Town begins branding process, aims to enhance streaming

By Nick Blank nick@claytodayonline.com
Posted 1/19/22

ORANGE PARK – Council members tackled the town’s branding and improving its live streaming of town meetings during Tuesday night’s council meeting.

At the Jan. 4 council meeting, the …

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Town begins branding process, aims to enhance streaming

Posted

ORANGE PARK – Council members tackled the town’s branding and improving its live streaming of town meetings during Tuesday night’s council meeting.

At the Jan. 4 council meeting, the marketing firm North Star Place Branding presented to town officials about the $81,000 process to create an authentic brand for the town. It later cut $4,000 to scale back the scope of its services because council members said the town had some of the data the company could use. Council members approved the contract, 4-1.

The town is piggybacking a similar contract with Newport News, Virginia to reduce the workload on the staff of conducting a Request For Proposals. A “piggyback” is a function government can use to bypass the months-long procurement process. The timeline to complete the branding research and development is 32 weeks, according to town documents.

Council Member Susana Thompson took issue and was the lone dissenting vote.

“My concern is I don’t think we have enough bids on this,” she said. “ … I don’t think we should be in a hurry to do this.”

Vice-Mayor Eddie Henley said the goal of getting cost savings and more information from North Star Place Branding was accomplished. Council Member John Hauber said the town should take advantage of the company’s rate and not risk a higher figure at a later date. Like Council Member Alan Watt, Hauber wanted the town to realize its image.

“We do need to get a brand done and find out who we are as a town,” Hauber said.

“Anytime we can piggyback (a contract), it is to the town’s advantage, financially and time-wise,” Watt added.

The town has also been looking to improve the viewing experience for residents watching meetings at home. Over the past several meetings, town officials have tasked staff with finding a way to improve its streaming quality.

The town currently uses a platform Vimeo for streaming meetings. Town Clerk Courtney Russo said a new laptop and a new platform called Resi were recommended. Thompson cautioned about the town getting locked in with a service that is subpar. Watt said the town must find the solution to the problem because the issue has been discussed since he joined the council.

“It’s got to be better and more efficient,” he said.

Resident Frank Ricketts wanted committee meetings to be broadcast and spoke of issues with the town’s audio and video service. “We consistently have problems with the streaming system, the video or the audio, or both,” Ricketts said.

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