EASTBOURNE Borough Council will shell out £120,000 over the next three years on a PR firm to run its press office and marketing team.
The local authority confirmed this week that, subject to the dotting of t’s and crossing of i’s, local firm Cobb PR would continue to fill the gap left after the council took the decision to shelve its in house team more than a year ago.
Since that initially money-saving plan was hatched, the authority has split its PR between Cobb and council staff.
Now though the decision has been taken to merge both the general PR work and the more long-term, corporate side of the operation – with Cobb taking on extra work from the town hall.
Peter Finnis, who handled the tendering process for the council, said, “During the financial planning process last year, it was decided to close down the internal corporate PR resource and outsource the full package on the basis that it would be more economical, more efficient and more consistent than the split arrangement.
“It was equally to do with financial efficiency and driving up the quality of our external communications.
“In terms of its effect on the overall council finances, the closure of the internal corporate PR service enabled a saving of £30,000 – of which £12,000 has been used to offset the cost of the expanded external contract (i.e. the extra work being given to Cobb).
“Therefore the net saving to the council is around £18,000 a year.”
Cobb PR managing director Tim Cobb was delighted his firm had beaten off competition from six others to win the contract.
He said, “It is fair to say that we are all incredibly excited by the prospect of working with Eastbourne Borough Council over the next three years.
“We are a local company, employing local people and based in the best town in the UK.
“It gives us great pride to be working alongside the council and helping the authority to communicate with the town’s many residents and visitors.”