A DECISION to embrace social media to improve council communication with local residents has proven to be a winner with Mackay Regional Council collecting a national communication award.
Mackay Regional Council has won the Brand Communication Award for its Council Connect initiative, which was presented at last week's Government Communications Australia (GCA) conference in Melbourne.
Corporate communications manager Ken Furdek said the recognition was testament to the commitment and hard work of council's small communications team.
"The entire concept is about connecting with our community and providing up to date information by utilising social media and websites," he said.
"Staff really embraced the new format and have dedicated many hours to achieving our objectives."
The support of TV production company Tropical Exposure was another key part in the successful delivery of the communication format.
Mr Furdek said Council Connect was a fully integrated branded print, television and digital media strategy, which aimed to inform our local community about council's projects, events and facilities.
Judges labelled the Council Connect initiative as "forward thinking" and "something unique" for local government.
"The emergence of social media and increased visitation to council's website meant we had to consider our alternatives," Mr Furdek said.
Mackay Regional Council chief executive officer Peter Franks said council supported the innovative format because it was more cost-effective and efficient.
"Council is continually looking at ways to improve what we do and how we do it to benefit the community," he said.
Mr Furdek encouraged all residents to subscribe to the Council Connect eNewsletter to keep informed and provide feedback via council's Facebook page.
Local Government Association of Queensland president Paul Bell said Mackay was among five Queensland councils to have been recognised at the national level.