The city of Apple Valley has hired a new communications specialist.
Eve Heeralall started with the city earlier this summer after previously working as a communications coordinator for the Dakota County Library, which was her first government communications position.
Heeralall grew up in Lakeville until she was about 8 years old and lived in Northfield for the rest of her childhood. After graduating from Northfield High School, she attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where she in majored strategic communication at the Hubbard School of Journalism and had a minor in management from the Carlson School of Business. She was the founder and president of the Student Organization of the Caribbean Americans while attending the U of M.
Heeralall lives in St. Paul with her fiancé and their two cats. They are looking to move near Apple Valley soon to be closer to work and family, she said.
Heeralall responded to questions via email about her new role with the city of Apple Valley.
Why did you decide to pursue public relations as a career?
I decided to pursue communications and public relations as a career because I enjoy the variety of projects I get to work on and the people I get to meet. One day I could be working in the office, and the next day I could be out helping pilot a drone.
When did you start your new position? What do your duties entail and what goals are you pursuing?
Since starting this new role at the City of Apple Valley in late June, I’ve jumped headfirst into completing various communication tasks for all of our departments and divisions, while also creating and pursing goals to improve our city’s communication as a whole.
The city of Apple Valley has plenty of resources to offer, but sometimes those who need these resources may be unaware of them. My job is to determine effective ways to reach our residents and connect them with valuable city’s services, programs and information. To help accomplish this, I work collaboratively with our city departments and divisions to create communications plans and strategies.
There are many communication vehicles we use to reach the community, including our website, social media, newsletters, brochures and fliers. Many of my daily tasks include writing, editing and designing content for these vehicles while also evaluating their performance so we can continue improving them.
There are times when city information that needs to be communicated to the public can be quite technical, making it difficult to understand. I help make sure our public communication uses plain language that can be more easily understood by those who may be less familiar with certain topics or whose native language may not be English. We are also looking at making our digital communication more accessible by using alternative text, captions, high contrast colors, and restructuring our website so it is more screen-reader friendly.
One of our main communication goals is to standardize the city’s communication and give it a more consistent look, feel and tone. This will help us establish our brand and make us more recognizable as the City of Apple Valley. In the near future, residents will begin noticing some of these changes in our communication materials, so be sure to keep an eye out!
What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about Apple Valley so far?
I was very surprised by the amount of professional athletes, actors, and personalities who attend Apple Valley schools!
• Pro hockey players: David Fischer, Mike Lundin and Erick Westrum;
• Pro basketball players: Bob Martin, Tyus Jones and Tre Jones;
• Pro football players: Trevor Laws and Rhys Lloyd;
• Olympians: Rebekah Bradford, Shani Marks, Lindsey Vonn and Gable Steveson;
• Actors: Doug Hutchison, Erik Jensen, Vincent Kartheiser, Reggie Rolle and Nicholas Sadler;
• Actresses: Arden Cho, Devin Kelley and Maria Thayer;
• TV personalities: Belinda Jensen and Elizabeth Ries;
• Noted chef: 2018 Iron Chef Justin Sutherland.