City Council Considers $400,000 Marketing Proposal

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With Labor Day rapidly approaching, City Council moved its Work Session for September, which would have typically been held on Sept. 4 (the first Monday of the month), up to Aug. 28.

The item that dominated the meeting’s agenda was a Presentation on Marketing Strategy & Plan by Jim Stone, principal/executive producer of Tytan Creates.

The presentation is part of an effort by Mayor Mike Mason and City Manager Brian Johnson to establish a public relations campaign for the city. Johnson’s previous experience working with Stone for Garden City, Ga. led him to ask the company to create a proposed initiative for Peachtree Corners.

The four-point plan envisioned by the Emmy-award winning company was comprised with the mission to “bring a clear focus to the city of Peachtree Corners as an important destination that is both innovative and remarkable. To create an environment that grows existing businesses, attracts new, high-tech businesses, and creates greater opportunity for everyone. To present Peachtree Corners as a community that truly has the best of all things—live, learn, work, and play. And to tell Peachtree Corners’ story in the most authentic way we can,” said Stone.

The roughly two- to two-and-a-half-year long plan to enhance the city’s image and digital footprint includes the following steps:

  1. Catalyze

This initial phase would be aimed at expanding the social media knowledge of the community and encouraging citizens to participate. The city would host workshops such as “Social Media After 50,” and “photo of the week” contests.

  1. Create

Utilizing a combination of the existing creative talent in the area, and that at Tytan, compelling content about Peachtree Corners would be produced. The city’s YouTube channel would act as a pseudo local news station and feature three professionally filmed shows potentially named “Momentum,” “The Corners,” and “Peachtree Positive.” The series would showcase lighter aspects of city life, such as fashion shows hosted by boutiques and cooking demonstrations from local chefs, as well as the latest happenings in government and around the city.

  1. Curate

A part-time social media team would be established to appropriately distribute this new content across various channels and monitor interaction, including negative comments that could damage branding.

  1. Collaborate

The government would work in conjunction with local media outlets and influencers, such as Airsoft Atlanta, to promote the community.

Stone concluded by saying, “We’re invisible right now and we need to change it. I want to turn everyone in this community into an evangelist for Peachtree Corners.”

The campaign is estimated to cost $400,000. Mayor Mike Mason added context to the projected price by saying “We got a quote from Mighty 8th Media, the one that Gwinnett Chamber recommended … $110,000 a year for just prototype product. That’s not the city or the branding. Just prototype. So to me, when I heard that, I thought ‘I want the Council to hear this.’ I was engaged both intellectually, and being a former bean counter, I thought ‘I kind of like that [the price] too.’”

Alex Wright, City Council Post 3 added, “It’s always difficult to quantify the ROI on what’s spent on marketing. You know inherently you’ve got to do it but what’s the sweet spot?”

An ever-present theme throughout the proposal and discussion among Council members was the competition between Alpharetta, Midtown, and Peachtree Corners as a technology hub.

“There was no direction here for many years, in my opinion, and that’s why Midtown and Alpharetta jumped us. That’s the cost of doing nothing—vacant buildings,” said Wright.

Members overall seemed to approve of the plan and appear to want to move forward with the project. “I think this is a great idea,” said Jeanne Aulbach, City Council Post 4.

In other business Monday, the council noted:

  • It will vote on the stop sign requested by Neely Farms’ residents at Indian Field and River Bottom Drive on Sept. 19.
  • A permanent Code Enforcement Officer will be hired while Philomena Robertson, chief code enforcement officer, recuperates from serious injuries. Upon her return, the city will once again have three code enforcement officers, which it had nearly a year ago.
  • Roughly 70 businesses will receive follow-ups from the business license audit.
  • The city will sign its news intergovernmental agreement with Johns Creek. The current agreement with Gwinnett County will expire on Dec. 31. The new agreement, which will begin Jan. 1, means stormwater taxes and management will now go through a third party and Johns Creek, instead of Gwinnett County. The agreement will not result in any changes in fees paid by citizens, but will provide the city with more control over stormwater related items and allow it to utilize additional funds as it sees fit.

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