Common Council Report
Meeting Date: August 21, 2012
Recommendation: That the Council authorize staff to negotiate exclusively with Savage Communications, LLC to provide marketing and branding services for the City.
Background: Since 2007, the Community Development Authority has taken a more active role in marketing of our community. In that year, after going through an RFP process, the City contracted with Celtic, Inc., a local advertising and public relations firm to undertake marketing and branding efforts on behalf of the City. Over the course of the last few years, Celtic assisted the CDA in establishing its own website, developing an email marketing campaign and producing collateral print graphics for the City to use. That was the initial phase of what was planned to be a much larger engagement with this firm. Unfortunately, our resources at that time prevented the City from fully implementing that plan.
There continues to be a need for branding and marketing our community. Given the number of catalytic projects underway in our community (Drexel Town Square, Lakefront, 27th Street) we have a rare opportunity to create a very strong brand for our City.
The City is a member of the Milwaukee Gateway Aerotropolis Corporation as well as the Airport Gateway Business Association (AGBA), of which I serve on the Board of Directors. During my work with AGBA, which goes back several years, I have had the opportunity to witness an organization grow from a start up to a major player in regional economic development circles. A major part of that success can be attributed to the proactive and innovative marketing strategies that had been developed by their marketing partners, Savage Solutions.
Savage Solutions is a local firm that provides a comprehensive, integrated, approach to marketing and branding. Based on my experiences with this firm, I felt that they would be a great partner for the City. As such, I arranged for the firm to meet with the Mayor and Alderman Ruetz (then a CDA member) to see if they shared my enthusiasm for this group. Based on that meeting, Savage Solutions made a presentation to the entire CDA. At that August 1st meeting, the CDA voted to authorize staff to further investigate and take steps to engage Savage Solutions to provide marketing and branding services to the City.
The initial marketing and branding firm was selected through an RFP process. However, the City Attorney has confirmed that, with the Council’s consent the City may negotiate with this firm exclusively, without going through an RFP process. If the Council concurs, staff will work with this firm to develop a professional service agreement and scope of services which would be brought back for Council approval at a later date.
Fiscal Impact: A scope of services and project agreement will be negotiated and brought to the Common Council for approval at a later date. It is anticipated that the bulk of funding for this initiative will be provided through Fund 31 – Economic Development, which is supported largely through the use of hotel-motel room tax.
Doug Seymour, AICP
Director of Community Development
Gerald Peterson, ICMA-CM
Fiscal Review by: