Ivonne Couret is a public affairs officer, who oversees the production of the Information Digest
How would you describe your job in three sentences or less?
I’m a public affairs officer in the headquarters office at the NRC, where I handle public and media relations. As the agency has expanded its social media engagement, my focus has turned to visual communication and producing YouTube videos that promote the understanding of who we are and what we do as an agency. I’m also the project manager for the NRC Information Digest, which provides information about the agency and the industries we regulate.
What is the single most important thing that you do at work?
I believe the most important thing I do at the NRC is managing the annual production and distribution of the Information Digest, one of the agency’s most popular publications. It is packed with easy-to read descriptions about the agency and its responsibilities and activities, while providing general information on nuclear-related topics and data. The Digest includes many infographics that help explain the data and information. I organize the approval and review schedule, propose new conceptual approaches that reflect agency mission, activities and goals, and plan its distribution. I also promote it during the annual Regulatory Information Conference and at other public meetings and information venues. The latest Information Digest has just been published and is available here. I’m very proud of this year’s edition.
What is the single biggest challenge you face?
One of the biggest challenges is working with technical and program staff to understand the advantages of visual communication. Today, many organizations are seeing the benefit of using visual techniques to present information. They can be a more effective way to exchange information, and assist in “telling a story.” We achieve a more meaningful information exchange when a reader sees graphs, pictures and diagrams in addition to text. And complex information, data and figures can be more easily presented via graphs, pictures and diagrams.
If you could change one thing at the NRC or within the nuclear industry, what would it be?
I would have the scientific and technical staff (in the industry and at the NRC) learn to explain complex concepts in simpler terms. It would be great if everyone could explain things like Bill Nye, the Science Guy, on how things work using those easy-to-follow techniques. This type of communication would make it much easier for the non-technical public to more fully understand what we do.
What one thing about the NRC do you wish more people knew?
I wish more people understood how committed the NRC Public Affairs Office is to providing information in a format that the public can understand, as well as how hard we work to respond to inquiries in a timely manner. You can stay connected with us on our Blog, Facebook page, follow us on Twitter @NRCgov, watch us on YouTube and find pictures, graphs and maps on Flickr.