Before a motion could be filed to renew a contract between GovComms, LLC and Newton County, commissioners spoke up about the lack of services the BOC felt it was receiving from the PR firm. The contract, which expires at the end of the fiscal year, will be revisited by the BOC at its first meeting in November.
“Over the last 30-45 days we’ve all been in the paper, and the BOC has been in the paper, and we’ve been paying a company for PR” Commissioner Lanier Sims said. “In my line of work, I do a little bit of the same thing. I guess I’m a little disappointed that we knew some of this stuff before it hit the paper and our PR firm did not craft anything to help; not help the situation, but at least get ahead of the fire before it happens. In my opinion that was something they should have done.”
According to the contract between Newton County and GovComms, which was agreed upon in May, the firm is to maintain all social media network, including Facebook, Twitter and other outlets, manage the content on those pages with at least three updates per week, be available 24 hours a day and seven days a week and create a list of key notices and updates for online posting.
During Tuesday’s public meeting, some of the commissioners said GovComms wasn’t proving disappointing in that department as well.
“Last night when I was preparing for (Tuesday’s) meeting, I looked through the Facebook posts,” Commissioner Nancy Shulz said. “Quite frankly, I was quite disappointed. I felt like all Facebook posts were just links from the Main Street site and links from tourists, and weren’t really specific to the Board of Commissioners.
“I pay a company in my business 1/3 of the price, and they make Facebook posts daily, and the amount of engagement (between them and me) is substantial. With the amount we’re paying, there should be a lot more engagement in terms of our marketing.”
The current contract between GovComms and Newton County pays the firm $1,750 a month for 12 months ($78,000 annually), $150 per hour for a la carte services and a up to 10 percent of the gross charges assessed by any third party media vendor. GovComms also retains all proprietary rights, including copyrights and trademarks, in and to all ads or other media content created by them in the partnership.