The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is proud to announce that Communications Director Stephen Schatz and Design and Publications Manager Lauren Mitchell were among several nationwide recipients of the 2017 Granicus Digital Strategy Awards.

The awards were given to several federal, state and local entities in the United States and United Kingdom. Individuals and organizations were recognized for innovative approaches to digital strategy and excellence in key areas including transforming access to services, creative and innovative use of digital tools, and improving citizen engagement.

Specifically, Schatz and Mitchell were awarded as Communicators of the Year for revamping the department’s email communications system, which included training department staff on best practices for email marketing, designing templates to improve brand consistency, meeting with various state agencies to identify partnership opportunities, monitoring analytics to adjust distribution and engagement strategies, and implementing new online content to reach the department’s diverse audiences and stakeholders. As a result of their efforts, the department grew its subscriber base by more than 35,000 people per month.

“I’m proud of this recognition of Stephen’s and Lauren’s leadership, hard work and commitment to improving constituent outreach and customer service using cutting edge communications technology,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “We work hard to find new ways to keep our department’s customers – who represent a wide range of interests and passions – and citizens engaged in our mission and vision, and informed of important events, news and programming happening throughout the state.”

The department offers a variety of electronic distribution lists on more than 25 areas of interest – from conservation and parks to recreation and wildlife – as well as a robust monthly newsletter.

Granicus provides technology that empowers government organizations to create better lives for the citizens they serve. By offering the industry’s leading cloud-based solutions for communications, meeting and agenda management, and digital services to more than 3,000 public sector organizations, Granicus helps turn government missions into quantifiable realities. Its products connect more than 150 million people, creating a powerful network to enhance government transparency and citizen engagement.