Public Awareness Campaign

ICMA's strategic plan calls for the Association to develop targeted programs to raise awareness of the value that professional management brings to local governance. The "It's No Small Chore" campaign offers ICMA members a tool kit of resources to help them educate citizens about the profession.

Building Communities...It's No Small Chore

A Campaign to Raise Public Awareness of the Benefits of Professional Local Government Management

The Challenge

Managing the complex aspects of today’s communities requires the same experience and diversity of skills necessary to run a major commercial enterprise. Yet, while people often credit the success of a thriving corporation to the chief executive or chief operating officer, they seldom equate the success of their communities to the leadership provided by their professional city, town, or county managers.

Few residents have a real understanding of what it takes to ensure that a city, town, or county runs smoothly and within budget, that essential services are provided efficiently and effectively, that infrastructure improvements are made as needed, and that assistance is ready and available when disaster strikes. Fewer still stop to think about where our clean drinking water comes from; how our streets get paved; or how law enforcement, parks and recreation, and other services are made available to us on a daily basis.

The Solution

To increase public awareness of the value that professional city, town, and county management brings to our communities, the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) has launched its “Building Communities…It’s No Small Chore” campaign. The campaign revolves around two primary objectives:

  1. To educate the public about their local government's operations and the contributions that skilled city, town, and county managers make to those operations, and
  2. To attract talented young people to careers in local government by showing them that the management of a community can be exciting, challenging, and fulfilling.

Next Steps

ICMA's PAC Pilot Community Project

To quantify the effectiveness of its “Building Communities…It’s No Small Chore” public awareness campaign materials, ICMA is soliciting a group of communities that would be willing to serve as campaign pilot communities for approximately one year to 18 months. Each community will be asked to implement the activities recommended in the campaign tool kit and to add several questions to their annual citizen surveys. These efforts will help ICMA determine what impact the tool kit materials and activities have on increasing public awareness of the value or professional management. Click here to learn more about ICMA's Pilot Community Project.

Future Research and Projects

During the second phase of ICMA’s “Building Communities…It’s No Small Chore” campaign, the association will focus on attracting college students to careers in professional local government management, a critical step in increasing public awareness of the field among young people.

Educating the public about the role professional city, town, and county managers play in ensuring the quality of life in our communities is no small chore. But by implementing the suggestions and materials contained in this kit, local government staff can lay the groundwork for educating the public about their local government and the critical role played by city, town, and county managers.


Educational brochure explaining the role of the professional administrator (pdf, 199 KB)

ICMA’s Public Awareness Campaign Pilot Communities Project (doc, 119 KB)

Materials Request Form (doc, 102 KB)

Sample Presentation (doc, 234 KB)