, Gloucester, MA

December 22, 2012

Letter: PR firm one tool in marketing Rockport

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

Readers of the story about Rockport’s new PR contract (the Times, Thursday, Dec. 20) may now have the impression that the town’s efforts are now in the hands of an outside agency and that we can sit back and await results.

As chair of the Economic Development Committee, I wanted to clarify that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Matter Communications is the professional tool in our toolbox that gives us the ability to sort through thousands of media outlets and expertly target our message and we are thrilled to have them on board.

However, what Rockport’s message is and how we deliver on it is truly the bigger part of the story. If we aim to bring more visitors to town during our slower seasons and try to attract people to start a business or relocate to Rockport, we need to give them what we promised.

Our visitor-based businesses are being asked to step up to show the tourists that Matter attracts a quality product. Our town committees and boards are working with us so that we can have our PR agency reach out to appropriate audiences on topics ranging from real estate and taxation issues to the quality of our local school system. Our students are being asked to provide community service.

In addition, we hope that residents will get involved. We have vehicles for sharing constructive ideas, including our Facebook page, “plan to promote the Town of Rockport: Economic Development Committee,” or our email at

The Economic Development Committee can’t promise a miraculous turnaround in one short year, since a lot depends on factors beyond our direct control such as decisions by private business owners and broader economic trends.

However, we intend to work as hard as possible on this grassroots effort where we can have an impact.

We thank the townspeople for their support and welcome input as we move ahead.