Carolyn Marinan 


Hennepin County

Current Position and how long

Chief Public Relations Officer and Public Affairs Director - 22 years in total

Other experience: Professional, communications, education or anything else you'd like to share

 Board member - MAGC.

  • BA - Speech Communications - University of Minnesota.
  • Television news and promotions (WCCO TV, KSTP TV, KARE 11) - 22 years. Reporter, assignment editor and manager, associate producer, executive producer in promotions (numerous awards).
  • Mentor, guest speaker and panelist.
  • Board member - National Association of County Information Officers.
  • Board member - Jacob Wetterling Foundation (now known as the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center).
  • Executive Sponsor for Hennepin County Employee Resource Group - Asian Connections.
  • Co-host of Midwest Travelogue (which aired on TPT). 

Why do you want to be a Minnesota Association of Government Communicators board member?

To continue to contribute my expertise, talents and goodwill to an excellent, robust organization dedicated to communicating the good work of government - in good times and in bad. I am honored to work with such dedicated professionals. 

We have amazing stories to tell. We have so much to share with one another. We have so many way to help each other!

What qualities and attributes will you bring to the organization?

Experience. Knowledge. Passion. A desire to help and do good for such a worthy group. 

What do you consider to be the major issues facing government communicators today?

Toxicity. Negativity. Division.

I am truly a positive person but the world around us has never been more challenging - for so many reasons and on so many fronts. There is no magic wand but there are strategies, tactics and positive ways to push forward. As communicators, we see the deficits - so we can anticipate the problems, avoid crisis if possible. We are also the optimists, who look for the silver lining to offset the gloom. Positivity can prevail despite negativity.

Social media is both a marvel, a lifeline for many - and a menace. Everyone has an opinion. Just that. Facts used to rule the day.  Now false narratives and "I think, I feel" - overrule those principles. We must work even harder to help residents understand issues, how we address the most difficult scenarios - and showcase the amazing work done day in and day out by our colleagues. On the very positive side, social media and online platforms are a way for us to tell our stories – powerful stories. It is a way for us to have our own strong voice.

Traditional media is still relevant. There are many predictions and writings on it but I believe it still has immense strength – especially locally. 

Community engagement - one on one and face to face (or with Zoom, Teams or whatever tool) may be the most time intensive form of communication but I believe it is the most impactful. 

Communication has never been more critical. Communicators have never been more needed! Communication is king! I am inspired by each and every one of you!

Thank you for your consideration in returning as an MAGC board member!

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