Having spent a number of years as the Donegal County Council’s Social Inclusion Co-ordinator and the Secretary of the Donegal CDB Peace and Reonciliation Partnership, Anne Marie Conlon has recently taken up the post of Communications Officer with Donegal County Council.
A native of Raphoe, Anne Marie is delighted with her new post and is looking forward to working with the Councillors, management and staff to develop the role of the Communications Office within the Council.
When asked what her new role entails Anne Marie said that she envisages that this role will include working with various media, customers and key stakeholders to ensure that the council communicates with the wider community in a way that not only allows for information to be provided but to also hear the views, insights and perspectives of the wider community.
“Having worked in the area of social inclusion, I am aware of the difficulties that some people face in terms of accessing services and having their voice heard and listened to in decisions that may affect their lives. I hope that I can bring this experience to this post in particular in working with the councillors, management and staff in developing a new Corporate Strategy and Customers Services Action plan for the council. An effective Communications Plan will be central to this and looking at new and innovative ways to ensure that we are communicating well with the public will be a key cornerstone of all this work”.
She says we are very lucky in Co. Donegal to have a dynamic and varied print, broadcast and online media.
“I look forward to working with all these media as well as looking at new ways to not only provide information but to engage with the wider community. For instance recent figures suggest that 53% of 25 to 34 year olds have a smartphone and 77% of all Irish internet users use Facebook and this is growing on a daily basis. I am interested in looking at ways that we can use social media to not only provide information but to engage with the wider community so as to ensure that their perspectives, insights and views are taken on board in the design and delivery of services and supports.
A graduate of both Letterkenny Institute of Technology and the University of Ulster, Anne Marie spent a number of years working with the County Development Board in the area of Economic, Tourism and Community development and feels that her experiences in these areas will stand by her in developing the Communications Office in the Council.
“Much of the work that the council is involved in requires the council to work with other organisations and agencies both within and outside the county and on a cross border basis. For instance, through the Donegal County Development Board, the council has been to the fore in leading and encouraging interagency collaboration in the areas of tourism development, social inclusion and in the promotion of both the Digital and the Green Economy. Over the next number of months I would like to explore opportunities to highlight the work that is going on in these areas so that people are more aware of the potential that does exist for job creation, enterprise development and building sustainable communities.
All in all, I am looking forward to this work, it is a new challenge for me and it is something that I am very interested in and something that I think is very worthwhile,” she siad.