Human Resources Communications Team Wins State and National Awards

Community & Services

The Human Resources Department at Orange County Government is currently on a roll with winning numerous “excellence” awards for its outstanding work in communications. In 2021 alone, the HR Communications team has won nine awards at the local, state and national levels.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the team created innovative ways to accomplish its initiatives and reach employees, earning honors for two campaigns — the curbside service anniversary ceremonies and the myOCWellness communication campaign.

The curbside ceremonies were a fun and safe way to continue celebrating important milestones in Orange County employees’ careers despite the pandemic. myOCWellness is a multi-year, points-driven incentive initiative aimed at benefiting eligible employees and their spouses. The goal of the program is to better engage employees/spouses in preventive health while also saving the County money on long-term healthcare costs.

Consisting of dynamic duo Laura Lord-Blackwell and Kelly Ferris, the HR Communications team is responsible for ensuring employees are not only aware of the services available to them as County employees, but that they also have access to the information via email, the intranet and various other channels. With nearly 8,000 employees working a variety of shifts and not all having regular access to their emails or electronic devices, this is no easy feat.

The HR Communications team began their award streak with two Awards of Distinction from the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) Orlando Chapter, which later led to two Golden Image Awards and a Judges’ Award at the state level for FPRA. The Golden Image Awards has become a standard of excellence in the state of Florida, as winners demonstrate the very best examples of innovation, planning and design. Golden Image Awards are only given to the top-scoring entry in each category, and the Judges’ Award is presented to an outstanding entry that achieves maximum return on investment.

Next came a National Achievement Award for the myOCWellness campaign from the National Association of Counties (NACo). This awards program honors innovative and effective county government programs.

Last but certainly not least, Lord-Blackwell and Ferris earned two Radiance Awards from the Public Relations Society of America Sunshine District for their outstanding strategic public relations programs. This statewide awards program recognizes the highest levels of professional achievement, highlighting campaigns that demonstrate excellence in research, planning, implementation and evaluation. They also took home the top award, Best of the Sunshine.

Every campaign the HR Communications team produces ensures employees are recognized for their invaluable contributions to the County and understand the multitude of benefits available to them.

Responsible for hiring and recruiting, managing records, facilitating training and much more, the Human Resources Department plays a vital role in caring for the organization’s most valuable asset — its employees. From recognizing an individuals’ career milestones to providing engaging health and wellness programs spanning from diabetes and preventive care to mental health and financial preparedness, the Department is the support center for all Orange County employees.

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