San Marcos Wins Two State Awards for Excellence in Communications


On Wednesday, April 11, the California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO) honored the City of San Marcos with two top awards for outstanding communications projects.The City was celebrated for its recruitment video and new logo.

San Marcos Logo

CAPIO gave the City its highest honor—the Excellence in Public Information and Communications Award (EPIC Award)—for a recruitment video created to attract job candidates; and for its new city logo, which was part of citywide rebrand.

“The City of San Marcos prides itself on finding innovate ways to raise the bar in public service—and informing and engaging the community is certainly no exception,” said Communications Officer Sarah Macdonald, who oversaw both projects. “As one of the region’s fastest growing cities and North County’s education hub, San Marcos has a great story to tell—and these outreach efforts helped do that.”

The video proved to have tremendous reach, attracting more than 30,000 viewers on Facebook, according to the City’s Facebook page data. That’s especially significant because the video was aimed at reaching more new candidates on social media. In fact, before the video only about 10 percent of applicants discovered job opportunities via social media, according to the City—however, that number has now nearly tripled to reach 36 percent.

“This video was created to attract new talent in a new, effective way. And according to the data, we have clearly achieved that,” Macdonald said.

The video dovetailed with the City’s newly minted brand, which includes the City’s first logo—the other project that earned an EPIC Award.

Playing off the City’s tagline, ‘Discover Life’s Possibilities,’ the logo features a stylized compass rose in the “O” of San Marcos, conveying a feeling of exploration.

“San Marcos has a lot to offer, but we needed a clear identity that piques curiosity and invites people to come be a part of it all. This logo hits the mark,”

said Macdonald, adding that it was designed to support the City’s economic development efforts—a newly identified priority.

In that vein, the logo has become central to virtually all economic development outreach.

“The logo inspires confidence. It shows we are a quality city filled with possibilities. That’s an important message to convey when I’m interacting with business owners,” said Economic Development Manager Tess Sangster.

The logo has also allowed the City to implement brand consistency for the first time. To date, more than 50 publications have been refreshed with the logo including the community newsletter, budget cover, digital assets, economic development brochures, trade show exhibits and a comprehensive set of office templates including letterhead, business cards, email signature lines, staff reports and cover pages. This translates to approximately 80 percent of all collaterals for the city — a remarkable conversion rate.

During CAPIO’s annual conference in Santa Rosa, CA, Macdonald formally accepted the awards on behalf of the City of San Marcos.
For more information about CAPIO, please visit For more information about the City’s communication office, please contact Communications Officer Sarah Macdonald at (760) 744-1050, ext. 3174 or


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