BoC eyes $100K marketing plan for south Cobb
by Ricky Leroux
August 12, 2014 04:00 AM | 2925 views | 4 4 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Commissioner Lisa Cupid, who represents the area, addressed what those 'misconceptions' might be. 'South Cobb does have some challenges with respect to older infrastructure and crime, but the popular opinion of south Cobb is that it is a homogeneous area and that it’s full of all things bad,” Cupid said. “And that certainly is not the instance.'
Commissioner Lisa Cupid, who represents the area, addressed what those 'misconceptions' might be. 'South Cobb does have some challenges with respect to older infrastructure and crime, but the popular opinion of south Cobb is that it is a homogeneous area and that it’s full of all things bad,” Cupid said. “And that certainly is not the instance.'
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MARIETTA — As part of their efforts to revitalize south Cobb, county officials are looking to improve the area’s public image.

The Cobb Board of Commissioners will have a public hearing at their meeting today to receive public comment on a proposed plan to spend more than $100,000 to hire an outside consultant to develop a “marketing and branding strategy” for south Cobb, according to the meeting’s agenda.

The agenda item states one of the goals of the marketing campaign is “creating a new identity of south Cobb that will aid in altering the misconception of the area.” Commissioner Lisa Cupid, who represents the area, addressed what those “misconceptions” might be.

“South Cobb does have some challenges with respect to older infrastructure and crime, but the popular opinion of south Cobb is that it is a homogeneous area and that it’s full of all things bad,” Cupid said. “And that certainly is not the instance.

“I’m not going to try to paint a perfect picture, which may not be accurate, but we have a lot of positive things, a lot of good things that are occurring here which need to be told. And I think that they represent the opportunities here and the direction of where this area is going,” she said.

Rob Hosack, the county’s community development director, said he hopes the campaign will highlight the work the county has done in the area in order to attract investors.

“There’s a lot of stuff that we can do to get the area ready for redevelopment, or ripe for redevelopment. But at the end of the day, if we make infrastructure improvements and we make improvements down there to the appearance of the community, we’re still going to have to have a way to get the word out,” he said.

State law requires a public hearing, Hosack added, because the county plans on spending more than $100,000 on the campaign.

Dana Johnson, deputy community development director, said the county has received proposals for the initiative, but before county staff can rank the proposals, the public hearing must be held. Contract negotiations will not take place until after the ranking has been complete, so county officials don’t yet know what the final cost of the campaign will be.

According to the agenda item, the commissioners authorized requests for proposals April 22.

County Chairman Tim Lee said the marketing campaign is one of 30 components of a plan called the South Cobb Work Program. Some of the other components include expanding opportunity and enterprise zones in the area and creating and managing a south Cobb community advisory council, which allows residents and business owners to get involved with the decision-making process for their area.

“It’s kind of not fair to just look at this one item by itself,” he said.

Lee said the county is looking for a firm with experience creating communication programs, which promote the positives of a community.

“With that said, we don’t know yet if that needs to be executed with billboards, TV ads, brochures, fliers, Facebook, tweets, whatever. That will all come out of the evaluation as to what the core of the issue is, what the target audience we’re trying to reach (is), what we want to say to them, … how do they usually receive their information and then, what’s it going to take to get that message across to motivate action,” he said.

Hosack described what he expects from the outside consultant.

“I think they would probably be laying out a strategy and a series of things for us to do. … Now, that’s not saying they won’t assist us with doing certain things. But I think the majority of the follow-through and the implementation will be done by the community,” he said, adding the implementation of the campaign will likely be done by a combination of community residents, local businesses and the South Cobb Redevelopment Authority, as well as in-kind services from the county.

Comments
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Frustrated folk
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August 14, 2014
Too bad Community Development inclined to select outside contractor without first hand knowledge of the issues and no connections with local organizations, schools, or businesses.

Without knowledge of residents values and vision for the future, it will be just another paper study. Signs don't make a community a better place to do business.
Here's and Idea
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August 12, 2014
Start by calling the area something other than South Cobb. A negative image, for whatever the reasons, comes to mind when you hear South Cobb. Change the name first.
Allen Gregg
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August 12, 2014
I live in South Cobb/Powder Springs and I can tell you, the problem is not "marketing". The problem is a large influx of section 8 renters in the area who have a large percentage of non-working people populating the area now. Go into Powder Springs today - once at best, a "sleepy" if not borderline bumpkinish type of town, and today you see guys in their late teens to 40s, walking the streets at all hours back and forth. Crimes are up, and people are moving out Northward to the newer school district to get way from it.

That is not a $100,000.00 "marketing problem" - it's reality. And until the police stop being too afraid to pull over and question everyone as to why they are walking the streets all day for fear of "profiling", then it's going to get worse. Even Realtors I know (quietly) steer good buyers away from the immediate areas now of Powder Springs, Austell, and many parts of Mableton.

It would be nice if they included an email address where people who can't attend the meeting(s) can send public opinion and suggestions.
anonymous
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August 13, 2014
wish there was a like button for this. Im looking to move out of powder springs (to north east cobb) because of the low quality of people that have moved into the area. I grew up in Powder Springs so ive seen the changes. What is built in south cobb is designed for low income mostly, it would not be built in East cobb. I say hand it over to Fulton County because thats what it becoming.
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