YouTube, Twitter and Facebook… Oh My!

Social media is a fast paced and ever-changing market that, in the blink of an eye or click of a mouse, can be outdated. Director Ben Sheppard of Henrico’s Public Relations & Media Services (PRMS) Department and his team are here to keep Henrico current, professional and dependable in the realm of social media. “Our goal for the County is to establish a strong connection, and prove we are a reliable source for residents,” said Sheppard.

Currently PRMS handles Henrico County’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channel, where they are looking to not only establish a connection to the community, but to the departments and employees of the county as well. “We have had an opportunity to take on more responsibility with social media,” said Sheppard. Did you know that PRMS has over 130 videos uploaded to their YouTube channel? Everything from their recent coverage of Henrico Recreation and Parks, ‘Red, White and Lights’ event to their most watched video on the channel, ‘Mother Maybelle & The Carter Sisters.’ YouTube has been an avenue to display the many talents of their department while showcasing the interesting and exciting facets of Henrico County. 

Not only do they produce videos for public consumption, but they also collaborate with other departments to convey messages that may otherwise be forgotten. On the Henrico County Facebook page, you can ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’ the page for updates on County-sponsored events, news, updates and more. See pictures and videos that are shared across all social media platforms like their most recent four part video series for the Henrico Office of Virginia Cooperative Extension, explaining basic, ‘Tips for Lawncare.’   Utilizing communication through social media is endless and is an effort to stay focused on the changing environment of technology.

Here’s how you can take action and keep up with all of Henrico’s social media efforts:

  1. Subscribe to Henrico County’s YouTube channel- Simply click the red ‘Subscribe’ button under the right corner of the banner photo.
    • Note: You will need a Google account to subscribe. If you do not have one, don’t be intimidated. The process is easy!
      1. Go to Google to create your Google Account, and follow their instructions.
  2. ‘Like’ Henrico on Facebook- Log into your Facebook account and navigate to the Henrico County Government. Directly below the main image, you will see a ‘Like’ button with a thumbs up. Click it, and you are now connected!
  3. Follow Henrico on Twitter- Navigate to the page and click the blue ‘Follow’ button below the banner image.
    • Note: If you do not have a Twitter account, follow these simple steps to create one.
      1. Go to Twitter and click ‘Sign Up’
      2. Follow the instructions through to create your account.
      3. Head back to Henrico’s page and click ‘Follow!’

The doors at PRMS are always open and the team is eager to work with anyone who has ideas for their social media platforms. So, whether your department wants to create a video for the citizens and feature it on YouTube, or you want them to post on Facebook about an upcoming event; reach out to them and share your ideas. Who knows, it just might go viral!

Read More

Divisions Doing Their Volunteer Duty

Last month, Jen Cobb and the Department of Public Work’s Engineering and Environmental Services Division highlighted their volunteer efforts as a division in cleaning up Henrico’s waterways. After seeing that article, other divisions across the County reached out and wanted to share their efforts in volunteering and just how they are giving back to the community.

Henrico’s ECS Division standing behind the clothes they collected for the Sheriff’s Office ORBIT program.

“Our division chose to partner with the ORBIT program in the Sheriff’s Office by holding a clothing and toiletry drive for rehabilitated inmates. We were excited to partner with another County office in a way that closely aligned with our own purpose as a division. Our hope was that through our clothing donations, the inmates would gain confidence not only in how they are able to present themselves in job interviews, but also knowing they were supported by another division in the County,” said Whitney Jarvis, an HR Analyst in the Employment Compensation Services (ECS) Division of Human Resources. In one week, the ECS Division collected over 10 bags of suits, dresses, shoes, belts, shirts and pants for both male and female inmates integrating back into society after being released from jail. This volunteer effort helped benefit one of our very own Henrico programs and is just the tip of the iceberg in volunteer efforts departments can get involved in across Henrico.

In April, the County Attorney’s Office gathered a group of eight staff members who volunteered in the Community Kitchen at FeedMore assembling applesauce cups and snack bags in association with the Legal Food Frenzy (LFF). The County Attorney’s Office is no stranger to philanthropy as they have participated in the LFF for a few years now.  This annual two-week event amongst Virginia’s legal community helps to raise funds and food for food banks throughout the area. Over the past 10 years, this event has raised the equivalent of more than 15.6 million pounds of food, and the Commonwealth Attorney’s office has a hand in its success.

The Risk Management team volunteered to help clean up a local resident’s yard.

The Risk Management Division of Human Resources also got into the volunteer spirit, collaborating with Community Revitalization to find a local Henrico homeowner in need of assistance. A team of seven employees got together in the summer heat to help remove weeds and overgrown vegetation from the homeowner’s yard. Working together for about three hours, their team was able to spruce up the landscape and even find and clear a fence that had been overgrown. With the landscaping under control, Community Revitalization was able to come in and paint the house, giving one more Henrico resident the help they needed.

If your department has been involved with a volunteer opportunity, we want to hear about it! Contact Jenn Montrose with details and pictures, and next time, your department might be featured, giving other teams ideas and inspiration to help the community.

Read More

Show Your Commitment to Safety

Last year, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) in Washington, DC, sponsored its first ever “Safe and Sound Week.” This year, OSHA has announced that the third week in August will be host to this event. Safe and Sound Week promotes workplace safety awareness nation-wide. Participation in this event displays a commitment to safety through management’s leadership and employee participation. With heightened awareness, employees will be better prepared to identify hazards, protect themselves when necessary, and alert supervisors when corrections in the workplace are needed.

The Department of Human Resources Division of Risk Management is excited to announce we will be holding Henrico’s very first Safe and Sound Week!

Safe and Sound Week events will be held on August 14 at the Department of Public Works East End Depot on Dabbs House Road from the hours of 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and on August 15 at the Department of Public Works West End Depot on Woodman Road from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Along with County departments, Risk Management will have safety-oriented exhibits on display for County employees to experience. 

In addition to the safety exhibits, the County will provide a FREE Kona Ice truck on both days. Employees who participate in safety-oriented activities will have an opportunity to win raffle prizes as well.

Safety and health programs help businesses and municipalities by:

  • Preventing workplace injuries and illnesses
  • Improving compliance with occupational safety and health standards
  • Reducing costs, including significant reductions in workers’ compensation premiums
  • Engaging employees so that they’re mindful of safe work practices at all times
  • Enhancing social responsibility goals
  • Increasing productivity and enhance overall operations
  • Keeping employees, an organization’s most valuable resource, safe and sound

Mark your calendars and come see what Safe and Sound Week is all about!

Read More

HealthTrip: What About Water?

Water bottles seem to be everywhere you look. Perhaps right now there is one on your desk, or you filled a water bottle for your child as they headed out the door this morning. In fact, water has become the second most popular drink (behind soda). However, water lovers got a rude awakening recently when a new report found that the benefits of drinking water may have been oversold. Apparently, the suggestion to drink eight glasses of water is nothing more than a suggestion, not based on scientific research.

Don’t put your water bottle or glass down just yet! There are plenty of reasons to drink water. In fact, drinking water is essential to your health. Think of water as a nutrient your body needs. It can be found in other liquids, plain water and in high-water content food (fruits and vegetables). Throughout the day fluid loss occurs continuously, from skin evaporation, breathing, urine and stool. These losses must be replaced daily for good health. When water intake does not equal output, dehydration occurs. In addition, fluid loss is accentuated in warmer climates (think summer in RVA), during exercise, in high altitudes, and in older adults whose sense of thirst may not be as sharp.

Here are six evidence-based reasons to drink water:

  1. Drinking Water Maintains Body Fluid Balance- The body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and stabilization of body temperature.
  2. Calorie Control- While water doesn’t have any magical effect on weight loss, drinking water instead of higher calorie beverages can certainly help as a weight loss strategy.
  3. Muscle Energizer- Cells that don’t maintain their fluid balance shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue. As a result, performance (either daily or exercise) can suffer. Follow the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines for fluid intake before and during physical activity. These guidelines recommend drinking 16 ounces of water two hours before exercise. During exercise, the recommendation is to drink at regular intervals to replace fluids lost by sweating.
  4. Keep Skin Looking Good- Skin cells contain plenty of water and function as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. Dehydration makes skin look dry and wrinkled, which can be improved with proper hydration.
  5. Detoxification- Body fluids transport waste products in and out of cells. The main toxin in the body is blood urea nitrogen, a water-soluble waste able to pass through the kidneys to be excreted in urine. The kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding the body of toxins as long as fluid intake is adequate. When getting enough fluids, urine flows freely, is light in color and free of odor.
  6. Normal Bowel Function- Adequate hydration keeps things moving along in the gastrointestinal tract and prevents constipation. When fluid is lacking, the colon pulls water from stools to maintain hydration – and the result is constipation. Water and fiber is the perfect combination, because fluid pumps up the fiber and acts like a broom to keep bowels functioning properly.

Try these helpful tips to support increased fluid intake:

  • Have water with every snack and meal.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. Their high-water content will add to your hydration.
  • Keep a water bottle in hand, in the car, on your desk or in your bag.
  • Choose beverages that meet your individual needs. If you’re watching calories, go for non-caloric water.
  • Join the HealthTrip Summer Splash Hydration Challenge.

Read More