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A Public Awareness Campaign

Life, Well Run is ICMA’s campaign to raise awareness of the role professional local government managers play in building communities we're proud to call home.

These managers play a pivotal role in making local government and the services it provides more effective, efficient, ethical, and transparent.

Yet, perhaps because managers are so good at what they do and shun the limelight, some elected officials may not fully appreciate their professionalism, and many in the public are unaware the job even exists.


These factors, combined with demographics -- the baby boomer managers who were inspired to public service by President John F. Kennedy have begun to retire -- have formed the perfect storm for professional management.

We must act now to ensure the future of the profession, to make sure there are qualified professionals to serve the residents of this country’s cities, towns, and counties.


ICMA has launched the campaign with advertising in 10 states. These ads are directed to elected officials, business and civic leaders, and students, and will drive them to the Life, Well Run website where they can see our messages and access resources promoting the value of professional local government management. 


We have developed a panoply of resources for state associations and members and information about the campaign, as well as resources that share our messages with elected officials and business leaders. This summer, we also will release resources for teachers to use with high school and college students.

In addition to advertising and developing campaign resources, we have made improvements to the Life, Well Run website, where we share resources and information about the campaign, and where we showcase community success stories from professional local government managers.  Visit the new map to read the stories, and remember to share your stories with us at 


  • Boilerplate Language: This basic description of Life, Well Run can be included in any written materials.

  • Elevator Speech: This one- to two-minute overview of Life, Well Run can be customized, so you can explain the campaign to elected officials, business and civic leaders, students, and residents.

  • Talking Points: Add these talking points, along with your own personal experiences and anecdotes, when you prepare remarks for formal meetings or speaking engagements.


  • Social Media: These sample messages and tips can be a starting point to encourage a conversation on Facebook and Twitter among people in your city, town, or county.

  • Blog Post: You can post this to your website, or share it with other organizations to post on their websites, to spread the word about how to get involved in Life, Well Run.

  • Op-Ed: Identify a local retired elected official who is supportive of professional local government management, help him or her customize the op-ed, and submit it to a local newspaper.

  • Radio Spot: Use this 30-second radio spot as a PSA on your local stations.

  • Videos: These videos provide a general overview of professional local government management. You can customize some of them by adding interviews with elected officials or business and civic leaders from your state. To obtain the templates, contact Catherine Smith, campaign manager, at 202-962-3632

  • Sample Print Ads: You can run these ads in your local publications. To obtain the templates, contact Catherine Smith.

  • Sample Digital Ads: These banner and tower ads can be placed on the websites of your local newspapers and magazines, television stations, or other websites that accept advertising. For the templates, contact Catherine Smith.

Materials for Target Audiences

These brochures are each geared for a different target audience of the campaign. They are designed as handouts and should be distributed along with the companion piece, “About Professional Local Government Management,” which you can also download below.

Please contact Catherine Smith, campaign manager, at 202-962-3632 or with any questions on the use of these materials.