5 questions with Frank Librio
Frank Librio is director of public information for the city of Dallas. He began his career for the city as chief of staff for Mayor Laura Miller. Before Miller tapped him for that position, he worked in broadcast journalism as a producer for 17 years in Boston, Hartford and Dallas. He was born and raised in West Hartford, Conn. He won several awards as a broadcast journalist, including an Emmy and an award from the Texas Associated Press. He moved to Dallas in 1995.
What are your duties as director of public information?
I oversee the city’s internal and external communications, public information, education, marketing and public relations efforts. I have a staff of 10 employees. We are proactive in gaining positive local, national and trade news coverage for the city of Dallas. We also have cultivated positive relationships with hundreds of homeowner associations throughout the city.
What are your work hours and work days?
I work on average 10 hours per day at City Hall many days a lot longer and take work home every night. I’m on call 24/7 and take media calls at all hours of the day and night and on weekends. So, I work a lot.
With whom do you most closely work and to whom do you report?
I report to the City Manager Mary Suhm and work most closely with the City Manager’s Office, City Council members and department directors. The Public Information Office provides 11 umbrella services, including liaison to the news media, executive services, publication design and production, special projects planning and management, city Web site and intranet content management, public and community relations, Spanish media outreach, cable and video projects, news clipping services, and advertising and marketing.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
Changing public perception of city government. The news business is built on controversy, conflict and emotion. That’s what seems to make a compelling story. We work very hard at cultivating relationships with the media to encourage coverage of numerous good news stories that come out of City Hall each and every day, and we are seeing results.
How does your work for the city differ from your work in the private sector?
My greatest hesitation leaving the fast-paced world of television news was that I would become bored in any other job. I was so used to being busy every minute of my workday, working long hours and getting instant gratification from seeing my news team’s work product being broadcast to tens of thousands of people. It was an awesome responsibility with many rewards. Well, city government has proven to be just as demanding and fast-paced, and even more stimulating and gratifying than TV news. I have learned so much from so many hard-working and passionate city employees. It is a privilege and honor to be a part of what we like to call “Team Dallas.”
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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 31, 2007