CAPIO 2021 State of Communications
Communication Webinar


2020 was a year unlike any other, government communicators faced unique challenges in communicating with their communities and other key audiences while dealing with a pandemic, civil unrest, the election and an array of other crisis.

The ongoing communications demands of last year made it more important than ever to provide information at the right time, the right place and with relevance. 

Additionally, the public’s need for critical information is growing, technology and the tools to effectively communicate are changing and California’s diverse environment continues to face numerous state-wide issues affecting its residents, requiring government sector communicators to find ways to effectively inform, educate and engage.

During CAPIO’s 2021 State of Communications webinar, attendees will learn about key issues facing California communicators and find out about CAPIO’s areas of focus for 2021 from CAPIO’s President Maurice Chaney and CAPIO President Elect/Treasurer Erin Morales.

Attendees will also hear from Fred Cook, director of the USC Center for Public Relations. Cook will highlight USC’s annual Relevance Report, which identifies emerging issues and forecasts topics and trends impacting business and communications in the coming year, including the impact of the Presidential election on the communications profession.

 Key take-a-ways from this webinar include:

  • Statewide topics that will affect public sector communicators in 2021
  • Trends impacting business and communications nationally
  • CAPIO’s key areas of focus the next year


Recorded: January 26, 2021


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Maurice Chaney is a strategic communications professional with more than 15 years of combined experience in both the public and private sectors. In his current role as the public information officer for the City of Roseville, Maurice manages public relations, marketing, and outreach for Environmental Utilities—a suite of community-owned utilities for a community of 130,000.

Maurice comes to Roseville from Sacramento, serving nearly seven years as media and communication specialist for the City of Sacramento. There, he worked on large economic development projects, such as the new sports arena, as well as digital communications and media relations for a number of departments. He also served Sacramento County in a similar role. Maurice’s career started at a private consulting firm, Jones and Stokes (now ICF International), where he worked on local and statewide environmental public participation projects.

During his career, Maurice has honed his skills in issues and perception management, media relations, branding, social media, and digital communication campaigns.

Maurice is a graduate from the University of California at Davis with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and a minor in Sociology.

Erin Morales has nearly 15 years of experience in the public sector, specifically working within the water industry. Erin joined the Cucamonga Valley Water District (CVWD) in 2007 and is the Government and Public Affairs Supervisor. Her areas of focus are public outreach, customer relations, marketing, and conservation programming. She has assisted in the implementation of CVWD’s Communications Master Plan and Branding Style Guide. She has also been instrumental in building CVWD ambassadors through its award winning tours program.

Prior to joining CVWD, Erin began her career as an intern at the Inland Empire Utilities Agency—a regional wholesale water provider—and earned a position as the Assistant Public Information Officer.

Erin has been a CAPIO member for more than a decade and has been the Conference Sponsorship Chair for the last several years. She is active in the Inland Empire PIO Workgroup and is trained in Crisis Communications through the California Specialized Training Institute. Additionally, she is a PIO Institute graduate. She has presented several times at the world’s largest conservation conference, WaterSmart Innovations in Las Vegas, as well as at the San Bernardino Water Conference.

Erin earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications, with a minor in Public Relations, from California State University at San Bernardino.

Fred Cook has worked at Golin for over 30 years. He started as an account supervisor in the Los Angeles office and moved to Chicago 15 years ago to become Golin’s third CEO. Fred credits the company culture for his long tenure with the firm.

During his time with Golin, Cook has had the privilege to work with a variety of high-profile CEOs, including Herb Kelleher, Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs. He has also managed a wide scope of crises for his clients, including airline crashes, product recalls, and sexual harassment.

Fred is proud of the firm’s accomplishments, but he is even more excited about the future. The world is experiencing profound changes in demographics, globalization, multiculturalism and technology which are impacting the way people communicate with each other. To stay ahead of their changes, five years ago, Golin completely redesigned the agency by adopting a proprietary business model called g4, to deliver deeper insights, bigger ideas and broader engagement to their clients. Since that time, Golin has been named ‘Agency of the Year’ more than a dozen times.

In 2014, Cook published “Improvise – Unconventional Career Advice from an Unlikely CEO,” which shares the wisdom he gained as a cabin boy on a Norwegian tanker, doorman at a 5-star hotel and chauffeur for drunks. In 2015, after speaking on college campuses around the world, Fred accepted an additional position with the University of Southern California as the Director of the USC Center for Public Relations at the Annenberg School whose mission is to shape the future of public relations and those who will lead it – through research, education and thought leadership.