The needler in the haystack.

Monday, July 25, 2011

PMUA's $6,000 Facebook page: A test drive


There appear to be two separate Facebook pages.

The PMUA Twitter page.
I don't know about any other Plainfielders, but my Facebook page took about ten minutes to create, so I was intrigued when I learned from the DumpPMUA website that the PMUA had spent over $6,000 for the creation of its Facebook page (see here, PDF). I actually have found TWO seemingly different Facebook pages for the PMUA -- see here, and here.

To be fair, the $6,250 also includes the creation of a Twitter feed (see here).

And don't get me wrong: It's a good thing for the PMUA to use both of these social networking tools (are you reading this, City Hall?), but the documentation doesn't make clear just what the agency is getting for its money BESIDES creating the pages, though it appears to include updates -- for how long, though, is for you to figure out.

According to the invoice, the consultant reached out on behalf of the PMUA through a notice emailed to over 4,000 in the community inviting them to follow the agency on both Facebook and Twitter. (I must have missed it in my inbox.)

The invoice to the agency says that 10,000 flyers have been created to be circulated throughout the community, though I haven't seen them at City Hall or the Plainfield Public Library, places I check for community activity flyers on a regular basis.

The outreach effort evidently did not include a press release to the media (the only three 2011 releases can be found here). Nevertheless, one Facebook page shows the agency with 329 'friends' (the other shows none), so someone has gotten the word.

PMUA's Twitter page shows just seven people following it (see the list here) and that the PMUA is following nine others, including competitor Waste Management (see list here).

Did the PMUA get good value for its investment? It's hard to say without knowing the commitment the consultant must make to continuing with the updates -- though it does occur to me that the PMUA's in-house public relations staff could certainly handle the little info-bursts without any difficulty.

Check out both the Facebook page and the Twitter feed. One of them should be useful to you (or maybe both). Facebook is especially useful in giving the agency (and the public) feedback.

And while you're at it, check out the PMUA's website (see here), which has continued to become more useful as it matures.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

Here are the folks who made the FB page:


PMUA's Got To Go said...

Crooks! Crooks! Crooks! Who in their right mind pays someone to setup FaceBook pages when they have a staff of over 150? Then, when you look at how many people want their tweets, you realize the taxpayers have been bamboozled! What will their tweet actually tell you, "Watson is in Spain Inn eating and drinking away" or "Ervin is at Hugo's enjoying himself at taxpayer's expense" or maybe the "Commissioners are approving a lucrative buyout" Get real, it's time to shut the PMUA down.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for bringing attention to this issue. The public can continue to make their own judgments about the PMUA. I highly recommend that the public look into who owns the company and where that person may have been planning to relocate. You may be surprised by the results. Just a nugget for thought...Did you ever consider that jobs outsourced to other countries could be Americans who have moved abroad to be with their spouses? Don't ask me how I know but another member of the public may be willing to explain my "code language." Plainfield is not so big and people like to talk. When will the PMUA learn this! Look into it. A few hints...King's Daughter Board of Directors, recent resignations from board, reasons for resignation. Get to it all you aspiring private investigators!

John said...

Geeze - and I don't charge my customers anything to add a link to to their FaceBook or Twitter Accounts

Rob said...

I charged myself $3999.00 consulting fee to set up my Facebook page and then took myself out to dinner to celebrate cashing my check for such hard work and accomplishing in less than the allotted 10mins per the P.O. I issued to myself !
And to think..Trash Tweets !! Who'd think it had a chance to be so popular as to need it's own twitter account.

Anonymous said...

Took a look at their site - Maybe they charged a fee for each picture and that could explain why there are duplicates right next to each other. Some quality work they got for sure.

Thanks for the link to the company that did the website. Seems their background is just creating logos and artwork.

Isn't the PMUA required to go ouot for bids on this type of contract. Cause this is not a professional services contract for sure. Nothing professional about the work that was done.

Probably would have been a good summer job for a PHS student to take on. And for the price they paid, could have hired a dozen students.

Get Real Already - No wonder our rates are so high

Jennifer Popper said...

$6K?! Considering it costs zero $ to create a Facebook page, and zero $ to create a Twitter feed, and zero $ to link one to the other so you really only have to make updates to one account, that's CRAZY! I would have done it for free in exchange for some free garbage pickups!

Anonymous said...

@ J Popper - You aren't connected like Jazz!

Got to be Connected said...

The PMUA is know for doling out contracts to suspect individuals. Case in point, check Millenium Sales & Promos. Talk about people being related and connected getting thousands for little work.

Rebecca Williams said...

So someone leaves the PMUA as their PR person and then works for the city of Plainfield for a short time and then is not renewed in that role. She then starts a company and gets over $6,000 to do a Facebook page? I cannot believe the blatant disregard for ratepayers--this is entirely too much money for such a thing. My constituents in the 2nd and 3rd Wards (those who have contacted me) are outraged by this amount of money. I think that the new Executive Director will have to get a handle on these sweetheart contracts--will have to end them--they are a tremendous disservice to already-overtaxed Plainfield residents. I am one of the council liaisons to the PMUA--as a representative of the people of Plainfield, the authority must be held accountable. I am concerned that there may be many other such deals that were set up prior to the recent changes in leadership.


Philip Charles said...

DumpPMUA has the July bills listings which shows payments for many consultants totaling more than $20k. Real Estate over $11k, Millenium Sales over $7k, and several others - and that's just July. - More examples of wasteful spending and more of the same. It's clear the commissioners are only interested in serving themselves.

We will continue to expose these uncalled for uses of public funds. We hope our elected city and state officials will eventually hold the PMUA accountable.

Taxpayer and ratepayer monies can no longer be wasted by an agency who has rates 2-3 times more than that of surrounding cities.