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News10's Contributor of the Month: Mark Mazzaferro | Community

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News10's Contributor of the Month: Mark Mazzaferro
News10's Contributor of the Month: Mark Mazzaferro

The self-proclaimed nut of Vacaville has a big job. Vacaville’s Public Information Officer Mark Mazzaferro manages the city’s website, Twitter account, Facebook page, creates YouTube videos, sends out press releases, manages the government TV station, overlooks Vacaville’s emergency radio and a lot more.

Mazzaferro has been with the city of Vacaville for five years, but has worked as a PIO for 12. He’s the PIO for the entire city, including the police department, fire department and city council.

He was picked as News10's My Neighborhood Contributor of the Month for July for all of the content he regularly posts on the Vacaville My Neighborhood site.

I got the chance to talk to Mazzaferro more about his job and how he sends out information to Vacaville residents in the following Q&A:

What different tools do you use to disseminate information?
The way things are today, people have so many different places to go for information, you have to use every tool at your disposal. In the good ol’ days you used to send a press release to the newspaper and that was plenty. Now, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, every news agency has their own Website, Yahoo, Google; you have to utilize every option available.

What do you like about using My Neighborhood?
That’s what cool about News10’s site is: what’s the one complaint you hear from people sending press releases? Well, they didn’t put it, it never made it on the air, never in the paper. Well, this kind of eliminated that complaint. Maybe it’s not on the 10 o'clock news lead story, but at least it’s out there.

Over the past five years, how has your job changed?
It’s changed, in that, when I started, Facebook and Twitter weren’t really that big, they weren’t as popular as they are now. The biggest change is getting the information out faster.

How do you use social media like Facebook and Twitter?
Within a day I know how many people have seen the information. And I get an immediate response. It is great to communicate with residents. Our Facebook page gets many visits and many friends, lots of people basically we converse with.

What advice would you give to other public information officers?
It’s a seven-day a week, 24-hour job. If you’re not ready to do that you probably shouldn’t be a public information officer, at least in a government setting. Take no tool for granted. Take no opportunity for granted. Every chance you have to get the information out, get it out.

What do you like about working for Vacaville?
Vacaville is a great community. There are a lot of great folks here, a lot of great folks who care. That makes it easy. It’s not like they don’t want to be bothered. They want to know. They’re the type of people who will pick up a cause, get involved. That helps make my job a lot easier.