NJ Voices: An ideation whose time hasn’t come
Joan Whitlow shreds the city’s outsourced PR firm whose ostensible mission is to consolidate the city’s brand to “one message.” The $1.5 million is actually not an outrageous price for brand consultation, and Newark has a significant PR battle to overcome common perceptions about the city. But, for what we’re getting, the price might be a touch inflated.
Some members of the city council are not happy with 6Sixty’s performance — not enough newsletters, nor enough communications about themselves, I’m guessing. They want the city to spend more money on a separate public relations contract for the council. Can’t anyone already on the payroll ideate?
6Sixty’s office is in Irvington, but Sharif’s roots are certainly in Newark. His father Carl was Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s campaign manager, which is why some people — okay, why I — questioned the size of the contract and who got it from a city that says it has a budget crisis.
The city is supposed to get a new Web site for its $1.5 million. Visit the one running now and you will see that some things work but you get a “This page cannot be displayed” message when you click on most of the municipal directory, the calendar of events and other links. Is this what $1.5 million buys?
Sharif and Peterkin-Bell told me the city has problems with its old computer service that prevent the old from interfacing with the new. If a city administration cannot bend a computer service, one it is paying, to the municipal will, how will that administration solve the rest of Newark’s problems?