Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ketchum aims to unify its brand

City wants more consistency in PR

Express Staff Writer

The city of Ketchum has hired a public relations firm to help it present a more consistent image of itself to the public. During a meeting on Monday, Dec. 3, the City Council approved a $3,000-per-month contract for up to three months with Boise-based Red Sky Public Relations.

“We’ve had brand bleed, as [Red Sky] has described it to us,” said Lisa Horowitz, Ketchum’s community and economic development director, during the meeting.

In an email to the Idaho Mountain Express, Karianne Fallow, Red Sky’s director of public affairs, stated that “a lack of consistency in Ketchum's brand—what they say, how they say it … is creating a weakening of the brand.”

At the meeting, Fallow said the city’s print material, though often attractive, is “visually inconsistent.”

“The council members’ business cards don’t all have the same logo,” she said.

Ketchum Mayor Randy Hall said in an interview after the meeting that the city’s objective in hiring Red Sky includes encouraging increased engagement with the public, particularly with the city’s voters, but also with business owners and others who have interests in the city.

“In today’s information age, we’re all addicted to getting information every minute, and the city’s looking for some help to be better able to provide that to our public,” Hall said.

However, the contract is not meant to be a long-term arrangement. At the meeting, Fallow said the goal is to enable the city to communicate consistently and effectively after Red Sky sets up the process.

Fallow said the first product that Red Sky will provide is a “strategic communications plan.”

“We're simply providing the tools for the city to get the word out on city projects and initiatives,” Fallow wrote in the email.

At the meeting, Fallow said the old format of engaging the public at open meetings is no longer valid without support from newer communication platforms, such as social media.

“The face of communication is changing,” she said. “People aren’t coming to meetings, they’re engaging on Facebook [and] Twitter and reading the newspaper.”

Red Sky’s other clients include the city of Moscow, Idaho; St. Luke’s Health System; and Idaho Milk Products.

Brennan Rego:

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