Joseph Cabral recognizes the changing times in communication.

His hard work has earned him the Public Information Officer Of The Year Award, as part of PublicCEO’s First Annual Local Government Awards.

Since becoming Communications Manager in October 2008, Cabral has transformed the voice of the city of Lancaster.

A redesigned and reorganized city Web site? Check.

An overhaul of the city’s cable channel? Yup.

Launched a city e-newsletter? Uh huh.

Taken advantage of social media? Like.

Lancaster has had more regional and national news coverage than ever before, including coverage on CNN, NBC Nightly News, Fox Business and regularly featured on local affiliate news.

Innovative online communication efforts have grown exponentially and public information officials from throughout the state regularly contact Lancaster’s communications division for more information on how to start similar online outreach programs. 

In addition, the city’s local cable channel has been greatly expanded to include a variety of programming, sharing information from all City departments as well as other government agencies. 

“We continually strive to find innovative ways to communicate, using methods that are more convenient for our residents’ lifestyles,” said Cabral in one of his releases in September. “The trend toward paperless communication is fast becoming a way of life, and we are working to use this to our residents’ advantage.

“Meanwhile, our more conventional forms of communication, including the Outlook magazine and Outlook Lite, continue to be award-winning publications.”

Cabral expanded existing social media sites on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and YouTube, in addition to making the city’s Web site easier to navigate and providing online reporting tools for crime, graffiti, water wasting and more.

Cabral launched a weekly e-newsletter featuring city news and new submitted through the community by its readers. Also new in Lancaster are videos of all press conferences and a wiki discussion forum to increase citizen engagement.

Cabral has earned six awards from the California Association of Public Information Officials.

Join us in congratulating Joe on his hard work in local government.

Stay tuned this week for more Local Government Awards from For more information, please contact the editor, James Spencer, at