Director/Public Information Officer
211 S. Gaskin Avenue
Ph: (912) 383-0277
Fx: (912) 384-0130
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
The Public Information Department is dedicated to educate, engage, and inspire our community to help them better understand and participate in their City Government.
The Public Information Office is here to facilitate communication with citizens, businesses, elected officials, and the City Manager's Office regarding City services, projects, and events. The Public Information Office also works to communicate directly with members of the media in both preparing and placing stories and responding to media inquiries. A key goal of this office is to deliver timely, accurate, consistent, cohesive and strategic communications to the City's constituencies. To reach our goal we educate, inform, engage, and inspire our community to help them better understand in their City Government.
Our scope of work is to:
- Facilitate City-wide media relations, events, marketing and communications;
- Produce WDTV-13, Douglas' local government access channel;
- Coordinate Douglas 101 Citizen's Academy, Group Tours, Events, and Festivals;
- Manage the City's website and social media initiatives.
- Maintain a vibrant downtown and relations with merchants.
Divisions within the Public Information Department consists of:
ASHLEY SLATER HOUSE CAMELLIAS PLACED ON GEORGIA’S CAMELLIA TRAIL
First Lady Sandra Deal along with state officials cut the ribbon at Masse Lane Gardens to open the Georgia Camellia Trail
On Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, Pattie Merritt, Main Street Coordinator, represented Douglas as the American Camellia Society and Georgia Tourism announced the Georgia Camellia Trail at Massee Lane Gardens in Ft. Valley. The Camellia Trail features 30 stops throughout Georgia that are considered visitor friendly. The formal garden located at the Douglas Visitor Information Center (Ashley-Slater House) is listed as one of the stops on the Camellia Trail.
“We are so excited about the Douglas Visitor Information Center’s camellias being featured on the Georgia Camellia Trail,” says Georgia Henderson, Public Information Director. “We are busy preparing the garden and planning for a special ceremony soon to celebrate this honor.”
The opening ceremony at Massee Lane Gardens consisted of a welcome from America Camellia Society Executive Director, Celeste Richard followed by a history of the Georgia Camellia Trail by Cindy Eidson (GDEcD) and Bruce Green (Georgia Camellia Trail Consultant). State Representative for District 139, Patty J. Bentley, spoke about the economic impact of the Camellia Trail on local economy. Special guest, First Lady Sandra Deal, shared her thoughts on the Georgia Governor’s Mansion Garden. After the closing address by Ms. Richard, those in attendance enjoyed a Japanese Drumming Exhibition, Japanese Tea Ceremony, and a catered Asian inspired Luncheon.
The Douglas Visitor Information Center, located at 211 S. Gaskin Avenue, has a total of 11 camellias that are blooming normally bloom in late January – February. For more information about the Georgia Camellia Trail, http://www.exploregeorgia.org/itineraries/georgias-camellia-trail.
Japanese Tea Ceremony
HENDERSON AND THOMAS ATTEND MAGNOLIA MIDLANDS TRAVEL ASSOCIATION ANNUAL RETREAT
Retreat members outside Rialto Italian Restaurant. L-R: Jenny Robbins (GEMC), Laura Cooke (HL Franklin’s Healthy Honey), Georgia Henderson (City of Douglas), Franklin Dismuke (Eagle Creek Brewing Company), Erin Taylor (Eastman-Dodge Chamber), Graham Sweeney (GDEcD), Alexa Britton (Vidalia CVB), Lori Hennesy (GDEcD Tourism Project Manager), Cindy Eidson (GDEcD), and Blondale Thomas (City Of Douglas).
Georgia Henderson, Public Information Director and MMTA President, along with Blondale Thomas, MMTA Secretary/Treasurer, attended the Magnolia Midlands Travel Association Annual Retreat, Feb. 2 & 3 in Vidalia. The Magnolia Midlands Travel Association is one of the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) nine (9) Travel Regions, whose representatives promote tourism and economic development in Georgia.
On Thursday, Jenny Robbins, Community Development Manager with Georgia EMC, led the group with a session of learning about individual strengths and weaknesses and how to make them work together to produce excellent job performance. Graham Sweeney (GDEcD Tourism Account Manager) shared with the members upcoming Co-Op Grant Opportunities from GDEcD. Vidalia’s local Italian restaurant, Rialto’s, hosted the group for supper. On Friday, the opening session focused on Tourism Product Development Teams with Cindy Eidson (GDEcD Tourism Product Development Director) presenting information on how to request a team to visit MMTA communities and how beneficial it is to have the team come to look with “fresh eyes” as to what resources a community has to offer visitors and how the community can build on those resources. Afterwards, Robbins led the MMTA group into a session for the group to create their 2017 goals and strategies. Following the learning sessions, MMTA members were treated to a tour of a local, successful olive grove, Terra Dolce, owned by local brothers Tommie and Clint Williams.
Special thanks to Georgia EMC and their partners, Altamaha EMC, Canoochee EMC, Excelsior EMC, Irwin EMC, Little Ocmulgee EMC, Ocmulgee EMC, Planters EMC, & Satilla EMC, for allowing Jenny Robbins to facilitate the Retreat.
Graham Sweeney (GDEcD Tourism Account Manager) shares with the members upcoming Co-Op Grant Opportunities from GDEcD.
MMTA members tour of a successful olive grove, Terra Dolce, owned by local brothers Tommie and Clint Williams in Lyons, Georgia.
GDEcD TOURISM, HOSPITALITY AND ARTS DAY AT GEORGIA STATE CAPITAL
Tourism professionals present Gov. Deal with a $3 billion check for tourism.
On Monday, Jan. 23 and Tuesday, Jan. 24, Public Information Director, Georgia Henderson, who serves as the Magnolia Midlands Travel Association (MMTA) President, and Media Relations/Event Coordinator, Blondale Thomas, attended Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism, Hospitality and Arts Day at the Georgia State Capital on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 to represent the City of Douglas and the Magnolia Midlands Travel Association (MMTA). Tourism Hospitality and Arts Day is a two day event for Georgia tourism industry partners.
As part of Tourism Day events, Henderson and Thomas attended educational workshops that reviewed Tourism’s FY18 Media Plan and how tourism product development can boost our city/county economy. Event attendees were treated to a reception hosted by Atlanta Magazine, who publishes the state’s annual publication, the official Georgia Travel Guide. On Tuesday, January 24, Douglas tourism representatives joined Governor Nathan Deal, Commissioner Pat Wilson and other tourism professionals to unveil the 2017 Georgia Travel Guide celebrating the “Year of Film.” This year’s travel guide front cover has actor, Ian Somerhalder, from The Vampire Diaries. The Vampire Diaries is one of several films who use locations in Georgia for sets.
“This is a great time to meet with other tourism professionals across the state and to visit with our State Legislators to share how important tourism is to our region,” says Georgia Henderson, Public Information Director and MMTA President.
Tourism professionals along with partner organizations including the Georgia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus, Georgia Agritourism, Georgia Arts Network, Georgia Hotel and Lodging Association, Georgia Restaurant Association, Georgia DNR, and others presented Governor Deal with a $3 billion check that represented the impact tourism has in Georgia. According to GDEcD’s Tourism Impact report for 2015, Coffee County’s tourism industry supported 532 jobs, generated $71.9 million in direct tourism spending, created $2.7 million in state tax revenues and generated $2.2 million in local tax revenues. Which means, without tourism dollars, each Coffee County household would need to be taxed an additional $342 per year to replace tourism economic activity. Tourism is big business in Douglas - Coffee County and Georgia!
Gov. Deal, First Lady Sandra Deal, Kevin Langston (GDEcD Deputy Commissioner), and Pat Wilson (GDEcD Commissioner)
(L-R) Sharon Crenshaw (Toccoa-Stephens Chamber), LaTivia Rivers (Columbus GaVIC), Nija Torrence (GDEcD Tourism Operations Manager/RVIC Coordinator), First Lady Sandra Deal, Blondale Thomas, and Georgia Henderson
State Representative District 169 Dominic LaRiccia, Blondale Thomas, Georgia Henderson, and State Representative District 155 Clay Pirkle
Blondale Thomas and Georgia Henderson with the cover of the 2017 Georgia Travel Guide.
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