state, I staff the Press Room every year.

We provide information to reporters who stop by. Here's Tom Manheim (right), San Jose's communications director, speaking to D.H. Dao of American Business Media.

We also give on-camera interview training to city officials. Here's Sepi Richardson (center), mayor pro tem of Brisbane, going through the basics with trainers Sue Schlerf (left) and Sheri Benninghoven.

Next, Ms. Richardson went on-camera while Sue interviewed her about issues in Brisbane and Curtis Denisar videotaped.

After having the videotape critiqued by Sue and Sheri, Ms. Richardson did an interview one more time and then walked away with a complimentary DVD of the entire training.

Sue was the PIO and assistant city manager in South Lake Tahoe for years and is now assistant city manager in Reno; Sheri was PIO in Anaheim and communications director for the League of California Cities before starting her own communications consulting firm several years ago with cities as clients.

Another service the PIOs in the Press Room provide is reporting on sessions for the daily conference newsletter and the League's monthly magazine Western City. For example, this morning I covered a session titled "Climate Change -- Local Governments Leading the Way" as well as a speech by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Later this afternoon I'll cover a session titled "Who's Your City?"

Here are a number of other PIOs writing their articles this morning.

Sheryl Musicant, PIO in Lakewood, reviewing her article with Scott Summerfield.

Margaret Magee, visual arts manager for the City of Long Beach, is the newsletter designer.

At the end of the day yesterday, Scott Summerfield received a well deserved acknowledgement and award from League of California Cities President Jim Madaffer for his 20 years of service managing the Press Room. The crowd went wild!

Last night all of the Press Room staff went to dinner at Gladstone's and had fun catching up with each other. Many of us have worked together and been pals for 15 to 20 years.

Here's Eva Spiegel, communications director of the League of California Cities, with Tom Manheim.

Sheri Benninghoven and Scott Summerfield, the principals of SAE Communications. When I first knew him, Scott was the PIO in Newark, Calif.

Sue Schlerf and our videographer, Curtis Denisar.

Then we all shared a ridiculously decadent dessert!


From de Cafe said...

A, bring back home all de freebies you can get...especially the desserts!
Anything is better than what they feed us.

Petrea said...

This is really interesting, Ann. A lot of people don't know how hard it is to appear comfortable when a video camera is pointing at you because the pros make it look so easy. So this kind of training is invaluable.

West Coast Grrlie Blather said...

Everyone looks like they really enjoy their job - how cool is that?