360 Review with Emily Morrison, Knox County, OH

Posted on May 22, 2015


Who doesn’t love a good ol’ fashioned performance review? ELGL loves them so much that we’re embarking on a “360 Review of Local Government.” 

We’re going to evaluate every single inch of the local government arena by talking to ourselves (a.k.a: other local government professionals), tech companies, journalists, professors, and anyone else who hasn’t blocked our email address.

Emily Morrison (LinkedIn and Twitter) is the Communications Manager / Legal Assistant for the Knox County Prosecutor’s Office. She is committed to helping government and legal agencies use social media better to communicate important information to the public while maintaining public records and confidentiality requirements.


What I’m Listening toRed Wanting Blue – Playlist
What I’m ReadingGetting Things Done – David Allen
What I’m Watching:

House of Cards and Parks and Rec on repeat. Is there anything else on?

What I’m DoingPlanning a social media campaign to change the way our community interacts with law enforcement and drug addicts.
What I’m Proud of: The response we’ve had from the community for a new pilot program we’re developing to combat drugs more effectively.
What I’m Thinking: People who are truly passionate about what they do are very inspiring. It makes me want to try harder.
What I Think About the Apple Watch:

I think I have a Fitbit and an iPhone, an Apple Watch is a bit redundant.

What I Want to Know From You: How do you stay organized?
What I’m Afraid of: Not knowing enough. I never want to be the one that doesn’t understand what’s happening in the room.
What I’m Missing: Connecting with more like-minded people. People who see the big picture and push towards in with all they have.


 Best part of working in the local government arena. Most frustrating?
The best part of working in the local government arena is being able to see the direct result of your hard work. You’re working directly for the people who benefit from the projects and initiatives taking place. Being a part of something bigger than yourself is always rewarding.
The most frustrating is the when something goes wrong it gets more press coverage than the things that are going well. Teaching government to effectively tell their story is an uphill battle. It’s also important to get the public and the media retrained on how to receive this information when the local govies do implement changes.
Describe the current state of local government. Grade?
C+: There is an influx of new blood into local government that is bringing change and embracing technology (cloud services, social media, paperless offices) like never before, but current budgets don’t reflect the need for these types of technology and training on how to use it well is severely lacking.
Give us three areas in which local government is succeeding:

  • Improving transparency and opening up communication lines within the community.
  • Well run local governments have the ability to adapt and change quickly to meet the needs of its citizens.
  • Training-our local government doesn’t hesitate to send it’s employees to training to gain new skills.

Give us three areas in which local government needs improvement:

  • g81V6WFinding a voice that resonates with younger generations. The earlier citizens become involved in their local government the stronger it becomes.
  • Look at nearly every #localgov website… I mean…
  • Removing the good ole’ boy system and antiquated views on how work should be done.

For local government, was there any good that came from the Great Recession?
Do more with less. Reducing redundancy within bureaucracy is never a bad thing.
Evaluate whether local government is prepared for the ongoing wave of retirements. What could we do to better prepare?
I don’t think the governments are ready, but I think the communities are ready. There are a lot of new ideas and excitement among the younger generation that will only bring positive changes even if it suffers from growing pains initially.
In your opinion, does local government have a lack of diversity in its workforce?60089152
I think this is an area-by-area question. Ours does, but it also accurately reflects our population, so what do you do?
“Innovation” is a trendy word and thrown around a lot in local government. What examples would you point to as government innovation?
Using social media to bring communities together is quite a remarkable thing. I’m very excited for the community project our office is working on to combat the drug problem in our county. It’s on a level that’s never been seen in our state before. #awesomesauce
Evaluate local government’s willingness to embrace new technologies.
Willingness is slow but steady. However it is more present than budget requirements needed to fully embrace the new technologies.
Wave a magic wand – what three wishes would you grant local government?

  1. The ability to understand that they are in control of their message and they have the tools to remain in control.
  2. The ability to accurately assess what their constituents want rather than only hearing the loud few.
  3. Innovation at the speed of business.

What question(s) should we ask the next person that completes this questionnaire?
What’s your favorite app?

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