Company helps small municipalities set up Web sites, PR to communicate with media and residents
A Texas-based marketing company is offering small municipalities a Web site
development, hosting and public relations service so they can better communicate
with their constituents and the media.
ConsulttUs Group Inc. recently launched GovCom, saying that it would
provide "executive level" resources for villages, towns and small cities
unable to afford an information technology staff or Web-development firm
and media expertise.
Company president Howard LaMunion, who was a city councilman in upstate
New York for eight years, said he saw a need among municipalities with populations
of 8,000 to 20,000. Such municipalities frequently don't have a Web site
or, if they do, it's inadequate, he said, adding that some don't even have
a local-area network.
"The media doesn't pay attention to most of the things going on, so
how do you overcome that and communicate with citizens, businesses and the
media?" LaMunion said.
Municipal officials could use the GovCom service to post public notices,
press releases and other information for reporters and constituents, he
said, adding that his company also provides consulting services to the municipalities,
such as guidance on writing and editing.
He said the company tries to steer clear of handling political content
and insists information be mostly financially related. An improved Web site,
he added, could become an economic development tool for a smaller municipality,
enabling it to compete with larger ones.
LaMunion said the company, which is sending out a nationwide mailing
to about 2,200 municipalities soon, has signed up three municipalities so
far, but he projects that about 100 or so will inquire. It will cost between
$4,000 and $6,000 a month for hosting and content development.
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