Council to send out multi-media message

THE Gold Coast City Council is expected to embark on a new multi-media scheme to enhance the corporate image and the performance of its elected members, and to inform the community of the many services it provides.

Titled a Corporate Communication Plan the 70-page document, researched and written over time by council's corporate communication manager Kerry Heldon, details the strategies and tactics necessary to upgrade the council's reputation.

This "goodwill" publicity proposal comes at a time when council could face a CMC investigation into allegations of undeclared election funding.

But according to senior councillor Daphne McDonald the timing of the Corporate Communication Plan launch was coincidental.

"This new direction, telling the community how the council works, is long overdue. One of the issues it must handle is informing the residents of the responsibilities of council as distinct from the State and Federal governments, because it seems to me that every time anything goes wrong, council gets the blame.

If adopted, the new-look promotion will replace the current two-page spread of council stories published in local press each week at a cost of $550,000 a year.

The every-two-weeks scheme recommended by Ms Heldon would involve print, television and radio media at an estimated cost of $480,000 a year, but with the additional staff of four required would probably be comparable to the present arrangement.

Ms Heldon's report emphasises the impact which a positive reputation will earn ? confidence from residents, community groups, industry leaders, key politicians and potential business partners.

A majority of council reacted with enthusiasm to the promotion plan.

Cr Chris Robbins said there were many times when she heard people saying they paid their rates on time, but what did they get for it?

"My response of course is roads and rubbish disposal, parks and gardens, libraries, clean beaches, community centres, immunisations, recreation, hundreds of sports facilities, taxi services for the elderly at low cost - the list goes on, and people need to know that council provides them," she said.

Cr Eddy Sarroff said he was not too excited about the new communication plan.

"All the promotion we can devise will not compensate for council making wrong decisions that upset peoplesuch as selling off the Transit Centre.

"We should start improving our image by rescinding that decision," he said.

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