Starting a new job can be nerve-racking, but Hall County Public Information Officer Nikki Young had the rare luxury of knowing many of her coworkers before she even started.
As public information officer, Young distributes information about Hall County through all different media outlets, including publications, TV and the Internet.
Young got her first taste of Hall County government as a college student in 2001.
The North Carolina native was a journalism major at the University of Georgia when she took an internship with The Times. Young became the county government reporter with The Times in 2004, where she worked closely with elected officials and county departments.
So when the job of Public Information Officer became available in 2008, Young was a shoe-in.
“It was nice to come to a new job and already know some of the people,” Young said.
While some aspects of her job were familiar, Young said there were many things that took some time to get used to.
“It’s really weird for me being interviewed,” the former newspaper woman said. “The other challenging part of my job has been being on television ... but it’s fun.”
Young said she loves her position because she is never bored and always has new projects to tackle.
“I like my job because it involves a lot of variety,” Young said. “I just do anything that needs to be done.”
Among her job duties is serving as a liaison between the government and the media.
“I send out press releases and do interviews,” Young said.
She records a program called “Hall County Connection” once a month that runs on TV 18 and helps create other content for the government channel along with her Gainesville counterpart, Catiel Felts.
Young also handles communication within the county.
“I do the internal newsletter once a month,” she said.
Young is currently working on creating a Facebook page for the county.
“The web is probably our most relevant means of communication right now,” She said. “It’s direct, we don’t have to go through a media source.”
Young said no matter how she gets the information out there, she thinks telling people about their government is what’s most important.
“This quote by John Podesta probably best sums up how I feel about my job: ‘There is nothing like openness to guarantee a strong democratic foundation and to maintain the public faith.’ I have that quote taped on the cabinet over my desk so I can see it every day. It reminds me of what’s most important in my job,” Young said.
Young lives in Bethlehem with her husband, Eric, a middle school band teacher in Gwinnett County, and 10-month-old son Tybee.