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The City of Port St. Lucie Wins Award for Best Crisis Communication during Hurricane Matthew

Post Date:01/27/2017

City of Port St. Lucie
121 S.W. Port St. Lucie Blvd.
Port St. Lucie, FL 34984

For more information, contact:
Sarah Prohaska, Public Information Officer
(772) 873-6326 /


The City of Port St. Lucie Wins Award for Best Crisis Communication during Hurricane Matthew

PORT ST. LUCIE (Jan. 27, 2017) – The City of Port St. Lucie was recognized today by the Gold Coast Public Relations Council for its efforts to communicate critical information to the public during Hurricane Matthew last year.

Port St. Lucie’s Communications Department won first place for Crisis Communications in the 13th Annual Bernays Awards presented by the GCPRC.

“The City of Port St. Lucie is proud that this distinguished group recognized our efforts during Hurricane Matthew to give residents and business owners critical information in real time,” said Communications Director Kristina Ciuperger. “Our goal was to provide an easy pathway to information before, during and after the Hurricane, including clean-up efforts throughout the City.”

For the first time, the City relied heavily on social media to communicate directly with the community during the emergency, and resident feedback was very positive. The department strove to implement the goal of the City’s Strategic Plan, which is to enhance communications throughout the organization and the community.

As a result of our constant communication efforts that included news releases, video feeds, social media pushes and photographs, local, national and international media outlets were able to utilize our content and assist in disseminating information without having to be on site.

Ultimately, the primary focus was to ensure that residents and interested parties receive the critical, potentially life-saving information as quickly and effectively as possible. Social media platforms presented the perfect mechanism to achieve this goal, especially during an emergency when normal communication methods might not relay the information quick enough due to power outages and other circumstances.

Utilizing social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and NextDoor, also gave residents the opportunity to communicate directly with the City in real-time and the City was able answer questions directly and rapidly.


The City of Port St. Lucie is proud to be a hometown where people live, learn, work and play, and celebrate all of life’s opportunities. With over 179,000 residents, Port St. Lucie is Florida’s eighth largest city by population (South Florida’s 3rd largest city). The City occupies an area of 120 square miles in St. Lucie County on Florida’s east coast, about 50 miles north of West Palm Beach, half way between Miami and Orlando. The City provides most traditional municipal services including law enforcement, water and sewer, and public works. For more information, please visit:

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