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Communicator of the year: Bethany Drysdale

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We’re wrapping up 2022 with our top stories, photos and opinion articles in the coming days. Today we’d like to say thank you to one person who made our lives easier this past year.

Many area communicators, either explicitly or tacitly, enact their roles as brand boosters rather than information providers. Both are important, but one should not fall by the wayside at the expense of the other.

Fortunately, not all communications professionals do this.

Bethany Drysdale, the relatively new Washoe County communications manager, will say what she can and always responds quickly if it takes awhile to get information from others. 

We’ve worked with and known Bethany for a long time. She was one of the early volunteers for This Is Reno. As Travel Nevada’s public relations manager, she was also always accessible and easy to work with. 

We were not sure how she would handle the PR hot seat of county government, which is a different skill set from promoting the state to an international audience.

The example below speaks to why we are thanking her here, though. When recently asked of the county for some information she did not have, Bethany’s response was immediate: “I’m looking into it and will get back to you ASAP.”

This is in contrast to other entities that dodge, deflect, tell us to file a public records request, refer to us in denigrating terms or simply refuse to respond to us. 

Those responses are common to the point we are used to it. 

But Bethany is a pro. She knows a story with valid information will be reported and that requires input from affected sources. The alternative: Readers will assume refusals to respond mean wrongdoing is afoot. Pretty basic stuff.

We asked for a statement from the county about Bethany. Here is what Manager Eric Brown wrote:

“I am very proud of the relationships we’ve developed with our local media partners, like This is Reno, other print and digital publications and our broadcast partners. Bethany has been the driver of all of that work which reflects in stories being told accurately and with transparency.”

We know when we need information from the county, or a simple clarification on something, Bethany will work to provide it.

That means a lot to us. Thank you, Bethany.

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