Rialto, a city far from being known as proactive when it comes to public relations, has turned to San Bernardino-based Dameron Communications to provide expert PR and communications advice on a recent project of the administration. The PR agency owned by Carl Dameron has sent out a press release to the media, titled “Rialto Stepping Into Economic Success” and featuring the city’s key message – Rialto won’t miss the next economic boat.
Hiring a expert spokesperson or a PR company to send out new releases or try to share a city administration’s view on a certain topic is not a new practice, but up to now Rialto has had a history of dodging such techniques and has fully relied on its elected officials to act as public representatives.
While the City of Rialto has not contracted Dameron Communications, one of the best known PR firms of the Inland Empire, as agency of record, City Administrator Henry Garcia stated they will turn to the PR firm in the future to advise them on other specific public relations issues.
“Carl and I will be talking in the future on different topics,” Garcia said. “We need a little boost every once in a while. He’s familiar with our city and has helped in the past.”
As pointed out by local newspaper The Sun, Rialto is looking to create a positive attitude among the public, especially in what redevelopment is involved. The city’s message, as presented by Dameron Communications, is that when the recession ends for both the country and the region it is part of, “the city of Rialto is poised to take advantage of this with several large projects designed to bring jobs and revenue to the city.”
The expert PR efforts come to compensate the fact that Rialto stagnated, while neighbor cities such as Rancho Cucamonga and Fontana have already shown strong signs of economic recovery.
To back the PR statements with action, the city is investing in several development and green-energy projects, hoping not to be left out during the next economic upswing. Yet some of these projects involve demolition costs and relocating tenants, making the redevelopment quite a challenge.
“We’ve had some false starts there,” said Robb Steel, the city’s economic development director. “At the moment, the responsibility is on us. I don’t want to minimize the daunting challenge we have there.”