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City needs to market its events more successfully, alderwoman says

June 7, 2011

Alderwoman Linda Nikcevich says turnout at some city events and interest in Wauwatosa's vaccination clinics and other services has dipped now that community members aren't getting a city newsletter delivered to their doors.

In a letter sent to city officials today, she suggested City Hall pump up its marketing and public relations to better promote Wauwatosa activities and to keep the media well informed.

Other communities have branded messaging and marketing literature to promote living and recreational opportunities, and Nikcevich said she feels Wauwatosa is lagging behind.

The Common Council already has a Legislation, Licensing and Communications Committee, which reviews the city's quarterly newsletter before publication. It is available for electronic delivery.

The city stopped issuing paper copies of its quarterly newsletter - with the exception of a few copies posted in places like the library and Hart Park Senior Center as well as by special request - this year. While the printed newsletter went out to about 15,000 homes, only 270 people have subscribed to the electronic newsletter.

"The city needs a consistent plan to promote a calendar of events communitywide and maintain a positive image of community life to help attract people and businesses to our community to work, live and shop," Nikcevich said.

She mentioned that publicizing the city should be the mayor's responsibility, but she also suggested three other options: creating an official Marketing and Public Relations Committee that would be made up of business and communications professionals with ties to Wauwatosa, establishing a communications and PR department within the city or bringing on an intern to conduct marketing for local groups, maintain the city website and be a communications liaison.

"Taking a step back further there is not a cohesive plan to promote the city of Wauwatosa or consistent branding of the city, through its different outlets including website, newsletter, brochures and press releases," Nikcevich said. "Wauwatosa can work to maintain a positive image so when negative publicity happens there is a counterbalance to the perception of the area."

Another alternative she broached was expanding the scope of the Civic Celebration Commission, which primarily organizes the city's Memorial Day and Fourth of July festivities. She suggested creating a forum for representatives for all groups - everything from the Friends of Hoyt Park and Pool to the historical society and Scouting groups - to work together on communications.

"Often groups are so removed from each other, and with more working knowledge of each other there maybe some elimination of redundancy, more sponsorship dollars and a greater visibility for everyone," she said.

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