We at ArchiveSocial often hear patterns about the issues that government and education communicators are having. And what better resource to solve some of those issues than to hear from other communicators about their experiences and lessons learned? So, we turned to some of the best and brightest people we know, our customers! As part of this new spotlight series, we reached out to customers across the country to hear their stories and share their best insight to help others gain a bit more understanding about their position, the strategies they use, and personal opinions on government and social media.

Image of Orange County Sheriff’s Department Communications Specialist

Sophia Champieux

Agency:  Orange County Sheriff’s Department 

Position:  Public Affairs Specialist

Our January customer spotlight focuses on Sophia Champieux. Sophia has been with the Orange County Sheriff’s office since August of 2017 and currently manages the department’s primary social media accounts, as well as oversees over 90 secondary accounts. As part of her role, she creates social media strategies focusing primarily on the department’s engagement efforts as well as building community support. She even shared some of her insights in December as part of our webinar series.

  • How did you get into public affairs and social media in government?

I love to write and story tell as well as have always loved politics and government. I minored in Political Science and majored in Public Relations so I sort of found a niche where my two loves collided.  I was also lucky enough to have interned for OC Sheriff during undergrad which helped solidify for me that this was the path I wanted to continue down.

  • What does a typical day look like for you?

Oof – this one is always different. It depends on the day of week, the month, and what projects/events we have going on as a team. What I do first thing is check our social channels and reply where needed. I also like to search the platforms for our hashtags or key phrases to see if there is any chatter that our office should be aware of or any influencers we can possibly partner with. I will also always typically see what we have on our social calendar for the day/week/month and adjust as needed.

  • How do you stay organized when helping manage and maintain your social media accounts?

I am a firm believer in lists. I have spreadsheets for everything and update them often. It can be a pain upfront but they’re easy to maintain if you make them a habit and they come in handy.

  • What makes social media different in government?

People’s perceptions of government are mostly negative right off the bat, which is always an uphill battle. We also don’t have the resources that private companies have and have to deal with things that private entities don’t, like PRA requests, first amendment issues, etc.

  • What is your favorite thing about using social media for government?

Changing people’s minds about our organization and telling our own story. Gone are the days where we relied on other people to tell our story. Telling these stories of our deputies and watching people react positively online, or watching them have our back when a troll starts going off make me do the happy dance.

  • What advice would you give someone just starting out their career in public affairs?

FOLLOW INTERESTING ACCOUNTS. Search what agencies and public affairs people are doing great and adapt it to fit your strategy and your audience. Be a sponge, read socialmediatoday.com and other websites to soak up as much as you can. Don’t be afraid to try something – you will fail eventually, but nothing ventured nothing gained.

  • What was the driving force in deciding to archive your social media accounts?

#1 Protecting our agency and our admins. #2 We wanted to be able to provide the information that our communities want in a short amount of time. Government has enough red tape, we wanted to make it easier on us and our community should they have a PRA request.

  • What are some of the places you like to visit in your city during your free time?

The bluffs across from our old house, best sunset you’ll ever see in your life. The pier and T-street are also places we frequent. J San Clemente, CA.

  • Where do you see social media heading in the future for government? 

I see governments investing more in their social media/communication teams. We’re being held to the private sector standard and government agencies are needing to adapt, more now than ever before.

  • Lastly, at each employee’s first day at ArchiveSocial, we are asked to give a fun fact about ourselves.  So, what is a fun fact that people don’t know about you?

I am a quote junkie. Anything that speaks truth in a powerful, succinct, beautiful and/or clever way just GETS me. It can be song lyrics, poetry, or just quotes.

We are happy to have Sophia as a part of the team! If you would like more resources or want to get updates about future spotlights and webinars, subscribe to our emails to hear all the latest news in ArchiveSocial.