Thursday, June 16, 2005

Promoting the Community or Oneself?

I was just editing the links to left with the intention of adding links to both the City of Rochester's Homepage and Monroe County's Homepage. The City's page was busy, but chocked full of links and content promoting the area. The one drawback I saw was that there was no link to the County's page. I had hoped there would be better synergy between the two competing entities. I expected better from the Mayor's people. So I googled the Monroe County site and surfed over.

You have got to be kidding me.

What I found was a site that put County Executive Maggie Brooks squarely in the spotlight. I was shocked. I thought maybe it's a coincidence that the 4 top features concerned Brooks, but then I scrolled down...

Brooks,County Officials Announce GPS Monitoring Program For Sex Offenders
Brooks Receives Influential Women Award
Brooks and Dinolfo Honor Local Mind Team Winners
Brooks Announces Winners Of 2005 Stop DWI Poster Contest
Brooks and Thunderbirds Greet Children At Golisano Children's Hospital
Brooks Joins Bausch & Lomb In Expansion Announcement

Groundbreaking Ceremony on New African Elephant Exhibit
Brooks Announces New Airport Valet Service
Brooks Announces Airport Passenger Traffic For April
Brooks and Johnson Proclaim "Salvation Army Week"
Brooks Welcomes Renaissance Square Design Architect Moshe Safdie
Brooks Announces Technology Improvement Strategy

At least they dropped in the entry about the elephants. That's nice, you know, for the kids...

Honestly, this list of "Monroe County News" is undoctored and placed in order without editing or omission. I couldn't invent something this stupid. What kind of crass self-promotion is this? I think County Executive Brooks has done a standout job since she was elected. And her close working relationship with her former opponent Mayor Johnson is commendable. However, what is up with the County website? How is this different from a campaign website?

I thought the idea was to use the taxpayers' money to promote the county, not ones career.

Needless to say, until the content changes to something dealing more with our area, I will not be linking to it.


Julia said...

It's actually very common to headline press releases out of elected officials' offices like this. That's not saying I approve of Maggie's use of the county website as a self-promotional tool.

If you go to Chautauqua County's website, you'll get a site map-ish front page. If you then go to the County Executive's page and click on "Press Releases," you'll see headlines that are similar to Maggie's but with the name "Thomas" instead.

Two different County Executives with very different visions on what they and their office represents.

Zubalove said...

Yeah, if we were to get rid of every self-promoting politician, we'd be left with no representation at all.

I think it is a matter of where is the emphasis. The Monroe County site clearly puts that on Brooks, while Chautauqua's site at least puts some content up front.

They should arrest their webdesigner though!