Columns on a courthouse

The number one question I receive about my “new” (4+ months now) job as an information and communications specialist is: what exactly do you do? Well, let me explain …

First of all, I work for the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts (NCAOC), which is the administrative arm of the judicial branch of the state government. Here’s a very simplified sketch of it:

North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts chart

Simply put, the NCAOC provides administrative functions – including IT, HR, financial services, legal services, purchasing, and communications – for the entire Judicial Department. There are roughly 7,000 judicial branch employees statewide, including many elected officials.

The Communications Office of the NCAOC falls under the supervision of the NCAOC Director’s Office. We provide communications support to the entire Department – everything from press relations to publications to graphics support. We’re a small team, and I report directly to the Communications Director. My personal responsibilities include:

  • Websites: The NCAOC maintains an employees-only intranet and a public-facing website, both of which are extremely old and outdated. We’ve started the redesign process for the intranet, and I’m project managing the effort – organizing our internal teams, working with our third-party vendor, making decisions about the new site, planning content, and managing the eventual launch. Once the new sites are live, I’ll be the primary administrator. I am also charged with supervising updates to the existing sites for consistency, usability, style, etc. My supervisor calls me “the queen of the web.”
  • Newsletters: I oversee all NCAOC newsletters – doing everything from planning, reviewing, and editing content to setting up HTML and email templates.
  • Judicial Department Newsletter

    One of the N.C. Judicial Department’s email newsletters

  • Press relations: We’re the primary point of contact for the judicial branch, so we work directly with the media. We distribute public information and public records, write press releases, organize media events, and manage crises.
  • Publications: The Communications Office supports a variety of other publications, including our annual report. I do a lot of writing, editing, and styling of articles.
  • Branding: Our office is the guardian of the Judicial Department and NCAOC brands, having developed them and been responsible for maintaining brand standards statewide.
  • Graphics and images: We take photos and create graphics to support Department needs.
  • Personnel: Being a small department, we all pitch in to help with the hiring process. I’ve helped with job descriptions, candidate evaluations, interviewing, and hiring decisions.
  • All sorts of other odds and ends to support and improve communications across the Judicial Department.

That’s the overview of my day-to-day job responsibilities. Got any additional questions?