Ellen Kamilakis

Assistant District Administrator for Communications
VDOT Northern Virginia

Ellen has worked for VDOT's Northern Virginia District since November 2015 and is responsible for media relations, operational and crisis communications, and is known as the voice of "MeeMaw" on the @vadotnova Twitter account. Previously, she worked for Fairfax County Government for 12 years with their police, emergency management, and transportation departments. Ellen is a credentialed Public Information Officer (PIO) through the Center for Public Safety Excellence's Commission on Professional Credentialing, one of the first nine PIOs worldwide. She is also a FEMA-certified Master Public Information Officer and an IIMQS-certified Type-3 Public Information Officer with the National Capital Region Incident Management Team. She has won regional, state, and national awards in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 spanning social media, crisis communications, media relations, graphic design, event planning, integrated communications, and web design.

Ellen Kamilakis’s Session

12:45 p.m.–1:30 p.m. Pacific — Thursday, December 7, 2023

Social Media is a Two-Way Dialogue: How "MeeMaw" Helped VDOT Create a Highly-Engaged Social Media Community

Maybe you *can* teach an old dog new tricks? In this session, you will learn how VDOT's Northern Virginia District created the "MeeMaw" persona on social media to show residents that the agency is approachable and cares about their safety and well-being. Communicating in a friendly, human tone and consistently generating relevant, fresh, and compelling content has helped make a special place in residents' hearts for MeeMaw.
You’ll learn:
  • Transparency, timeliness, and humanity are key
  • Being vulnerable may feel counterintuitive, but it is the way to go
  • Best practices to increase positive perception of the agency amongst residents, news media, and elected officials
Check out our early bird ticket prices!
Copyright © 2024 by Global Strategic Management Institute | Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy | Code of Conduct