Friday, July 6, 2001

City Liquor Commission
hires 2 private PR firms

By Leila Fujimori

The city Liquor Commission has hired two private firms to handle public relations to free the administrator to handle other duties.

Mana Means and PR Works have reached agreements with the commission.

Having a public relations firm prepare news releases and quickly respond to media questions on behalf of the commissioners and the chairman allows the administrator to care for numerous other tasks, said administrator Wallace Weatherwax.

"Statutorily, we are authorized to hire whomever," Weatherwax said. "We are akin to the Board of Water Supply. We're a semiautonomous agency that has a state mission."

Weatherwax said there is no need for a permanent civil service position to do the job, but he refused to say how much the public relations duties would cost taxpayers.

Mana Means, an advertising and public relations firm, will research the history of the commission, Weatherwax said. He said the information may be published in an article and used to increase understanding of the importance of the commission in the community.

"The Liquor Commission is a very colorful, interesting and worthwhile organization," said Janet Schieffer, president of Mana Means. "We're chronicling the history of the commission since Prohibition.

"We'll provide a broader attempt at getting information out on a regular basis."

Mana Means began work in June by preparing news releases for the commission. Schieffer said her firm handles the day-to-day public relations activities.

But she pointed out that she and her employees will not act as spokespeople for the commission or the administrator.

PR Works will work with the administrator and staff on an outreach program to share the Liquor Commission message in the community.

E-mail to City Desk

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