Yvonne Klinnert


Washington County

Current Position and how long

Public Information Manager - 10 years

Other experience: Professional, communications, education or anything else you'd like to share

I have been a communicator for my entire career, working for years in community journalism, where I was both a reporter, and an editor, training and managing reporters. I moved to the public sector 10 years, continuing to use my communication skills to inform constituents. I have an undergraduate degree in journalism and political science, and a graduate degree in urban planning from the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, all of which support my skills in understanding and communicating with the community.

Why do you want to be a Minnesota Association of Government Communicators board member?

I believe strongly in professional organizations that support the work that we do. As a journalist, I served on the Minnesota Newspaper Association Education Committee, and on the board of the state Society of Professional Journalists chapter. While our work is important, it can also be stressful, and isolating, if we are not supported by peers. I wish to help lead an organization that provides support and professional training for its members, which, in turn, allows them to perform their work to the best of their ability.

What qualities and attributes will you bring to the organization?

I have strong organizational skills, which I have put to use as one of several committee members who support the Northern Lights contest and awards ceremony. I enjoy seeing people and many moving parts come together for a common purpose to add value to the organization. I am able to give thoughtful consideration to the ideas of others, and support the conclusions of those discussions to reach consensus. I prefer working behind the scenes to carry out the plans of the group, and so add a component of the "worker bee" to the organization.

What do you consider to be the major issues facing government communicators today?

Just this year, our county saw the demise of another community newspaper, along with the consolidation of the newspaper groups that remain. There are fewer and fewer formal, vetted communications channels for communicating in the community. At the same time, communication channels continue to multiply. All that heightens the responsibility of government communicators to deliver factual, values-free information to the community through as many communication channels available. Supporting the communicators who do that, and assisting in their professional growth, becomes that much more important.

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