City Board Approves Hire of Public Relations Consultant
BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. – The City Board of Aldermen and the Mayor approved a six month contract for a public relations consultant at City Hall.
“The bad news gets repeated over and over and the good news only once. Sometimes it never leaves this room,” said Mayor Bill Rawls. Rawls says Brownsville’s new public relations consultant, Erica Williams, will be tasked with helping to solve that.
Williams, a native of Hardeman County, holds a BA in public relations from Howard University, as well as a MBA in marketing. Brownsville residents will recognize Williams for her work as a reporter on WBBJ News in Jackson, TN.
She is currently a producer at ABC 24 in Memphis, and will provide services on an on-call basis for the city in addition to hosting branding and marketing workshops.
Williams says she is familiar with Brownsville from her work with WBBJ. “I know there are good things going on here, but the media didn’t pick up on them,” she stated.
City officials will pay approximately $9,000 for her services—or about half the amount Memphis-based public relations firm Younger and Associates quoted for the same job.
Williams made a presentation to the City Board including a summary of Brownsville’s strengths and weaknesses based on the 2014 Brownsville on the Move study. Those strengths included the Memphis Regional Megasite, Hatchie River, Temple Adas Israel, Flagg Grove School at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center and an abundance of parks and green space. Weaknesses included a high unemployment rate, low-scoring educational system, high number of unskilled workers and rising crime.
Williams says she will work to help the city increase new industry, promote and promote and expand the current economy, and handle crisis management.
Within six months to a year, the city hopes to launch a rebuilt website to join a new Facebook page that launched on Tuesday (Facebook.com/BrownsvilleTN). That website could potentially included new ways for the community to interact with the Mayor and City Board. Williams will work with the city to distribute positive news about Brownsville to the media by recommending and implementing strategies for press releases and brand management.
“If you don’t control your brand, someone will control it for you,” she said.