How does Watertown get “on the radar”? Council members discuss marketing options

Published: Feb. 26, 2023 at 5:54 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Getting the City of Watertown on the Radar- Council members agree that increasing the city’s marketing presence should be a priority, but differ in the way they want to do so.

Watertown City Councilmember Cliff Olney says the city should consider hiring a marketing director. Why?

To gain more exposure for the City of Watertown’s downtown scene. It’s eateries and recreational activities.

Like its latest purchase, the Thompson Park Golf Course, formerly known as the Watertown Golf Club.

“The whole point of this is to have a director in a budget. Next year we have the solar eclipse of the park in 2024, April, and I think that we need to start focusing on that event and getting the materials spreader,” said Olney.

Olney says the city currently promotes its recreational activities through its Parks and Recreation Department, but says this isn’t enough advertising. And that if a marketing director were to step in, it would bring more tourism and perhaps more revenue to Watertown.

“We want to understand what more can be done to bring more tourism here, and to develop the river and the park as we already got plans to do is going to be an essential part of what it is,” said Olney.

Councilmember Sarah Compo Pierce says she likes the idea of marketing the city, but not by hiring a marketing director. Instead, she suggests a more cost effective take such as creating an internship or simply building a stronger relationship with the downtown business association.

“From my standpoint, let’s explore those type of partnerships before we go and add another position and add to the tax payer’s expense,” said Compo Pierce.

As for councilmember Lisa Ruggiero, she says perhaps current staff could help promote the city’s activities and events, without creating a new paid job position.