Use social media, video, newsletters, press releases, and more to help residents stay informed about things like construction projects and summer camps. Provide clear and accurate information about important events happening in your city.

Headshot of Pakou LyPakou Ly, public information coordinator, Duluth

Why she shows up: I feel like I’m an ambassador for Duluth. People can see me as a resource to turn to with a sense of trust knowing that I will give them as much information as I can, that I’ll be forthcoming, and that I’ll try my best to address their needs.

I know how difficult it is for some people to be able to communicate with their respective units of government. As a non-native speaker who came to the United States when I was only four years old, I definitely saw the challenges that my family and other people had in working and communicating with government officials and also just trying to be civically engaged.

A city that is transparent and encourages open communication can help inspire people to increase their civic participation, feel pride, and grow trust. Creating the venue for civil discourse is where we can build a healthy community in which people can find commonalities, agree on differences, and find solutions to make a difference.

How she got the job (and how you could too): I’ve actually worked in government for most of my career, and that spans over 15 years. I have a master’s degree in public policy, but I’ve always been involved with the public. So, when I moved to Duluth, this position was a perfect fit for me. Not only because I understood how the various layers of government worked, but I also truly value public service; it’s something that my parents had taught me growing up, so I’ve always thought that it’s one of the greatest gifts that you can give back to your community.

What’s the job like? I do what people would call public relations and media relations. I work with the general public sharing information about changes in policy and services as well as good news about Duluth, but I also work internally with our nine different departments on communicating information to our employees. I’m also involved in helping the mayor share her messages with the public about news, exciting things that are happening, or initiatives that she’s proposing, and I also plan events. It’s kind of the full gamut!

One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is being a part of all the new changes and revitalizations Duluth has undergone since I moved up here. I can walk around my city and I can point to projects and say, “I was a part of that.” I also get to be a part of creating the next chapter for my city, and I get to share that with visitors, people looking to build a business here, and with other communities who are looking for ideas.

Are you interested in learning more about a city career? One great way to get advice is to contact someone in your own city or a city nearby. You can ask questions about the job and learn more about training programs that may be available. Connect to city websites and city contact information through the League of Minnesota Cities.