Thursday, June 24, 2021

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County hires PR guru to develop communications plan

The Colusa County Board of Supervisor has extended their contract with Roseville consultant Justin Caporusso to develop a communication plan and social media policy. 

The roughly $45,000 per year contract went into effect on Feb. 1 and will continue through Jan. 31, 2022, at a rate of $3,750 per month, with any additional work outside the original scope of work to be billed at a rate of $95 per hour. 

“This is a lot of money,” said Supervisor Merced Corona, who pulled the item off the consent agenda. “I just hope we get our money’s worth out of it.” 

Caporusso was first hired in early 2020 to put a “positive spin” on the County’s activities and information given to the public about the COVID-19 crisis, according to then Chairwoman Denise Carter. 

The board voted 5-0 on Jan. 19 to have Caporusso continue working on a comprehensive strategic communication plan to support public information, outreach, and education. 

“The strategic communications plan will provide guidelines, approach, goals, expectations, and best practices to be used countywide in communications with residents, stakeholders, media, and other interested parties,” according to the scope of work. 

Caporusso will also provide county officials (and other designates) with basic message and social media training. 

“This started out as a (consulting) contract when COVID first happened, because we just needed assistance in getting our social media sites set up and getting information out there,” said County Administrative Officer Wendy Tyler. 

Caporusso has largely been assisting the Department of Health and Human Services on releasing COVID information, as well as information on senior nutrition, tobacco education, and other county programs.

The consultant has started a page on the county’s website that contains a new dashboard for COVID-19 information and vaccination schedules. 

“He wants to help us, as an agency, become better at how we communicate with the citizens,” Tyler said. 

About 80 percent of the work that Caporusso has done has been related to the pandemic, officials said. 

The county’s COVID information can be obtained by visiting countyofcolusa.org/771/COVID19.

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