|Focus of PR campaign should be success, not hiring locally|
It is the Laredo Morning Time's contribution to this effort that I wanted to write about today. Two of LMT's business journal contributors/columnists, Sean Bowlin & AB Barrera, have decided to focus a little bit too much on the idea that a local public relations agency should be hired for the proposed million-dollar campaign. Although I agree that such an idea is sound and should be considered, it should not become the prime objective of B&B (Bowlin & Barrera). At least, that's the impression this reader got from today's edition of the business journal. Barrera should actually refrain from making too many recommendations in this department being that he is part of PMDG advertising, a local PR firm. A couple of his articles smack a little bit too close to self-promotion and conflict of interest.
I'm sure Bowlin and Barrera have a great deal of knowledge in the field of business and marketing, but perhaps they are not the experts the city is looking for. As an example, let me allude to the customer service workshop Barrera held not long ago. I read that part of the session was a simulation of a scene at a fish market that dealt with customer service techniques. While I may not be a marketing expert, even I know that a fish market-based example was perhaps not the best one to resonate with Laredoans. Is there even a fish market in Laredo? Why in the world would he have not selected the most obvious example, retail : something we see everyday and something everyone here can relate to?
Please remember that Barrera's firm PMDG advertising and marketing already had their chance. In 2009, they had a $300,000 contract with the city of Laredo, which the city terminated in December of that year. The reason cited by the city for ending the contract was that their funds for such advertising and marketing were running low. When pressed for her opinion of PMDG's performance, Blasita Juarez, now LCVB director did not offer a resounding affirmation. As the LMT reported on Sept. 24, 2009 :
When asked if she was pleased with PMDG's efforts, Lopez said, "We're still on contract with them right now and I would like to reserve comment on that."
According to a copy of the contract received through an Open Records request, the total contractual amount was not to exceed $300,000, payable in monthly installments of $5,733.The minimum payment to be made to PMDG under the contract is $88,800, $20,000 of which would be due upon the agreement's execution. Lopez said all CVB recommendations made to City Council went through as the 2009-10 budget was approved at Monday's session.