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Buncombe Wins 4 Excellence in Communications Awards

DURHAM, NC – Buncombe County was among 28 North Carolina governments to earn recognition in the 12th North Carolina City & County Communicators’ (NC3C) Excellence in Communications Awards. This year, NC3C received 248 entries from 28 jurisdictions, the organization's largest pool of award entries to date. Judges for the NC3C Excellence in Communications Awards were communication professionals from the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers along with a variety of communication industry professionals from across North Carolina.

Buncombe County projects took home four first place awards including:

Employee Focus, first place in the category of intranet

Employee Focus was developed by the County's Communications and IT departments. It's where county employees get their news internally. However, it's  much more than just news; it’s a completely new direction for internal communications. The Communications team took on this new direction to create content specific to the needs of staff. Employee Focus features reports on administration and policy changes, highlights departments, showcases featured employees, and celebrates big wins. Where we once had six lines of static text with no images, we now have an employee news page that we can be proud of that truly showcases our best work.

Justice Resource Center, first place in the category of Branding/New Logo

The Justice Resource Center (JRC) leads justice-involved individuals to a productive, self-sufficient, healthy life. At the center, people get diversion options, public assistance, education and vocational resources, and connections to community services such as mental health and substance abuse treatment, housing, and transportation.

This branding project was very challenging. The JRC had several goals but no identity, no brand, no logo, and nothing that truly represented the great work it does. Another challenge that faced this project was that the people involved in the justice system naturally had an apprehensive nature when offered assistance from the system. So, the logo had to dispel that negative association and be trustworthy.

This was achieved by using bright warm colors and an open-door design that is both welcoming and symbolic. The open-door design symbolized a way out or a new beginning. It represented a pathway to life-changing services; all you had to do was walk through it. 

Lastly, every great brand is first of all about the people who represent it. The logo had to be adopted and loved by the employees that it represented. And the JRC team did just that; they took this brand, believed in their work and turned it into a brand.
Student Summit, first place in the category of Community Visioning and first place in the category of Citizen Participation

The Student Summit receives funding from Buncombe County and our Health and Human Services (HHS) Department, and its directive aligns with the Board of Commissioners' strategic priority of fighting the opioid crisis. The 2018 Student Summit on Opioid Awareness was led by Buncombe HHS and the Partnership for Substance Free Youth in Buncombe County. The summit brought together a diverse group of students from county and city schools to learn about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and addiction.

The purpose of North Carolina City & County Communicators is to encourage professional development and networking among local governmental communications professionals. The organization was formed in March 2007 and is made up of government professional communicators from around the state. For more information about NC3C, visit the website