FAIRFIELD — A $39,625 contract with an Oakland public relations firm to promote economic development in Fairfield includes the PR firm’s goal to place five stories in “target media,” as well as brand the benefits of the city’s water and sewer districts to business.
The agreement the City Council takes up Tuesday follows an update of Fairfield’s economic development strategy that seeks to emphasize the city’s abundant water supply and hire a firm to communicate a positive business image of Fairfield.
David White, deputy city manager, said Fairfield first worked with the PR firm the Placemaking Group in 2005 and said its connections and understanding of media assists the city. When the new Mercedes-Benz dealership opened about 18 months ago, White said, the firm “helped us get in touch with the right contacts at newspapers.”
“We’re just trying to get our name out there,” he said of promoting the city’s economy. “Fairfield is a very attractive business location. We just have a lot of assets.”
Dennis Erokan, chief executive officer for Placemaking, said placement involves pitching stories to media.
“We can’t make you run the story,” he said.
Placemaking in its proposal said it seeks to place stories in target media that include Comstock’s magazine in Sacramento and the American City & County magazine. The consultants estimate the research, media contact and placement represents $8,000 of the $39,625 contract with the city.
Bill Wolpin, editorial director and associate publisher for the Atlanta-based American City & County magazine, said, of PR firms that “they, like everybody else, have a right to try to sell us what they want.”
Other parts of the proposal include a blog about Fairfield business. City staff would write and post updates, according to Placemaking’s proposal that estimates the blog’s cost at $2,500.
Available property in Fairfield and new companies moving here will be part of the promotion.
“Fairfield is a fantastic story,” Erokan said. “We just want to make sure that story gets out again.”
The council meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at the Civic Center, 1000 Webster St.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.