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Council participates in special meeting on communications and economic development

by Adam Gault

Essex Council held a special meeting on Monday, January 14, ahead of the regular council meeting, regarding the Town’s Communications Policy, the Tourism Marketing 2018 Year in Review, and the ongoing Economic Development Policy.

In the first presentation, Alex Denonville, Communication Manager, highlighted the official communications tools and platforms the Town uses as part of its tourism and overall branding strategy, including the proper use of communications tools, best practices for effective communications, as well as highlighting his own role and responsibilities in his position with the Town.

Denonville explained a main component of his role with the Town is to develop and implement corporate strategies to “address the communications requirements of Council, the Chief Administrative Officer, directors, committees and other stakeholders, to develop and implement communication strategies that promote and protect the reputation and image of the municipality, Council and administration.”

“Part of my job is also to assess, analyze, measure how well our communications are doing. That comes in the form digitally, it comes in the form of analytics,” Denonville explained, who then cited the Town’s official Facebook page. “This is analytics from our Facebook page from 2018, where I’m basically tracking who are the visitors to our page, how are people getting information. Especially when it comes to the website, I’m able to see where people are coming from geographically, but also what other websites are they coming from to our website.”  

He then went into further detail on policies regarding his duties with regards to the communications and media relations policy, corporate social media procedure, and code of conduct for employees, with special attention to media relations policy.

“Essentially in this role, I’m really here as a resource if you need tips and advice in dealing with the media,” Denonville said to Council. “You are seen as reliable sources of information, so consider that when and how you speak to the media and on social media.”

Denonville added it was important for Councillors and staff to remember the importance of avoiding speculation, and the importance of clarifying information with administration when possible.

Nelson Silveira, the Economic Development Officer, then held two presentations, providing a similar breakdown of his roles and responsibilities with details on Essex’s Tourism Marketing 2018 Year in Review, as well as a presentation on economic development, breaking down the objectives and processes in the creation of jobs and cultural development, when it comes to influencing growth and restructuring of an economy.

During the presentation, Silveira explained over the course of 2018, Essex was able to strengthen its brand through traditional and digital marketing, highlighting both the economic and tourism appeal of the Town to a greater audience than ever before.

This included the targeted promotion of Essex’s key tourism sectors of waterfront, culinary, wineries, and cycling.

Silveria plans to work on an economic strategy to bring back to Council in several months, which would take into consideration several of the ideas and strategies he expanded during the presentation.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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